Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Governments have failed the NHS & Residents of Medway

NHS is in trouble but Politicians haven't been listening
Yesterday was a sad day for our Democracy and the House of Commons.

The Secretary for Health Jeremy Hunt made announcements relating to the Keogh commission report and on going problems with the Nation's hospitals, especially dealing with unnecessary deaths.

Twitter exploded with comments about what was being said in Parliament and most party members and supporters that I follow were horrified by the level of partisan tweets and comments in Parliament. Tories going after Andy Burnham, Labour blaming the Coalition for deep cuts and mismanagements. Both sides of the house sat sneering at each other and shouting like the crowd at a Roma vs. Lazio game - Not the seat of power of a First World country and people who should know a lot better.

Even on a Local level the various Party politicos have started winding up the noise about the incompetence of the others - Andy Burnham this and Tory cuts that. The Labour PPC for Chatham & Aylesford has released a press statement on the subject and their various Twitter feeds have been releasing stats showing what has come into being since 2010. The Tories and some Libdems have been passing around a petition to get Andy Burnham to accept responsibility and resign... It needs to stop.

The NHS has had problems for a long time. Medway Hospital has had issues for at least a decade. Back in March I wrote about my family's problems with Medway hospital back in 2007.I also referenced problems that Rehman Chishti highlighted in 2008. It is irresponsible for the Labour Party to say this has all been since May 2010. However the Coalition needs to take ownership of the cuts and recognise that they have also had a massive impact and they need to be reexamined.

However lets look at the NHS Chief Executive at Medway Hospital who administers the cuts. Instead of keeping care and staff levels up efficiency savings were made and then a stupid amount of money was spent on a motivational speaker for the staff!

Then there is the merger with Darant Valley which has been beset with problems for Medway. Who was given a voice for this concerns? Only NHS trust members - not the staff or the residents who use the service. Even the elected representitve of Gillingham South ward, Lib dem Geoff Juby, was ignored by the Chief executive.

Of course there is also the Local NHS hospitals. Medway is the only local hospital with a 24 hour A&E where as the others can close at a certain time or redirect cases up to Medway. This obviously throws the already stretched triage and Emergency staff to unacceptable levels with priorities being thrown all over the place. When I took my infant son up with a suspected case of Meningitis we had to be hurriedly discharged (after thankfully pronouncing him all clear!) as they had an emergency case literally outside the curtain that desperately needed the space.

It also means that Medway has a catchment area of One Million people in North Kent covering Sheppey to Dartford and can include Maidstone and Canterbury on a rough day. This is a horrendous amount of space and people for one A&E and hospital to cover.

A culture of target meeting and figures started to develop in the 90s and now hospitals are stuck trying to meet Government targets and not treating the sick as human beings rather than Statistics. Party Politics has been using the lives and deaths of the sick and elderly for years as a way of measuring the success of policy and to beat the other party over the head at PMQs.

This HAS to stop.

Many politicos sit and wonder why the public are fed up with Politics and don't vote and it is because of incidents like this that push people too far. If Politicians, and I use this as a broad stroke - I know there are exceptions, could stop acting like Children and trying to constantly get votes and score points and actually sort this problem out. People's lives genuinely depend on it and too many have been lost already.

What needs to happen is for the three main parties to get together and work out what is the best for everyone and stop acting like children. Medway Council need to look at things, the Department for Health need to look at Medway Maritime management, priorities and staffing. Most importantly of all Politicians of all ilks and creeds need to listen to the residents, of the horror stories that will hit the Press this Friday and of people's general disgruntlement and actually do something about it rather than play the blame game which is a game that frankly, we all lose at.

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