Here we go again, another week, another solution for Wexham Park Hospital in Slough.
This time, we have been warned ‘this must take place quickly if it is going to happen’.
Oh no, we shouldn’t.
Remember the saying; act in haste, repent at leisure.
The new ‘big plan’, is that Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley should gobble up Heatherwood and Wexham Park NHS Trust. I imagine Frimley Park got worried that all the prime land at Ascot would be sold off if they didn’t get in quickly.
Wexham Park at Slough has a mountain of debt and a poor reputation.
Heatherwood at Ascot has beautiful land in a really wealthy area. Good to sell off and then just do private operations in what’s left. That would appeal to the Sheiks and the New Russians when they are in town for the races.
St. Mark’s in Maidenhead – convenient but also looks like a very desirable property to speculators.
In contrast Frimley Park has a good reputation and has been a lot more careful with its money.
What would the people of Slough want? Do they actually want to go to Camberley or Bracknell?
This is what they need;
1) Government help in managing the financial mess.
2) A change of management.
3) A Clinical plan to sort out the important problems.
What will happen?
The management will get saved and/or get big fat redundancy cheques.
Hospitals will close, the land will be sold off. Patients will have to travel further and further – that is elderly, sick, vulnerable people whose relatives and friends are often in a similar state.
How did this happen?
The Government is at the root of all the problems at Slough – Government/NHS England should sort it out.
NHS financial allocations depend on population and this is measured by the census. Slough has had massive population growth, much of which has been missed by the last two censuses. The result is underfunded hospitals and G.P’s.
The closures of nearby A and E’s at High Wycombe and Heatherwood have sent huge numbers of extra patients to Wexham Park.
All this has been reflected in poorer outcomes and big financial deficits.
When hospitals shut, they don’t open new ones. This merger hasn’t been planned, isn’t logical or convenient. It only helps the management out of the fix they are responsible for.
Time to fight back. Or do you want to go to Bracknell/Camberley?
(a don’t stop till you drop production)