Accident and Emergency Departments are defined as being the Front Door to the NHS - easily accessible, always open, where you won't be turned away. Now - as I see it - there appear to be many facets to the current argument that we have too many A & E Departments and they are 'not providing the best possible care to all patients all of the time.' Seriously - what service does ??? The ambulance, Fire Services, public services ( buses, rubbish collections, roads in good repair and, of course, the police are constantly been scrutinised ), with every failed target being given the maximum publicity. Consequently, if it's not possible to provide a good service to all of the people, all of the time - what's the point in using it as an excuse to close seven A & E Departments in South Wales, leaving only inaccessible, centralised services ( miles from the point of need ) ????? Clearly, there is no logic to the NHS' argument because fewer, hard-to-reach A&E depatments couldn't possibly provide the best possible care to ALL of the patients ALL of the time. So why say it, and then act as if it's the most obvious solution to 'whatever the problem is that they're trying to address' ????? Their arguments simply are not credible, yet here we are being told that they cannot recruit enough doctors and nurses to staff all of the A&E services, as though Recruitment Services had suddenly become useless, or, no qualified medical person wants to work in Wales because the conditions have become so intolerable, under an NHS that sees only reducing services as cutting cost.
I mean to say - let's be serious for a moment. For decades these A&E departments have functioned adequately or there would have been a public outcry long ago - right ? So that being the case, why have the NHS premeditadely reduced resourses to these units at a time when the population - and, therefore the need - have been ( and are ) growing exponentially. It just doesn't make any sense at all - except as a cost-cutting procedure. Now, of course, there IS a public outcry - to keep these A&E units open - that is falling on the government's / NHS' deaf ears.
So, if there are really some problems e.g. trivial injuries or ailments that could easily await the GP, long waits, because A&E does not have a dedicated medical team, and those that are there are constantly being called to other hospital duties, then let's face these head-on by triageing patients at the ever-open-door, and having dedicated A&E teams in place permanently. I cannot help repeating myself by saying that the continued incompetence of NHS and Local Health Board officials is an impediment to progress that must be eliminated - permanently !
Enough said ! If you have any thoughts, please let me know........... R.W.