Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Doctors' leader speaks over ''substandard care and rock-bottom morale''

"Looking at how bad the Welsh NHS is, I would not want to be a patient'' - Dr Dai Samuel, Chair of the British Medical Association'sWelsh Juniour Doctor's Committee.

Dr Samuel's blistering attack on the state of the NHS in Wales comes after the 'horrific' conditions faced by doctors across the nation, who say they are only able to provide "substandard" care which is compromising patient service.  He added that unprecedented workloads and high levels of admissions had left staff morale at "rock bottom". "There's not many of us and there are only so many beds. It's not just seeing a patient with one problem, they have a complaxity of needs at a time when we have fewer doctors. You have situations where you have four doctors for 50 or 60 patients which means that staff are going to get to breaking point.  Some of the doctors that are being brought in are not of the calibre they thought they were so we are having to cover for them.  I don't know which is worse - not having enough doctors, or having doctors who are not up to it. The pressure is intense and I know that patient care is being compromised.  We are seeing a miniature Mid Staffs situation every day, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  We need more doctors and need to reopen beds, but that costs money - we regularly open beds that have been closed but why not open them all the time ? We need more beds, more doctors, and more nurses and we need to look at patients who don't need to stay there - Health and Social Care are just not integrated."

Nursing leader Tina Donnelly says, "Working conditions in the NHS means that there is absolutely no respite for staff to take stock of the service they are providing for patients.

[ As a chronically ill patient, myself, with several serious conditions that are ongoing, I am frightened to be sent into hospital for 'assessment', when I usually have to spend at least a day on a trolley, yet only one day on a ward because doctors want to discharge me before I have been seen by a specialist. They tell me that I must go back to my GP in order to get a referral to see a consultant for 'further tests and investigation'.  So, what was the point in sending me into hospital when the GP has rightly judged me seriously ill enough to warrant hospital care ?  The Health Board and NHS Wales are making a farce out of a system that has worked for years, by ignoring the GP's assessment and telling them that they must refer me ( and similarly ill patients ) to consultants outpatients instead of allowing me the inpatient care I obviously need !  They are just adding to the costs by creating more expensive re-admissions and longer waiting lists that log-jam the services even more. It is an intolerable situation where the blame is continually being shifted downwards onto the poor patient, who has no where to go to get the much-needed treatment he or she needs. RW ]

I have waited patiently for four full days before publishing this post, in order to allow some minister or politician an opportunity to explain this totally unacceptable state of affairs that they have allowed to be created in our ( supposedly ) NHS 'service'.  The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, and the Health Minister, Professor Mark Drakeford haven't uttered a single comment that might serve to reassure the public and patients that all serious deficiencies will be dealt with as a matter of urgency and no expense spared.  Why the hell NOT ?

May I hereby request the resignations of Jane Hutt, Rhodri Morgan, Brian Gibbons, Edwina Hart, Leslie Griffiths and all of their equally incompetent subordinates at the NHS and the Health Boards, who have brought about us this totally reprihensible and unacceptable position - with immediate effect ???

All comments welcome.  R. W.

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