Friday, 5 April 2013

Trouble up North.




          STOP PRESS!

It’s not been like a suspension, more like an Easter break up at the Children’s heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary. I did a Blog about the suspension last week, left it a day, changed my mind and after I rewrote it I didn’t put it up till this week.

This morning, Leeds Hospital announced that next week the unit will be operating on children again.

Now that can’t be right – if there are concerns they need to be sorted before there are any more operations. That’s as wrong as shutting it in the first place, without proper evidence.

It’s all about money and careers- my guess is that Leeds managers consulted their lawyers and when they got a decision they changed their minds.

At the end of all this, there will still be 5 or 6 fewer childrens heart units. If anyone thinks that means an improvement, remember that for 20 years, this specialism has been underperforming over most of the country.

It’s no way to run health treatment.

What was the solution? I would have taken surgeons from Leeds and put them into good units elsewhere for 6 months and brought some good surgeons up to work in Leeds. That way everyone gets to know everyone else, learns off each other and gets better in the process.

 At the same time, those who aren’t up to it get spotted.

The problem is that’s a co-operative, team spirited approach. That’s not how things work today; every hospital is fighting the next. Every surgeon is competing with every other surgeon.

It would also have meant that more units could have stayed open, near where patients live.

Who loses?

Right now I think the NHS needs a new medical director.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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