Saturday, July 15, 2017

Weston Hospital A&E closed at night. Politicians' minds closed 24/7

Weston General Hospital A&E is closed at night from 10pm to 8am. Indefinitely.

They have had huge difficulty recruiting staff, including A&E docs, so they have had to use locums, who with the best will in the world cannot be efficient as they keep having to ask how things work in Weston. The Care Quality Commission, (the NHS version of Ofsted) declared the A&E unsafe, so the Hospital Board closed it.

Weston General is the smallest District General Hospital in the UK, with a very poor ratio of beds to target population, and a long history of being underfunded worse than bigger neighboring hospitals.

The Hospital Board and the Clinical Commissioning Group have endless consultations "to find out what the local population wants". In truth, the local population wants an impossibility. It wants an adequately funded NHS and local health service, and it also wants a Conservative Government.

It can have one or the other, but not both.

For Weston Hospital to be made well again, we need to see the back of the Tories. That is a necessary, but not sufficient condition of recovery.

We also need an ecological approach to the problem of health care, one that takes the widest view of the problem. This should be applied throughout the country, but we could start here in Weston, since it is experiencing such acute problems.

Sorting out the health service is immensely complex. There is no one single magic bullet, not even adequate funding to the NHS, although that again is necessary.

What is needed it a whole new approach that produces a healthy population.

A healthy population is one that has the following conditions met :

  1. More equality between rich and poor
  2. Good housing for all
  3. Full employment
  4. Much less pollution of air, water and food
  5. Greater fitness for all especially everyday fitness from walking and cycling
  6. Better food and eating habits
  7. Knowledge, both about health, about managing illness, and also on how to use the NHS efficiently.
  8. A medical profession that is a bit less dominated by patented pharmaceuticals and a bit more open to non-pill treatments such as ecological medicine.
  9. A change in medical education that encourages new docs to go into under supplied specialties like A&E and dermatology


A full-on drive in the Weston area engaging the whole population, local authorities and all citizen groups could turn the situation around. A health revolution in sleepy old Weston, with everyone changing their habits while at the same time demanding adequate funding for our local service.


So there we have it. Nine areas to look at. Each area demands an enormous amount of change away from the present position and assumptions, but the change itself is not at all impossible. 

Such a drive doesn't even require the removal of the Conservative Party from power. That can wait, It does however require the removal of the conservative mind set that infests almost all political thinking in the UK generally and Weston in particular.  

Changing the general mindset in thinking about health, and shifting away from meeting demand towards reducing demand is well-nigh impossible. It is pretty certain that it will not even get discussed at any level.

So, if you have an accident or an emergency of a moderate level of seriousness in Weston at night, you are going to have a longer wait before receiving treatment. 

Which means that a few of us will die.

So sad.

2 comments:

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Ghost Whistler said...

Couldn't agree more about the contradiction in the town. Too many small 'independent business' types who like the Tory worldview - low taxes, small state, capitalism - but also don't like the idea of the hospital closing. Well, that's the logical conclusion of that kind of politics. Just ask the americans!