Saturday, 20 February 2016

Health Secretary must ‘end his silence’ as Accident and Emergency crisis deepens

Charing Cross Hospital

Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader Stephen Cowan has called on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to ‘end his silence’ as an official report revealed the deepening A&E crisis in West London – and the increasing importance of Charing Cross A&E.
The latest report follows Michael Mansfield QC’s landmark Public Inquiry, which highlighted a catalogue of deficiencies with the North West London NHS ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ programme, including plans to axe blue light A&E services at Charing Cross Hospital.
The newly released official figures show a staggering 13.1 per cent increase in type 1 A&E admissions at Charing Cross Hospital this year – despite local health bosses driving ahead with controversial plans to axe blue light A&E services at Charing Cross.
The report also lays bare the worsening A&E performance at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, with the national four hour A&E target missed for eight out of the last nine months.
“Michael Mansfield’s public inquiry painted a worrying picture of the threats posed to health services in our borough,” said Cllr Cowan. “This new NHS report shows that the situation is actually worse than we thought.
“The number of people using Charing Cross A&E continues to soar, with ambulance crews increasingly choosing to bring patients to Charing Cross in emergencies, while strains on other emergency and Urgent Care units are also increasing.
“In this pressure-cooker environment, it would be extraordinary to close the A&E at Charing Cross when it is more in demand than ever.
"The Secretary of State has now had a month to respond to the letter sent by four London council leaders and me seeking solutions to these terrible problems. The 1.5million West Londoners we represent will be baffled by Jeremy Hunt’s silence.
“Meanwhile, North West London NHS seems determined to continue slashing services at Charing Cross as part of its ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ programme. As patients suffer, costs for this programme are skyrocketing to eye-watering levels, with current estimates putting the price at more than £1.3billion – 10 times the original budget.
“One thing is certain: H&F Council will continue to do the right thing, standing shoulder to shoulder with residents and repeating our demands for the Secretary of State to halt this process.”
The report: “Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust winter resilience planning, A&E performance and Cerner programme to the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham Health, Adult Social Care and Social Inclusion Policy and Accountability Committee” can be found here.
I could take this more seriously if it wasn''t so obviously a political campaign against the government using the NHS as a battering ram.

There may be real issues to resolve. But why engage a character like Michael Mansfield to investigate them? That was never going to be balanced or objective.
From Richard Owen on 13/02/2016 at 08:14
Unfortunately the bureaucrats who are making these decisions are only interested in saving money and not saving lives. In the end they will walk away from the fiasco they have created and probably leave with a golden hand shake to boot. Of course some highly specialist treatments need to be operated on limited sites and for longer hours. But A&E has to be near the people and not replaced with little more than a 9 to 5 first aid centres.
From willstain on 12/02/2016 at 16:22
Accident and Emergency. I doubt if the NHS understands the meaning of emergency because when you are referred by your GP into the system, the system is SLOW and it is so slow that you could then turn into an emergency and die before you receive your appointment. Going to A&E is an attempt. to jump the queue.
It is then they spring the word TRIAGE at you - you have been triaged - your case has been assessed by a clerk and you have been alloted your lace in the queue.
From Zabavnik on 12/02/2016 at 15:53
Keep up the good work Stephen. The residents are all behind you. We must save Charing Cross
From Howard on 12/02/2016 at 14:40

Friday 12 February 2016

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