Thursday, May 17, 2007

Accident and Emergency under threat

It appears that the Conservative party have uncovered why accident and emergency services are under threat up and down the land, including places like Haywards Heath, and the Princess Royal.

According to this article from the Times today it is all to do with how big a catchment area an Accident and Emergency service should have. Currently they have about 250,000 but government guidance indicates they want that to be about 500,000. In short just under half of A & E are under threat.

The reasoning is that the bigger centres will be better able to cope with people like heart attack victims and stroke victims.

The logic is however somewhat flawed.

Firstly your average heart attack victim is no going to take longer to get to A & E to be seen in any case so whilst more will survive who make it to the hospital more will die en route. (The same applies to limiting stroke damage)
Secondly, if there is a benefit to centralising that kind of specialist care, that does not mean that all A & E care need be centralised.

The reality is that this government has made a hash of the way it has constantly reorganised the NHS, and we, the consumer will pay the cost through both increased taxation and lower service levels.

The same is likely to happen to maternity units as well. This government needs a serious kick in the ballot box.

3 comments:

ChrisD said...

Benedict, local, Scottish and Welsh elections are now over so business as usual for the government?

Newscounter said...

You might be interested that the Department of Health has hit back at the article in The Times, calling the report 'nonsense'.

Read their response in full and judge it for yourself: http://www.newscounter.com/fullStory.jsp?id=458545

Benedict White said...

ChrisD, yes it seems so. Wait until after an election to close hospitals!

Newscounter, That made me laugh! Just a way of passing the blame for government policy!