“The Status Quo is Not an Option….”
Nope – this isn’t a statement by Aristotle, or a phrase from a Shakespeare play. Even though I’ve heard it said a dozen times, I haven’t a clue who the author of this phrase is. This is the summary to every consultation notice, held by Local Health Boards, and approved universally by NHS Wales and our opaque Welsh Government. The meaning ? – Lord knows, but in the context of proposed changes to our health service, it means,
“We’re proposing the following change to ( the specific health service ) in this consultation with the public and patients. We’ll hold public meetings and invite your comments or concerns. However, whatever you say about the proposed change, will make no difference to the plans that we intend to put into action, as soon as our government confirms their agreement to back our plans, publicly, as they have already arrangement privately.” Fatuously they add that “This consultation will be conducted by the nearest Community Health Council - that we pay – in order to ensure that the result of their efforts conforms to whatever change ( to the specific health service ) that we have decided to implement in order to save money.”
This enigma is exemplified by the current proposal to close the A & E department at Brongwynlais hospital in Llanelli, where the term “the Status Quo is not an option” has been applied. In simple terms – “We are going to close the A&E department at this hospital.” Unfortunately, hundreds of people will protest against this ‘change’ - in writing and by attending meetings - in the futile belief that their opinions will be considered and affect or stop the fait accompli proposal. Naivety ??? I’ll say it is, especially if you think we live in a democracy, when it comes to anything our NHS/UIHB/Government wish to do, and ‘involving the people in the decision-making process'.
All of the Health Boards are told to ‘sing from the same song sheet and do not - we said Do Not – in any way deviate from government policy’, frankly, it is unbelievable that a government can be allowed to act in such an autocratic, ignoring public or patient opinion. It wouldn’t be so bad if anyone on the health boards had any business experience or any common sense. It’s ‘Jobs for the Girls’ I’m afraid, with any thought of competence in their ability to handle the job, totally ignored. Even though they waste millions of pounds of public money, through their incompetence, we cover it up and dismiss any challengers with total contempt After all ‘Political Correctness’ is much more important than good planning, good management, or even good communication – isn’t it ? Well.....isn't it ??? RW