The Mid and South Essex STP claim that separating emergency and elective ( planned) Trauma and Orthopaedic ( T&O) care on different hospital sites will prevent cancelled scheduled operations. These are concerns about their proposal – submitted anonymously by a clinician. Read it and please SHARE.
- The proposals will not save money
- The proposals will not prevent the cancellation of elective operations because it is only creating 50 extra beds which is not enough to prevent overflow into elective beds
- The estimates for patient transfer to another hospital (14 per day) is at the lower margin even of their own estimates. This is in the breakdown in the PCBC document in their figures: 14 is the lowest possible number of patients according to their calculations. They will need to buy a significant number of ambulances to move the patients around. There will be a significant increases in cost for patient transfer, staff transfer, staff retention and costs to relatives having to travel to visit loved ones in different hospitals.
- The only local advantage short term is that Local Government is releasing some cash to finance this. Long term, however, this will cost a lot more and will become too costly to continue. The long term aim is to divide healthcare into 2 groups – A) expensive, emergency care with complex social support requirements in one hospital and B ) another hospital providing elective ( planned) treatments which can then be sold to a private provider, ideally with a slice for Mr Hunt et al. Southend is the designated hospital for ELECTIVE trauma and ortho surgery in the STP.
- T&O issues: these pathways consist of – 1) hip fractures, 2) minor trauma requiring less than 24 hrs stay, 3) major trauma requiring a few days stay, and 4) patients requiring a trauma centre, who are already transferred to a specialist centre.
Of these, all patients who require a few days inpatient stay on this consultation document will be transferred to BASILDON. They will NOT receive better OR more specialist care there than they currently do in Southend Hospital. Under these proposals, doctors from Southend will have to travel to treat them in Basildon. This makes no sense at all to send both patients and doctors to Basildon. NB: residents of Basildon and Chelmsford won’t have to travel anywhere for this kind of trauma therefore it is the Southend catchment population who are disadvantaged. There is no saving in any of this plan. The proposal to separate trauma from orthopaedics has NO EVIDENCE BASE anywhere in the world. It is the same surgeons and teams who perform both elective and emergency operations, there is no basis for separating the service. The orthopaedic surgeons’ qualification is TRAUMA AND ORTHOPAEDICS which is one specialty in the Royal College of Surgeons. The consultants and their teams are trained and employed to treat trauma and elective orthopaedic conditions. Point 4 on page 12 PCBC has no basis in anything, and it is untrue and utterly impractical to say that “planned operations should, where possible, be separate from patients who are coming into hospital in an emergency”. This is nonsense.
- Given that the current IT systems in Southend Hospital are opaque, do not communicate well with each other, are difficult to use and frequently faulty, it is fanciful that the STP will be able to come up with the goods in terms of uniting the three hospital systems. This is a money pit waiting to be mined by an expensive private IT company who will come up with an unsuitable system which staff will have to wrangle with for months and years. It will probably be quicker to drive between the hospitals with the relevant information!
The figure of 30% orthopaedic consultant ‘wastage’ is EXPECTED by the STP. Then they can recruit new, cheaper, younger, less experienced, less opinionated consultants under the new contract (which gives them fewer employee rights). This will dispose of the naysayers and ‘troublemakers’.
#SaveSouthendNHS wish to thank all of our anonymous clinical advisors. It is those willing to stand up for patient care who are the real champions of the NHS in exposing the spin that is being peddled to sell their plans to the public.
Just to clarify – the proposed change to service at this time does not mention any changes to outpatient appointments – you will still be seen locally for these and all minor trauma ie fractures which do not require a few days of stay in hospital. Those requiring a stay over 72 hours in hospital or have complex health needs will be transferred from Southend to Basildon according to the pathway.
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