One Health Board is already planning on delaying ops, due to the public expected to be making "unprecedented demands" over the forthcoming winter period. Consequently, patients in Mid and West Wales, already waiting more than nine months for their first hospital appointment, can give up all hope of receiving their life-saving intervention until at least a year from now, thanks to Hywel Dda health board. Doubtless, the other four Health Boards will follow suit, in preference to making their traditional excuses that it's all our fault.
Mark Drakeford ( away from his frozen allotment ) helped the situation by stating that "Health Boards were doing all they could to prepare, but they are not immune to pressure" He fails to add that pressure will rise in proportion to the loss of A and E services elsewhere in Wales. Of course, he is confident that ambulance services will improve their performance although I don't fancy the chances of patients surviving up to the three hour drive to their nearest A and E department from the remote rural areas, even if they're not chronically ill. By the time they arrive at UHW, they can get more rest waiting to be delivered to the "Assessment Centre", until they eventually get to wait in a worn-out chair to be summoned by a doctor dressed in welcoming black.
After being assessed as 'still alive', you will experience the joy of waiting for a medical doctor ( dressed in mufti ) who will minutely examine your disease-ridden body whilst asking you questions about your condition - the answers to which are already on their computers. After ordering all tests, the pressured doctor will leave you for several more hours until the consultant becomes free enough to confirm that you either need major surgery, or that you are fit enough to go home.
[ after my own experience of the Revolving Door protocol, I was in extreme pain for a total of four weeks during which my G.P. kept repeating, "It will go, don't worry - take pain-killers and get plenty of rest". ] And still, the consultants shout that they are near 'meltdown', the poor highly paid dabs.
All the while, the over-worked staff ( nurses, porters, phlebs etc ) are expected to do twice as much in the same time as the last time they were overloaded. 'A spokeswoman' says "has my headcount reduced year on year ? and. "Is it likely to reduce again". Answer - "Yes, it has decreased and it is highly likely to reduce again, but it's transformational change rather than salami slicing is what gives us the benefit"
[ HUH ? What'd she say ? "Are we patients being referred to as Salami now ??? ). R. W.