Friday, 18 March 2016

65000 reasons to keep Blogging.

Once again, thank you for taking the Blog to 65000, which somehow seems quite a significant number......probably because things have been fairly tough recently.

I suppose I ought to update you on 'That Hospital'.

For the last 18 months, Ashford and St.Peter's have been building their campaign to take over the Royal County Hospital at Guildford.

It's a take over no one wanted - the only people who were asked (consultants at Royal County) overwhelmingly said in a poll that patients would suffer.

The hospitals are miles apart so any services closed at one site means a nightmare (and expensive) journey to another.

Ashford and St. Peter's conned their workers it would help them and they never actually bothered to ask their patients what they wanted.

The reality is that Royal County has a very good reputation and a specialism in cancer treatment, neither of which Ashford and St. Peter's have. They saw cancer as a big growth area and by taking over Guildford they thought they could hive off part of that to Ashford to try and steal some cancer patients from other hospitals.

Meanwhile they could close some other services at Guildford and move them to St. Peter's to save money.

As I said, no one wanted this.

Meanwhile a whole lot of money has been spent on getting the P.R. to bulldoze this through.

There have been endless studies and negotiations, there have been experts reports and consultants fees, there was a referral to the competition authorities which resulted in a whole years delay.

And they even organised a series of public meetings - not to consult us but to tell their patients why it was all such a good idea in the first place.

And then it all fell to pieces in their hands........

A couple of months ago Ashford and St. Peter's announced that they had gone into deficit; £195,000.

Then Royal County announced that it had done the the tune of £7-5 million.


To be fair, while a deficit can say that a 'Trust' is being badly managed, it doesn't automatically mean that.

So, a trust could be in surplus every year because it isn't doing enough for it's patients.

A trust could be in deficit because it's refusing to reduce treatment standards and has opted to spend money from it's reserves until it can improve it's income.

Both parties took a fortnight to reconsider and then announced how determined they were to continue.

Then suddenly last week it was all off.

We can all breath a sigh of relief but what a waste of time and money it's been.

These are publicly funded hospitals not some business out to make an empire and a profit.

Forget the money; what about the endless meetings, the precious 'Management Time' that should have been used to improve things for the patients and instead has been wasted?

Oh, by the way, we are still waiting for the trial at Guildford Crown Court of the former 'Infomatics Director' at Royal County Hospital who has been accused of allegedly accepting corrupt payments.

I'm expecting some rather interesting information to come to light there but I'll wait for the protection of legal proceedings before I report on it.

At the moment the former 'Infomatics Director' has pleaded not guilty to accepting corrupt payments while the person accused of paying him has pleaded guilty to making allegedly corrupt payments to him.


So I suppose I'd better go on Blogging!

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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