Mis­sion will lead to cuts

Sunderland Echo - - Opinion -

“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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.