Friday, May 30, 2008

Polyclinics and Choice

Sally Wainwright comments on Lord Darzi's latest "blog" post:

"I have just come back from a so-called consultation on the future of head and neck surgery in the Anglia Region and it is crystal clear that the PCT will be voting in July for the option chosen (without consultation)before the consultation began! This means that Ipswich Hospital will lose its head and neck cancer surgery and patients requiring this will now face a 100 mile round trip up to Norwich and back.

The more we hear about consultation and choice the less there is in reality, as the Government proceeds to impose its regionalization policies on district hospitals. It might be marginally more acceptable if the Government was honest about what it is doing and acknowledged that the Dept of Health is imposing change from the top downwards regardless of protests, petitions, patient forums and these staged consultations.

The NICE guidelines themselves are not compulsory, they leave room for flexibility; but once these guidelines pass into the iron fist of the Dept of Health they become compulsory. “Compliance” is forced upon local hospitals, with all the changes railroaded through."

This is at a time, as Pulse reports, that 100 GP surgeries in London have already been earmarked for the chop and that it is highly likely that this will increase to 400. At a time when the government claims to be increasing choice and ease of access ...

"Dr Kambiz Boomla, chair of City and East London LMC, warned polyclinics could create ‘enormous access problems’.

‘People don’t expect to take a bus to visit their doctor,’ he said. ‘People expect their GP surgeries to be in walking distance of where they live.’"

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