Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Llandough £32m down from £80m 'Ringfenced'

Llandough Hospital's £16m Boost

This week's Penarth Times uses its' front page to announce that Llandough hospital is to receive 'a £16m boost'.  This is - according to our absent-minded and confused Minister of Health Ms Leslie Griffiths - to enable the relocation of Rookwood Hospital to Llandough hospital in a value-for-value swap (which, incidentally, is an impossibility, according to every surveyor and civil engineer I have consulted ).

2.1/2 years ago we had the infamous consultation 'Making a Difference etc etc' which was supposed to raise public opinion and awareness on the Heallth Board's plans to relocate all of Rookwood's services to half of the top floor of Llandough, thereby replacing neonatal, maternity and women's services, to be re-sited at the University Hospital at the Heath, Cardiff.  This nonsensical idea was to create a 'Centre of Excellence'for Spinal and Neurological services at Llandough, because the facilities at Rookwood were 'outdated and inflexible' , according to Ms Griffiths A.M.  What she failed to state was that the Rookwood site had NOT been maintained or updated for the previous 17 years, in order to bring about the iniquitous sale of the Rookwood land for housing. The proceeds of this shameful disposal were, of course, to fund the development costs at Llandough, instead of the £80m of ringfenced money that Plundering Director sorry planning Director, Paul Hollard assured us would cover the costs of building a new mental hospital - also at Llandough.

The facts, however, are these:-

In her Budget announcement of the 3rd October 2012, the Finance Minister, Jane Hutt AM announced that £30m was to be spent on hospitals,including £12m for adult mental health facilities in Llandough, Cardiff and Glanrhyd hospital at Bridgend ( published facts in Western Mail, same date ).

In the Penarth Times front page, Ms Leslie Griffiths A.M. proudly declared that £16 was to fund all of the capital costs of  re-siting Rookwood hospital, which was providing an excellent service from Fairwater Road, Cardiff.

Now, if I ask my 7 year old grandson to add these figures, he arrives a total of £28m, only, for both developments, when 2.1/2 years earlier the infamous team of Hollard and Norton assured the CHC, Penarth Council, the public and patients ( of Cardiff and the Vale ) that £80m was ringfenced for the new Mental Hospital alone, as the Rookwood move was to be funded out of the proceeds of the iniquitous sale of land and buildings at Rookwood.

To confuse ( or clarify ) matters further, the Charity Commission will NOT allow the Health Board to profit from the sale of the Rookwood - in any shape or form.

From this, I suggest that the £80m quoted for the new mental health hospital was fictional, intended to gain support for the proposed changes by providing completely false information - all supported by the Community Health Council, who are paid to sanction this dirty-dealing. I further suggest that the Rookwood move ( if it takes place ) will be funded out of the money set aside for the new mental health hospital. Therefore - if we are to deduce anything from the charlatans at NHS Wales or the Cardiff and Vale Universally Inept Health Board - I would suggest that the new mental health hospital will not be built, either at Llandough or Whitchurch because of a lack of funds and a total contempt for the mentally ill in Cardiff and the Vale, who will all be dumped ( unceremoniously ) back into the community i.e. GPs, the patient's families and, of course the police.

As a footnote, we have asked what is to be done at Whitchurch for the ( still ) next four years, or 6.1/2 years in total since the original false promise of a new hospital was made. Needless to say, we are still waiting for the answer !  R.W.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Special Requests from Viewers

The Prophecies of failure in NHS, due to the changes made are all true..

Good morning, I wish I was more able to keep the posts going daily.  However, I am being pestered to comment on the Gagging order problem that appears to only have come to light with the problems of Gary Walker, ex Chief Executive of the United Lincoln Hospital, who was sacked for daring to say that patients were being put at risk at his hospital.  Now, I am personally not interested in the happenings of North East England as Wales has enough problems of its' own with such dictatorial controls on Welsh executives having been in force for years.

Apparently, all of my friends and colleagues have forgotten that our past Dear Leader, Rhodri Morgan, placed Gagging orders in the contracts of all Local Health Boards at the very formation of the original 22 health boards.  This has been well known for over a decade, and is part of the problem why LHB executives are unable to highlight their own problems that are also putting patients at risk, and have been doing so for years.  This has enabled every Health Minister, from Jane Hutt to our implacable Ms Griffiths to cover-up the stoical failings of the LHBs, due to a deliberation cut in resources. I won't bore you further as this is 'old news' and, frankly, we've all been under the thumb of autocracy since the ruinous act of devolution.

Patients in Caerphilly were promised that the new hospital, Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, would have all of the facilities that were provided by Caerphilly Miners hospital.  Sad to say the our apathetic citizens do not appreciate that any promise fron NHS Wales ( and the Dear Lady Minister ) is about as reliable as a proposal of peace from the Taliban.  The tale of Lisa Jones being unable to get treatment for her son, Fletcher, who had collapsed with a seizure ( febrile convulsion ) is truly frightening.  From my own experience of such events with my children, I know that the longer the condition goes untreated, the greater the likelyhood of irreversible brain damage.  Of course, our Minister, the Dear Lady Griffiths decreed that not having the promised A&E facility at ( the unpronouceable hospital ) would somehow improve healthcare services, which we all know has been proven to be yet another cruel deception.

In addition, we are again informed that Juniour doctors, working a 100 hour week, are putting patients at risk. It seems that this recurring problem is of no interest to our Health Minister - surprise, surprise ! Once again, our overworked Ombudsman has criticised Abertawe Bro Morganwyg LHB for the fact that nursing failed a dementia man by not providing enough fluids ( amongst other failings ), which resulted in the poor man's death.  Incredibly the organisation P.O.V.A. ( Protection of vulnerable adults ) disappointed the ombudsman, the family and the rest of us by somehow concluding that there had been no failings in the patients care.  Really, what is the use of such fawning government lackies when they deliberately overlook the obvious and choose to suck-up to the Health Board, instead of telling the truth ?

I really do feel that our Dear Lady Health Minister would be more appropriately employed as Minister for the Impoverished, for the government in Pyongyang.   R.W.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Week in - Week out - NHS in a critical condition

The NHS vs Common Sense

Like me, many viewers would have been pleasantly surprised at how the case for patients groups affected by proposed changes was reported in an open, honest manner which was very refreshing.
All patient groups were given the opportunity to state their position, particularly with such major changes as closures of A & E departments (e.g. Llanelli ) and the transfer of Neo Natal services out of area. In fact, not one patient or member of the public believed that any of the propsed changes would have a beneficial effect on their lives.

I was even pleasantly surprised at the position adopted by the head of the Community Health Council, Tony Wales, who referred to the consultation as a"total charade, as the health board had completely ignored the will of the people, going ahead with the proposals regardless.  Hywel Dda spokesperson, Kathryn Davies, reiterated the party line by saying that had listened but that the changes were in the best way to achieve improved and sustainable health services for the future.

Of course all this rhetoric is repeated throughout Wales at the command of the Welsh government, with the Health Minister ensuring that everyone is 'on the same page'.  Sadly, there is a Culture of Fear throughout Welsh public services that actively prevents health professionals from expressing any opinion that challenges the proposals. Tony Wales and seniour consultants insist that the proposed changes are all about saving money. From my own experience - being a chronically ill regular at UHW - I can honestly say that I have not met a single medical professional who believes these changes are anything but counter-productive to the future provision of an improved and sustainable health service.  Peter Tyndall, Health Ombudsan was critical of the large increase in the numbers of complaints received  about poor health service by his department

When interviewed, the stone-faced Dear Lady Minister would only repeat that the changes were essential and would produce a sustainable health service. She added, that "Wales has a health service to be proud of, and whenever I visit hospitals nobody complains to me, ever." [ I can only liken this experience to being faced with a Puff Adder, threatening to strike ].  Typically arrogant rhetoric, but flying in the face of tens of thousands of patients who understand the meaning of the term 'Common Sense' and are are living proof that her blinkered vision results in the stupidity of that rhetoric.  As one of her feminist idols once said "The Lady is not for turning". We mustn't refer to her as 'the Iron Lady' because we no longer mine Iron ore in the Principality nor do we have a single Welsh-owned company producing any home-smelted products.

To sum up the position of the main medical profession groups in Wales :-

1. The people affected by the changes don't want them.

2. The BMA and the RCN say that the changes are "Completely wrong for Wales", and there has been no proper consultation on the proposed changes

3, The Royal College of Surgeons are ( like others ) concerned about the out-of-control bed occupancy levels being above the recommended 82%, the extremely poor hygiens levels, and the fact that nurses are overwhelmed with the demands being placed on them by their employers/managers.

4.The Ombudsman for Wales, stated that "patients are NOT receiving the basics of care" and that "resources were poor and inadequate".

5.  The Seniour A&E consultant ,Mark Poulder says there are insufficient beds, causing abulances to be at grid-lock outside A&E units, which is the direct cause of poor ambulance response times and patients being put at risk.

6. The Royal college of Psychiatrists, as a consequence of the  their year 2000 recommendations to be implemented, and have not been consulted about any of the reduction of mental health services since then ( 13 years ).

7.Patients are being discharged prematurely, causing a high number of readmissions of patients whose condition has worsened as a result of not getting proper medical help when they were first admitted by theit GPs.. The attitude appears to be "Just treat the immediate synmptoms and do not conduct investigations of the underlying causes of chronic illnesses".

8. There are reported to be NO hospitals in Wales that are not overcrowded and understaffed. Evidence of any recruitment drives is well hidden from view.

9.The CHC (Community Health Council ), North Wales Chapter call the consultations a complete charade and a waste of time and money.

10. Not one person interviewed - other than the our deaf, dumb and short-sighted Minister, Ms Griffiths ( supported by the Labour Government, of course ) - agreed with any of the proposals.

It remains our opinion that the current adverse circumstances are due entirely to total lack of planning and also a deliberate reduction of services in order to create the current situation of fear amongst service users and medical staff. Having lost over 800 beds and even more nurses ( to agencies ) over the past decade - not to mention all the hospital closures - there can be little doubt that the new changes are the result of pre-meditated rationalisation and unending cost-cutting.

I close by reminding viewers that the Minister concluded her remarks with the words "I will; not be deterred from the proposed changes...".  What a dreadful condemnation of our devolved government, who cannot manage a £6bn budget let alone the total amount estimated at £20bn + to improve the health, wealth and economic benefits of Wales' citizens.  And to Hell with democracy !       R.W.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Minister faces hospitalisation after an hysterical outburst !

The Western Mail's Strap-line Minster: "I'll remove seniour managers on Health Boards that spend over budget".

Of course she didn't specify which budget, as one hasn't been revealed to the public for donkey's ears, but close staffers are rumoured to have found her crying and stamping her her feet and shouting " I'll thrceam and I'll thrceam and I'll thrcream until I'm thick !" these tortuous cries heard throughout the corridors of power until she eventually calmed down by sucking her thumb and caressing her cheek with a Mothercare 'Blanky'.

Doctors were summoned immediately and the decision taken to admit her to any ward in UHW, Llandough, Whitchurch or Llanfair. To everyone's horror, there wasn't a single bed available and no available nurses to see to her care.  Eventually Ms Griffiths was heavily sedated, strapped to the luxiourious couch in her office and left to sleep for the rest of the day.

Apparently ( so rumour contiues ) the Dear Lady's breakdown occurred when a brave bureaucrat tentatively eased  a folder under her fortified portal, whilst whispering through an arrow slit, "These are the latest overspending figuers from the Health Board, including those ones granted a share of the bailout-sorry-contingency fund of £82m....Minister.........Minister ?  A bloodcurdling scream was heard as the distressed bureaucrat was impaled on a pike-staff that sparng from the corridor wall, pinning him to the Minister's portal..

As trolls carried the poor creature away, making sure that the pike-staff was returned into its' spring-locked position, a banshee-like voice echoed from the inside of the portal, "What's THIS - they want MORE ???"  following which, the Dear Lady emerged in her hysterical state.

As if that wasn't enough, the damning report from Health Inspectorate Wales was received the very next morning, saying that nursing and doctor staffing levels were too low and causing patients to be neglected. Kirsty Williams was brought to sexual fulfilment after reading the repor,t and everyone else failed to notice that translations for patients originating from foreign shores was costing NHS Wales "over £1m" !   What a week that was.......   R.W.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Sissling says it all when he says nothing at all

NHS Chief Executive David Sissling is proving himself to be a grand master of rhetoric - empty, meaningless, insincere words that fail to identify any of the impending changes to the NHS and, most worryingly, the total absence of any When ? Where ? By Whom ? How ? or even why these non-specific changes are being made.

I can only assume that the Welsh Government must have a private university where its' seniour lackies' are well schooled in the art of producing the wrong sort of meaningless rhetoric at the wrong time.  It truly is an art form which Herr Sissling displays over six columns of meaningless, insincere B.S. ( business statistics, of course - yeah right ).  To me it is completely unfathomable why the Welsh media take up valuable space with such meaningless drivel.  Sadly, I fear that they assume that the population of Wales is 85% made up of people like mindless sheep who are either too stupid to understand how they are being conned, or too apathetic to care about how their public money is being spent of their health care.

All I can gleam from this daft article is that - ho hum, here we go again - the emphasis in future will be on Care in the Community ( whatever that ruddy well means ), with G.P.s and community nurses fulfilling more tasks than ever intended.  So much so, that the NHS in Wales has completely lost its' identity as services become moved about - always against the will of the people - centralised or rationalised in order to save costs.  I keep asking "Where is this supposed overspending taking place ?" also, "Across which services ? and how did this all come about in a supposedly managed public service ?" Where is the accountability for heavens sake ? Are we really expected to believe that massive overspending has occurred throughout NHS Wales to the extent that our hospitals are insolvent ?  [ Incidentally, this is technically impossible as they are a public service - funded by guaranteed government money - not a profit and loss enterprise. ]

Why do they keep hiding the financial figures from us ?  Give us all of the starting budgets and the pattern of spending - over all specialities - throught the last three fiscal years.  Is that asking too much. or are the government afraid that they will be shown up as a bunch of highly paid liars ?  Logic dictates that this must be the case because I know of not one friend or colleague who has failed to see through the misleading pap put out by NHS Wales, backed by our corrupt government.
And what do we hear as a priority ? - There should be more women in the Senedd ( presumably to provide more puff to the wind section of this expensive bandstand !  God help us all if this is achieved, because competence is the last qualification being sought - Just being physiologically identifiable as being remotely female will do ! 

The evidenc is there aplenty.  Study every female AM and you will find only one that is competent to hold her position, and that is Kirsty Williams, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.  I pray that the likes of Leslie Griffiths ( and her Stygian ilk ) are booted out of their jobs before the entire Health Service is destroyed. Kirsty Williams is the only female AM that I would have as Health and Social Services Minister because of the high standard od integrity and sincerity that she displays. Wake up Wales and speak out against this abuse of public money - OUR money £6bn of it !   

R. W.  The ignored voice of all people in need of care.