Tuesday, 30 October 2012

An Editor's take on Mental Health Services

In recent Sunday Express, I was captivated by 'A  word from the Editor' - Martin Townsend.
As I wouldn't dare to relate this marvellous article, ' I'll quote the salient points, verbatim because this is 'must reading' for anyone wanting the truth about the current state of Mental Health Services.

"I received a letter last week from reader Jean Devenish alerting me to the fact that one in five front-line jobsin her county's Trust are to be axed, despite a visit from Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, a few days earlier, singing the praises of mental health workers. I suppose we should have known that the NHS wouldn't be safe in Tory hands because it has never been safe ANY government's hands especially when it comes to mental health provision. Now, we have an even worse situation: mental health workers are removed and nobody is replacing them. The axing of mental health services, which seems to have gathered pace recently, proves to me that government still views it as a 'Cinderella' sector of the NHS; always first to suffer cutbacks because, you know, 'mental health is all in the mind, innit ?'

Yet there was a five percent increase in the number of people being sectioned under the Mental Health Act last year with a total of 48,000 people detained "for their own health or safety, or for the protection of other people". That is an expensive business, not just in terms of the emotional cost to the people who have reached that stage of desperation, but also in pounds and pence. Simon Lawton-Smith, head of policy for the Mental Health Foundation, said"We have for years beeen pumping resources into better community care for people with mental illness yet we are not addressing everyone's needs.  Recent cuts to services will only make the situation worse. We need commissioners to to be bold in investing more in prevention and early intervention."

Often, thisswift action can be enough to stop depression getting worse.  It is ceratainly what GPs and mental-health professionals prefer but if you don't have an understanding management, or are unemployed, to whom can you turn if local mental health services have been cut ?
The government is doing its' darndest to get folk off benefits and into work, recognising the cost to the country of a non-productive adult.
Why, then, is it so keen to destroy the services that help the mentally ill back on their feet ?  It makes no sense."  Martin Townsend.

Critics of mine will undoubtedly point out that this article refers specifically to mental health services in England.  However, if the situation is any better in Wales, I'll eat my laptop !   R.W.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Spaghetti Junction to Llandough

I don't know if you saw the 'Health Unit Plan Set for Approval' in last weeks ( 23rd ) Echo, but the junction ( that nobody likes ) is set to be established as the main way into the Llandough site.  I visited Llanfair last week and noticed that the lower car park is now closed and 'construction work ?' is going on at a rate of knots, on the road way that ( I suppose ) will enter opposite the Harriers, dog-leg right, dog-leg left, then up the steep hill to Lord-knows-where.  The foundations for the new hospital ( or the car park ) have already taken over the staff car park, meaning that the staff will have nowhere to park, except in the 150 space multi-storey car park, to be built somewhere on the site.
The new hospital will include the concourse and shops and will be built on 'the existing car park'  The brillianrt planners at the Vale, - working with Paul Hollard, Planning director for the Universally Inept Cardiff & Vale Health Board.

In conclusion it appears that 90% of the 4/500 car spaces will be replaced by 150 space car park - BUT - at least the new junction will rush staff and visitors to the over-conjested site, where they will have insufficient room to park. Fortunately, the traffic will be slow entering the hospital as these changes will create gridlock from Dinas Powis, Barry Road and along Penlan Road !
One stupid planner was enough, but two idiots working together is a recipe for disaster.  I've already Christened the new junction, Spaghetti Bollocknaise Junction, which is impossible to translate into Welsh - hooray.  Of course, it MIGHT work for incoming traffic ( to the site ) but - ask yourself - how will any vehicle be able to leave the site in order to gain use of the Dinas Powis Road, Barry Road, and even Redlands Road.

Fortunately Rob Thomas, The Vales Council's Director of Development, says "It is considered that with the improvements set for the junction with Penlan Road the traffic generationby the development would not be of any level that would be a significant detriment to the local highway infrastructure in terms of congestion." ( yeah right ).  He goes on to conclude, "But the junction improvements at the access and the travel plan need to be fully implemented prior to the first beneficial use of the prosed new units"
Now that it's been made perfectly clear to the plebs, there is no need for further concern.
( make that THREE idiots ). Oh.....and no one has mentioned how the access to the newly transferred Rookwood facility will be achieved. Perhaps it's been cancelled as the Health Board are not allowed to profit from the sale of land at Rookwood in order to finance the new Llandough Units.  As for the Llanfair unit - Lord knows what's to happen to this as the geniuses ( geneii ?) at the Board haven't mentioned anything else. [watch this space]    R.W.

P.S.  The article was written by tha famous ass-kisser, Pater Collins ( say no more )

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A & E Closures - Utter Madness......and just to prove the point....

Fridayday, October 19th 2012

Yesterday, I joined the slow procession of traffic attempting to go from Culverhouse Cross to Western Avenue.  My ex-wife thought the BBC were filming an excerpt from Casualty, whilst I thought a major accident had occurred on Cowbridge Road West. I was shocked by the numbers of ambulances and police cars that were racing along both sides of the Road - I can only liken the sound of their sirens to the sound of the Air Raid Sirens that had terrified me so much as a child.

Slowly we passed bodies lying on both sides of the road, none moving except for the paramedics that scmpered around the bodies like worker ants in a frenzy.  We watched people being carefully placed in the rear of ambulances, whilst other bodies on the pavement awaited their turn.  The lower down the slope we travelled the worse the carnage appeared to be, with at least a dozen ambulance men and even more police crowding the ribboned off area of Ely Fire station.

Later we learned - to our horror - that 14 people had been brutally run over by a large white van.  Tragically, news of the death of Karina Menzies reached us as we arrived home, and that at least five of the remaining injured were children, as young as three.  Fortunately, in this busy urban area, the emergency services performed way above any reasonable expectation, rushing the injured to the University Hospital, which had immediately switched to disaster mode, where the A & E staff became the life-saving angels that they are so well trained to become at such times.

Saturday's Echo revealed the tragic horror of the 'hit-and-run' locations that had become the scenes of human carnage.Rarely, since Aberfan and the 9/11 disasters, have I felt more sorrow and pity at the same time.  How could this have happened, such utter madness, perpetrated by an individual whose mind and body is clearly beyond any hope of salvation ?  We pray for the families of poor Karina and the other victims of this act of complete incomprehensible madness.

Sadly, these tragic events highlight a greater act of madness perpetrated by the Universally Inept Health Board and the incompetent planners in NHS Wales and all levels of our develved government. Just days earlier, they had confirmed the closure of seven A & E units throughout rural and urban areas of Wales. How the hell can any sane person justify such unjustifiable cost-slashing, when 80 % of GPs, and all the evidence from research fail to support such changes.  From yesterday's evidence, Accident and Emergency services in future will be totally unstustainable, completely inadequate, and inaccessible to the majority of the population of our once-great country.

Already, we have had to watch these unscrupullous and self-serving Carpetbaggers decimate our health services over the past decade. And why ? - because our health services are not 'fit for purpose' - whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, over a decade of population expansion that requires more, and better, health services than ever before ( particularly, the elderly whose numbers have increased more than any other group. Nye Bevan's achievements in providing 'health care at the point of need' have been irrevocably reversed by the incompetent Mandarins and Bureaucrats ( talking Bureaucrap ) - and we have stood by, dumbly allowing this desecration to occur.
Recent days have shown how excellent our Emergency services are, and how incompetent is our Government.  R. W.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Too Many Clots in NHS Wales

The Welsh Government's Health and Social Care committee have reported that over 100 patients are dying per day from undetected blood clots.  The Assembly Members found that this was due to medical staff not following basic procedures. This cause of death exceeds those of patients who die from Cancer or M.R.S.A. ( Methacylin Resistant Staff. Aurius ) - a staggering total. In 2010 this was 900+ patients in Wales.  Even more worrying is that medical experts have confirmed that 70% of these were preventable IF the basic procedures had been followed by medical staff.
This raises two obvious questions a) How could management scrutiny have failed to notice these deaths ? and b) Why were anticoagulants , such as Heperin or Warfarin not prescribed in these cases ? These are standard preventive measures in Cardiac, Post Operative and in suspected deep Vein Thrombosis cases.  Blood clots are known to cause pulmonary emblems and fatal heart attacks, known as Miocardial Infarctions ( heart explosions ).

Why aren't all deaths of inpatient and recently discharged patients subject to closer scrutiny ?. In my opinion the only explanation can be gross incompetence of NHS staff at Local Health Board and National levels. What is the point of all these Directors, Directorate Managers, Consultants, Ward Managers and nursing supervisors if they cannot even follow basic life saving procedures ?  R. W.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Another day and £2m less for Mental Health

Mental Illness gets £12m lift - Echo Saturday 6th October

Is it any wonder why I'm such a lousy fan of Leslie Griffiths ? With her undaunted enthusiasm for announcing 'good news ' ( yeah right ), she welcomes the a £12m investment in mental health ?   So, what's the problem - she's only confirming the Finance MInister's figures........ isn't she ?????  Well,damn them all to hell for their cruel deceptions, because, she adds 'This figure INCLUDES £10m - that's TEN MIllion for the acute mental health hospital in the Vale of Glamorgan'. So, either the silly cow hasn't read her script properly or - since Jane Hutt's announcement  ( £12m for new unit at Llandough ) - she's reduced the money by £2m already. Of course, the other obvious alternative is that ( unsurprisingly ) she doesn't know what she's talking about ( my personal preference, always ).

So, whichever you believe, it looks as though Mental Health has been screwed again by our incompetent and uncaring government.

Meanwhile, I hope they've all been watching Homeland to appreciate how well Claire Danes portrays the agonies of Bi - Polar sufferers.  I hated the E.C.T. ( Electro Convulsive Treatment ) near the end but it showed two facts - a) How awful the suffering must be for those patients, and - b) How brilliant they are capable of being when stabilised by their medication.  We must all try to raise awareness of those who suffer mental health problems and we MUST reduce the continuing, irrational stigmatisation that is rife within our society.   We should start with Leslie Griffiths, but she's probably too busy seeking out more 'good news' rubbish, and more KIm Jong IL photo opportunities that show her to be the 'Dear Leader' of our Health Servives in Wales.    R.W.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Finance Minister's Budget Exposes NHS Lies

Dear Jane Hutt has finally proved that for over two years the Health Ministers - The Queen of Harts and Lesley Griffiths  have lied about the Making a Difference plan that was put out for consultation and given the seal of approval by the equally dishonest, and totally useless, Community Health Council.  For over two years, Deputy Director Paul Hollard - aided and abetted by fellow Director Katie Norton - stated theat the new mental health hospital proposed for Llandough site was guaranteed to be built for £80m.  As has become the norm, the consultation was a complete farce that completely ignored the views of the public and the self-evident facts that me and my colleagues had brought to the attention of The entire Universally Inept Health Board, the Directors/ Mandarins of NHS Wales and, of course both inept Ministers. Firstly, the somnambulent, dictatorial Edwina, Queen of Harts and then the inept novice, Lesley Griffiths changed the consultation guidelines, arbitarily, and subsequently refused to ignore our list of points in the guidelines that had been totally ignored by the U.I.H.B.and the NHS Lapdogs, the Community Health Council.  All the written responses from the NHS and our Government said that the consultation was fair and that the guidelines were followed to the letter by the UHIB and the C.H.C. - all blatant lies that sought to bully their critics ( me and my colleagues ) into submission, without success.

Now we find that 'Making a Difference' was a deceitful ruse to dupe the ( supposedly ) ignorant and uncaring patients and the public - thanks to the first Health Minister, now promoted to Finance Minister.  Her budget reveals that there is £30m set aside for hospitals, specifically, the new Mental Health hospital at Llandough AND including £18m for the redevelopment of Morriston hospital. This leaves a mere £12m for new mental; health units at Llandough hospital and Glanfryd hospital at Bridgend.  Great, isn't it ? A phoney consultation with phoney lies, created by the Planning Director and Deputy Chief Executive of the Cardiff and Vale Universally Inept Health Board, Paul Hollard ( £180,000pa min ).  When the change was made from a 104 bed unit at Whitchurch at £80m ( £769,000 per bed ), I wrote a report that pointed out the the Llanfair unit - 57 beds - cost only £7.155m ( £125,000 per bed ), highlighting how ridiculous the £80m figure was, in fact. Despite this observation, both Hollard and Norton stated at every consultation meeting, and presentation to the 'Duffers' of the CHC, that the cost of the Mental Hospital at Llandough, alone, would cost £80 which they assured everybody had been ring-fenced by the ( then ) Welsh Assembly Government and the Queen of Harts. Then, only yesterday, the General Manager of Llandough stated ( in the Echo ) that the new mental health inpatient unit would have 135 beds ( that's £88,000 per bed ).

Wheras this all may be rather boring to you, it does prove - beyond any doubt - the complete dishonesty of our government, NHS Wales, the U.I.H.B, and the CHCs.  Therefore, we may appear to be ignorant Plebians, those in authority are all even more incompetent than we could imagine. I must just add that I sent a copy of my report to 35 senior officials referred to above, without a single, solitary acknowledgement or intelligent reply.  Everyone of these incompetent and over-paid bureaucrats ( including Health Economist, Professor Marcus Longley ) are perfect examples of the Peter Principal or, as a dear friend put it, "The higher up the tree the monkey climbs, the more it shows its arse". With no apologies, R.W.