Monday, July 16, 2012

Assembly Unites to Oppose A&E Closures in London


Mrs Angry said...

Aha: another public information broadcast from the Ministry of Nimbyism? Roger, the picture you present is happening all over the UK.

Here in Barnet we are being forced to provide A&E cover for Chase Farm which is losing its own provision, despite a pre election promise from David Cameron. As you explain, such cuts, resulting in long distance travel to futher locations cause the most difficulties for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged users.

But this is the effect of Tory/Coalition policy - your own party policy. It will only appear to the cynical that it is because it will have a political impact on your own area that you are speaking out against it, not because it is inherently wrong.

The so called graph of doom, with problems caused by an ageing population is something that must be addressed centrally, by proper government funding, rather than expect local authorities and healthcare providers to bear the cost.

Rather than follow the Tory obsession with cutting or freezing taxes, locally or centrally, you need to accept that most people would rather pay more tax to protect vital services - and so much more must be done to make sure that those companies or individuals who avoid paying tax are made to comply, instead of the burden always being carried by those least able.

judith said...

A different view: A&E depts are being misused by the public and mismanaged by NHS staff. What is being proposed by BHRUT is a minor injuries unit at KGH, for which it's sensible to have public transport access. A&E stands for Accident and Emergency - ie ambulance transport.

I know, from practical experience and discussion with senior staff at BHRUT, that staff will NOT always run Depts in the most efficient way, and this is certainly the case in A&E at KGH. There are cases in which they will actively subvert attempts by management to improve matters.

East London has a large immigrant population who are not accustomed to using GP services and therefore go straight to A&E Depts for treatment; I have argued for years that Triage nurses should have the power to re-direct non-urgent patients, either to GPs or Minor Injury Units (there's an underused one in Barking).

Unfortunately, the NHS is a State Religion and a political football, and little will ever be done to improve it until this changes.

Mrs Angry said...

Having had the misfortune to make a couple of visits to two different A&E depts recently, I can assure Judith that patients are now sent elsewhere if they are considered to be capable of being seen by a GP. Unfortunately this is also being used inappropriately, in my case, having been sent by the GP for an emergency scan, after 2 hours wait I was told, due to 'rationing' of resources, I could not have one, & made to wait three weeks! This is due to new govt guidelines which are pushing most non life threatening, although often serious conditions, into the slower tier of a two track system, leaving you - in this borough - months before getting a hospital appt.

judith said...

Mrs A - I hope you get well soon. Unfortunately, it is not unknown for NHS staff to blame everyone except themselves for poor service provision.

One major London teaching hospital is currently insisting on certain absurd regulations regarding separation of men and women in waiting areas, which it insists is Government-inspired. I have checked, and it isn't.

2 local hospitals insist on calling for patients in A&E and Outpatients by only using their first name. This can (and has) lead to serious mix-ups. I was told directly that this is to stop patients being identified and then their houses being robbed while they are in hospital! Yet other hospitals elsewhere use both names without dire results.

If you need an emergency scan and your hospital can't provide it, your GP should be able to commission a private one.

30 years ago, a senior London consultant told me that the NHS was a financial black hole - at his recent retirement, he said he had not changed his opinion.

Mrs Angry said...

Judith, the ability to use gps funds that way does not apply anymore - I did ask! The harsh truth is that in health care and education the gulf between the standard of care or teaching for those with means and those with needs is getting wider and wider. If you have money, you have the choice to use private healthcare and education, if you do not, then you are faced with an NHS system being ripped apart, and secondary education of the highest standard available only to the middle class children who can manage selective entrance exams or pay to attend a private school.

Anonymous said...

Mrs A - my view of the NHS as both a consumer and a Patient Experience Panel member for decades is that it is not 'fit for purpose', and hasn't been for decades. And this isn't about money, it's about structure and management and professional power-bases.

Which also applies to mainstream education.