“Half Of Us Are Doubtful…. And The Other Half Are Dead Against”




Tonight’s meeting to receive a presentation from the NHS on the plans for health services in our area was unusually interesting.

In  just about every presentation councillors get, we only hear one side of the argument. But tonight we heard both sides , because one of the consultants that came, Dr Caroline Howard, wasn’t in agreement with the other NHS representatives regarding A&E services.

The option that seems favoured by the NHS decision makers is have a “red/orange/yellow ” structure for Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals.

  • A “Red” hospital would concentrate on acute medical services – in other words, the really urgent stuff like heart attack victims.
  • An “Orange ” hospital would be like hospitals are at present, with a mixture of acute and elective surgery , so they would treat both heart attack victims and people waiting for elective surgery like hip replacements.
  • A “Yellow” hospital would concentrate on elective surgery

Under the proposed structure, Basildon would be the “Red” hospital, while Broomfield and Southend would sill have A&E departments for people to visit – but all A&E ambulances would go to Basildon.

Dr Howard stated that the lead clinicians (the senior A&E consultants) at all three hospitals were opposed to this idea. One aspect was longer journey times for ambulances reduces the chances of survival. Another is that without offering the practical experience of dealing with the patients brought in by ambulance, the A&E departments at Southend and Broomfield wouldn’t be able to retain specialist A&E staff.

On other issues there was more general agreement. But a common problem was a lack of consultants , nurses and GPs. The GP problem is acute in our area – we have the second highest numbr of GP vacancies and the second highest number of GPs due for retirement. The long term answer is to train more GPs, but this will take 10 years, so in the short term our local NHS is trying to recruit 50 GPs from the EU.

Cllr Diane Hoy asked a good question about whether the ending of the bursary for trainee nurses had had an impact on recuitment and the answer was a definite yes – by about 60%

Cllr Chris Black summed up the evening by saying about half the councillors were doubtful about the changes to A&E – and the other half were dead against.

About the author, admin

  • Please employ doctors from Russia, Bulgaria, Germany where are the BEST doctors in the world. I have been living in UK for 24 years and for all this time I’ve met the only two good doctors in our GP – one from Germany (unfortunately she has left our surgery 4 years ago) and another doctor from Russia. It is not acceptable at all when patients have to wait for months to have X-ray done!! UK is a wealthy country, most people have a car 4 years old and big houses and flats, however the level of health service is very poor and quantity of doctors for 1000 citizens is 10 times less than in Russia or Bulgaria. So, in my opinion UK is very poor country because the health care is the most important for everyone, more important than to have a prestige car or 4 bedroom house. I prefer to live in studio flat and to have 40 doctors in my GP surgery then live in 4 bedroom house and wait for two weeks to have 5 minute appointment with GP who is not interested at all at me and prescribe the only two medicine which is paracetamol and antibiotic. Or sometimes he gives me one tablet only to treat two problems and suggest to take one half of tablet against head ache and another half against stomach pain (ha-ha)

  • EB, what, our Health Service is very poor, what complete and utter rubbish. Suggest you go and live in Russia or Bulgaria if it’s that great there. 😡😡😡😡😡😡

    • In Russia for example they have 4.2 doctors per 1000 people. In the UK we have 2.2 doctors per 1000 people. Doctors like these are used to spending more time with their patients.This is what makes the difference.
      I live with my family here because I love my husband.

    • Hi James, Yes I am talking about Dr Cyrus. She was amazing doctor. Never ever in my life I met such a good doctor, lovely person. What a pity she left our surgery and she also left last October surgery in Canvey Island.

  • For work, I deal with a lot of projects, large and small. I’ve completed a number of project management courses as well as following the latest project approaches and supporting technology/software.

    One thing that puzzles me about the NHS plans is that they seem too far ahead. Long term deliveries of systems/process seem to be in the 3, 5 or 10 year bracket which brings with it increased risk of delay/non delivery, immense cost and a split of staff supporting/opposing it.

    Most successful projects adopt an Agile approach to project management which is to simply have a broad end goal in mind but isolate the very first and quickest deliverable, get that done and then re-evaluate the next step. The logic being that until that first step is complete, you cannot say with certainty what the next priority in the project will be. This approach also sees regular development delivery and is essential in maintaining momentum and project validity. And I’d guarantee that a properly considered step, reviewed at the appropriate time of action WOULD NOT be to close or downgrade any A&E.

    Too many Government projects, the NHS computer system as mentioned last night for instance, hold a 5 or 7 year delivery plan (or longer) during which time the requirements are changed time and time again to cater for newly found/recognised requirements that need to be brought in to scope. This then leaves a bloated, delayed project that has delivered nothing and costs a small fortune. The point being that the goalposts move with time and the end result decided at initial planning process will never be the one they end with because, very simply, things change.

    I’m not sure if you agree but the very first step that I think all parties would agree on is improvement in community care to take immediate pressure away from the hospitals themselves. Community care can slow the influx of patients to the hospital as well as taking patients from the hospital back in to community care at an earlier stage than current, freeing much needed beds/resources. This service needs to be brought to a level that reaches a pre-agreed benchmark to consider that phase of the project complete before then evaluating the new environment and deciding the next step.

  • The big push for integrated care on insufficient funding is proceeding at the expense of acute services and it isn’t in the patients’ best interest to be ferried about. Stroke victims, for example, need to have treatment initiated within an hour. Southend has an excellent stroke unit already and if this is retained and the equipment of ambulances modernised there could be more patients surviving. I gather a clinical lead at Southend A&E has objected to the A&E downgrade and two patient participation groups in Southend have so far voted against the downgrade. Prisons, schools, the NHS and the police all need more money. Is it unthinkable to raise taxes to provide the services we want? We’re too good at cutting and closing to save money when we should be solving, leading and earning.

  • Stephen no it isn’t unthinkable but it does make you unelectable. Lib Dems did not do well on a policy of 1p tax rate rise for the N.H.S.

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