In the Sentinel 22nd December 2015 under the headline, “36 hospital beds open to prevent winter crisis”, an unnamed ‘NHS official’ told us, “Last year the health care economy experienced severe winter pressures which resulted in unacceptable waiting times for patients accessing A&E.
“This is why we have spent much of the last year planning a number of measures to help the system work better for patients and staff”.
Since then we have seen the winter’s first patient to wait on a trolley in A&E for more than 12 hours. In the Sentinel 9th January under the heading “Delays at A&E can’t go on” we are now told by CCG chief officer Marcus Warnes that, “Significant measures have been taken by partners to address the challenge but the sustained improvements expected have not happened as planned.
“Despite best efforts from all we are just not making progress. We are certainly better placed now than at this time last year as a huge amount of work has been done to re-shape the system but there are still cases of people being in the wrong place clinically.”
But Marcus Warnes along with others running our local CCG’s are the ones responsible for closing 37 beds at Longton Cottage Hospital and refusing to reopen them despite the obvious need for extra beds. They have spent over a year and hundreds of thousands of pounds carrying out a so called consultation. This ‘consultation’ is basically designed to convince people that we don’t need those beds and that we don’t really need Longton Cottage or all our other local hospitals.
Now they talk about bringing in ‘experts’ to sort out this mess. But ‘experts’ are not needed. There are empty wards at Longton Cottage and beds in ‘storage’. Surely it’s quite simple! Re-open those wards, bring the beds out of storage to be used whenever they are needed to take pressure of the A&E. In this way potential fatalities could be prevented BEFORE they actually take place.