Mission will lead to cuts
“The NHS Path to Excellence is a five-year transformation programme with the aim of improving the quality of healthcare services across South Tyneside and Sunderland”.
Do not be fooled by this mission statement put out by the local NHS trusts published in the Echo and its sister websites (September 4).
The Path to Excellence’s real mission is to cut services and beds across the region in order to save money, thus putting patients’ lives in jeopardy and increasing the inconvenience to access the services for them (and their family and friends who may want to visit them).
For example stroke victims and women about to give birth will be shipped from South Tyneside to Sunderland in what the Trust is wishfully hopeful will take five to 10 minutes – a feat the local ambulance cannot achieve in double that time at the moment.
These acute service beds may be lost along with the paediatric accident and emergency unit at South Tyneside but no extra provision will be created in Sunderland for them, ie the stretched Sunderland services will have to be stretched even further and waiting times to be examined at times greatly increased.
These cuts are just a drop in the ocean, the Trusts will have to find massive more savings to meet the ongoing austerity measures demanded by the Tories.
The fact that the Trusts are prepared to do the Toriers’ dirty work of the ‘Path to Excellence’ and dress it up as an improvement stinks of George Orwell’s 1984 Ministry of Plenty, which announced increases in the chocolate ration that were actually a reduction from the day before but, unlike this ‘Path to Excellence’ proposal, was received without suspicion.
There has been other talk of Sunderland’s renowned Eye Hospital being closed (and maybe moved to South Tyneside to compensate for the closures). John Lilburne