Cutting the Patients to Fit a Cut Down Service
Think about this hypothesis ! Mental, Old Age, and all Physical services in Wales have all been rationalised, centralised, reduced, or lost altogether. That's numerous hospitals with over a 1000 beds lost, along with a huge reduction in front-line staffing levels. Moreover, the inadequate services remaining have been lost or made inaccessible to the very people the NHS was founded to serve.
Q - Why ? A - To cut costs, regardless of patient need !
After closures, the number of A&E departments left will be 4/5, the fifth one intended for the Cwmbran hospital that hasn't even been built yet ! So, just imagine the gridlock that will have been created by our incompetent government simply to enable them to blame the patients for trying to get help ? A horrific picture, with only the chronically ill managing to join the cue for treatment. AND, just think of those chronically ill having to be transported by ambulance, through heavy traffic, for miles more in order to be assessed for treatment. Even these patients are blamed for the delays when lack of beds that causes the problems in the first place.
Of course, the absence of permanent DEDICATED A&E staff causes enormous stress of the nurses and clinicians that are expected to be on the wards and on call for A&E at the same time. When finally you reach the wards ( IF you managed to survive the long journey, then the wait for assessment ), the situation is no better. Dedicated ward nurses are stretched to the limit, reduced in numbers, over-burdened with paperwork, and having to care for more patients than usual.
In the midst of all this pre-meditated mayhem ) we get Dr Graham Shortland ( NHS Director ) belatedly ( it being February already ) stating that there has been an 'unprecedented influx' of patients to a Cardiff Hospital [ have you guessed its name yet ? ]. Not content with repeating this annual diatribe, he prattles on, "Whilst the sickest and most vulnerable patients are being seen promptly and there are no significant ambulance delays ( yeah right ), we would ask local people to help us by NOT coming to hospital with minor illnesses or minor injuries that can easily be dealt with, either at home, or by taking advice from services like NHS Direct". So, what is a minor illness, if not diagnosed as such by a doctor ? AND Why assume that patients use A&E in order to congregate socially whilst having to wait four to twelve hours to see a nurse ?
Therefore, having a policy of "seeing patients with the greatest need first" ( as the great man states, assumes that SOMEONE is able to assess this need between home and hospital ). Superfluous to add that Dr Shortland doesn't make this request to non-local people who ( he assumes ) couldn't, or wouldn't make th journey in the first place !
Therefore - unless you fell asleep after the first paragraph - this is all part of the pre-ordained plan by our government, to Cut Patients to Fit the Cut-Down NHS Services, regardless of whether deaths will increase tenfold, either in acute neo natal, chronically ill, Trauma victims etc., who can't access hospital treatment, or can't get there safely and in time to be treated.
PULEEEEEASE don't forget that ill-health is YOUR responsibility. Live healthier lifestyles, exercise more, don't become obese, don't copulate and create extra babies, don't have silly accidents, don't catch communicable diseases, don't get depressed by being unemployed or unable to afford food and your mortgage and - above all - avoid hospitals at all costs. R. W.
P.S. Although I don't like to boast I ( at least ) am doing my bit for the cause. This week my Cardiologist has stated that my heart is "Extremely weak" - which I take to mean that it isn't worth renewing my subscription to 'Philatelist's Weekly' - so, if you're in the same holed boat as I am, at least we'er true Patriots, prepared to die for our country at the whim of NHS Wales !!! r.w.