Thursday, June 21, 2007

No Change not an Option

Three options were presented to those consulted in the Healthy Futures (A & E) consultation exercise. Five in the Making it Better (Paediatrics and Maternity) exercise.

An option for no change to existing provision was not included in the Healthy Futures consultation (stated in the IRP’s Healthy Futures template).

Rochdale Council’s report questions the SHA’s interpretation of the consultations’ results. Many responses, interpreted as positive, express “qualifications, caveats and concerns” with very few which are clear endorsements.

Although many want services to be retained locally, they appear to have been hoodwinked by talk of “urgent care centres” and “centres of excellence” and that these will local and not so local levels of service will provide the same level of service as existing facilities.

Joe and Jane Blogg can easily be convinced that a Nurse Specialist will provide the same level of expertise as a doctor.

There are many concerns that the expansion of community, as opposed to hospital, services will be underfunded. It would seem that the financial planning for centralising services has been impeccable (sic), but both the logistical and financial planning for expanding community services (e.g. children’s community nursing teams) has been neglected. Quite possibly (and very probably) these community alternatives will not be in place before hospital services are withdrawn.

It would also seem that two separate consultation exercises, one for A & E, the other for paediatrics and maternity, may have been an attempt (or at least perceived as such) to “pull the wool over our eyes” over the totality of cuts. I am sure those who offered their opinions in the two consultation exercises were not the same.

If I knew there was no Paediatric department there, I wouldn’t take Kezia to their A& E and vice versa. As it is, the local hospital may well end up with neither … and we’ll have to make a long bus trip to the nearest hospital with both.

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