I love the NHS but……..

I attended a meeting of Bexley council’s Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee this evening. The main part of the meeting was the questioning of the South London Healthcare NHS trust about their plans to close Queen Mary’s Hospital A&E department at night.

Since the downgrading of services was announced the hospital has struggled to recruit and retain staff, this has caused difficulties with staffing levels in A&E. The senior management team have decided to use a loophole which allows them to close the A&E department at nights as a “temporary” measure to maintain patient safety. The committee were not happy about this and wanted answers.
The answers that were given were far from adequate. It turns out that this “temporary” measure is likely to be permanent, indeed it sounded as though very little real effort had been made to look at any alternatives.
It also transpired that doctors who were being interviewed many months ago had pulled out of the interviews when they heard that the hospital faced cuts. I was therefore surprised to hear that they were surprised at the staffing problems that they now face.
This whole episode points to a catastrophic failure to plan ahead at local management level and an appalling undermining of the front line NHS staff by the government.

14 responses to “I love the NHS but……..

  1. Appropo of nothing, I think t is high time that some element of “pay per use” s brought into the NHS.

    How about
    £5-10 per visit to doctor

    Injured Doing a sport / activity? Then that should be part of the cost of the activity (higher cost for participating)

    Cuts & breaks after a drinking session? Country won't pick up the bill.

    How about these proposals?

  2. Appropo of nothing, I think t is high time that some element of “pay per use” s brought into the NHS.

    How about
    £5-10 per visit to doctor

    Injured Doing a sport / activity? Then that should be part of the cost of the activity (higher cost for participating)

    Cuts & breaks after a drinking session? Country won't pick up the bill.

    How about these proposals?

  3. I don't always agree with Crispin but he is entirely correct that all sports related injuries should be charged for.

    I would suggest that anybody taking part in a sport has insurance to cover the cost of any NHS treatment. The more extreme sports would obviously have higher premiums. This would reduce the epidemic of sports related injuries as people would be able to get a clear idea of the danger involved.

    Drink related injuries are less of a problem as it usually only involves patching people up and sending them on their way. Sports related injuries usually last for years, and certainly the insurance should only cover long term medical treatment.

    It is important that people continue to have access to A&E without any costs associated, but it is time that people involved in sports acknowledge the burden they place on the NHS.

  4. I don't always agree with Crispin but he is entirely correct that all sports related injuries should be charged for.

    I would suggest that anybody taking part in a sport has insurance to cover the cost of any NHS treatment. The more extreme sports would obviously have higher premiums. This would reduce the epidemic of sports related injuries as people would be able to get a clear idea of the danger involved.

    Drink related injuries are less of a problem as it usually only involves patching people up and sending them on their way. Sports related injuries usually last for years, and certainly the insurance should only cover long term medical treatment.

    It is important that people continue to have access to A&E without any costs associated, but it is time that people involved in sports acknowledge the burden they place on the NHS.

  5. I don't want to see Queen Mary's go either but having seen how consultations work from the other side it's likely that a decision had already been made. Any suggestions of what could be done to save it at this point?

    Lucky the Tories hadn't been around for so long though, QM's would have been an 'executive' housing estate by now.

  6. I don't want to see Queen Mary's go either but having seen how consultations work from the other side it's likely that a decision had already been made. Any suggestions of what could be done to save it at this point?

    Lucky the Tories hadn't been around for so long though, QM's would have been an 'executive' housing estate by now.

  7. I disagree with you, Jimmy, when you say that drink related injuries are less of a problem. Spend a Friday night in A&E mate (if you can still find one open in Brown's Britain).

    Boozy Britain has a massive drink problem that has a huge impact on the NHS, both from immediate injuries that require patching up to long term health problems caused by drink, glassings and drink fuelled violence.

    Add to this the vast amount of faceless administrators and bureaucrats and their associated costs and it is no wonder that the fantastic frontline staff feel seriously short-changed.

  8. I disagree with you, Jimmy, when you say that drink related injuries are less of a problem. Spend a Friday night in A&E mate (if you can still find one open in Brown's Britain).

    Boozy Britain has a massive drink problem that has a huge impact on the NHS, both from immediate injuries that require patching up to long term health problems caused by drink, glassings and drink fuelled violence.

    Add to this the vast amount of faceless administrators and bureaucrats and their associated costs and it is no wonder that the fantastic frontline staff feel seriously short-changed.

  9. It's not just the patching up that costs, it is the policing of the streets, (although the wombles (PCO's) are more often found doing this nowadays whilst the real police become more & more detached from their “manors”)

    Regarding sports / hobbies, if someone can afford a wizzy racing bike, or a jet ski or a quad bike costing couple of grand, then they can afford a £50-100 additional premium on health insurance!

    Remember the old adage , “with rights come responsibilities!!

  10. It's not just the patching up that costs, it is the policing of the streets, (although the wombles (PCO's) are more often found doing this nowadays whilst the real police become more & more detached from their “manors”)

    Regarding sports / hobbies, if someone can afford a wizzy racing bike, or a jet ski or a quad bike costing couple of grand, then they can afford a £50-100 additional premium on health insurance!

    Remember the old adage , “with rights come responsibilities!!

  11. I'll concede that drinking does cost a lot, not just in health care. The problem is you cannot take out insurance before you drink irresponsibly.

    The only sensible solution I can think of is an increase in tax on alcohol to address the costs to society. Some would say that these taxes are high enough already, and this is a fair point. But the tax on sports is a no brainer.

  12. I'll concede that drinking does cost a lot, not just in health care. The problem is you cannot take out insurance before you drink irresponsibly.

    The only sensible solution I can think of is an increase in tax on alcohol to address the costs to society. Some would say that these taxes are high enough already, and this is a fair point. But the tax on sports is a no brainer.

  13. Careful!

    They first downgraded our A&E, then closed it at night.

    Now it's been turned into something called a “Minor Injuries” unit and is staffed by “Nurse Practitioners”.

  14. Careful!

    They first downgraded our A&E, then closed it at night.

    Now it's been turned into something called a “Minor Injuries” unit and is staffed by “Nurse Practitioners”.

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