Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Rantin' n ravin'



As I made the journey to Charing Cross Hospital, each day last week I passed the Accident and Emergency, part of a world class teaching and research hospital, which draws in the best and most committed staff from around the world.

The lifeblood of any Hospital is its Accident and Emergency department and I would guess that Charing Cross A and E is a pretty good place for your Ambulance to stop at.

What is the Government going to do? Shut it down, as well as three others in West London. Therefore people will go either to central London, West Mid or out to Hillingdon Hospital, in the middle of nowhere. So, no public transport, no community link, no excellence. Meanwhile, a great Hospital like Charing Cross loses its connection to the real world and a source of patients.

Now, after getting sent home with a broken ankle my immediate reaction was to campaign for the closure of the A and E at St. Peters, Chertsey, on the basis that it would be the quickest way to save lives. In my minds eye, I imagined Police incident tape shutting off the front door. I do sometimes still feel that way.

Of course, I was wrong, the answer is to make things better although I’m finding it fairly hard going doing it at the moment.

They need to improve– the nearest Hospital to St. Peter’s is about 10 miles away and even that may shut under new plans. The journey? Along the busiest, most congested motorway in the country.

For the people of West London, their proposed closures will mean their ambulances struggling a lot further and longer through the most congested streets in the country.

Shutting departments is not as malicious as it sounds – its intended to improve the standard of care at the remaining A and E’s – for example stroke/heart attack, which need specialist care early on and at the moment often aren’t getting it.

Specialise and concentrate. Fewer = better.

Except, with emergencies, you need to get seen soon. Not stuck in a traffic jam. Not stuck in a huge queue to see a Nurse. Not left waiting in an ambulance while your paramedic tries to speak to someone, to get you seen.

Also, none of it is being planned – if we were reforming the system we would look at a map and site A and E’s where communities are and where transport is good, both for us and more importantly for our ambulance.

Then we would work out where to put the specialist units, which could be almost anywhere – in current hospitals, for example.

None of these changes take account that these will not be the only closures – there are more to come. Each time, more travelling, less urgency.

An A and E like a factory farm isn’t going to solve anything, except cut jobs, cut costs and send people who should be seen straight back out of the revolving door they came through.

Excellence produces excellence, just as mediocrity produces….

Meanwhile, all this ranting is because I’m paying the price for a good night out. It’s only Tuesday and I’m wasted.

You are entitled to say;

 “Tut, tut, tut!”

“serves you right”

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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