Get your excuses in early, before the winter rush !
Filling the moats and raising the drawbridge is the order of the day from David Sissling, part time NHS Wales Chief Executive. He's written another report, you know, this one is an early copy of all previous years' stock excuse for not being able to cope. vis-
"The pressures experienced by the NHS in Wales during the winter period saw an unprecedented demand on our urgent and emergency care services" ( Yawn ) He goes on to say, "We have been able to learn from these experiences and we are now planning the rest of 2013" ( Yeah right, double Yawn ).
Of course, the report is endorsed by the BMA who - as Secretary Dr Richard Lewis instructs - "Get ready for winter ( etc etc ad nauseum )". Let's examine reality, shall we ?
Every year, the need for health services grows with the population ( home-bred, immigrants, health tourists ), yet the services don't increase proportionately in order to meet this increased need. In fact, they do the exact opposite - they radically reduce resources throughout Wales, whilst telling us that if we change our health styles we won't need the treatment for the illnesses that we caused in the first place. So, we now have less A and E units, less emergency services which ( naturally ) causes log-jams in emergency departments and with the ambulance service. Let's not forget that - unlike other countries - we don't have dedicated A&E teams, which means that doctors have to be called from their ward duties to go to A and E and vice versa !
The logic behind the NHS's thinking ( if anyone there thinks at all ) is non-existent because nothing they have done, or do, makes any sense at all. Imagine a private business adopting the same attitude. They get more and more customers, so they make their shops and their stocks smaller every year, and then say "We had to get smaller because of the unprecedented demand" an insane scenario, you'll agree ?
And, what of the poor staff that are overworked, yet reduced in numbers, who are expected to deal with normal increased demand - let alone 'unprecedented' demand ? They are expected to do more with less colleagues, in half the time. Crazy ? you bet it is, and we are heading for a winter crisis that has never been dreamed of in our worst nightmares. That isn't scaremongering, that's common sense being used to examine inexplicable policy changes.
So, Sissling and the BMA can sing in unison, "We told you so !" when the nightmare that the NHS has created becomes reality as more people die due to being unable to access the reduced, inadequate services. So, ten years of cost cutting, by reducing beds, rationalisation and centralisation of essential local services, will finally solve the bed-blocking problem by killing off the chronically ill, the elderly, and the mentally ill, and the NHS won't give a damn ! R. W.