Poole Hospital A&E could close


This week I sat on two committees reviewing changes recommended by Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to bring more health services into the community and to change one of our hospitals from a general to a "planned care" centre. Not only will this mean the loss of A&E by downgrading to an Urgent Care Centre this means Poole will also lose maternity, paediatrics, complex cancer treatment and the Intensive Care unit.

This week I sat on two committees reviewing changes recommended by Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to bring more health services into the community and to change one of our hospitals from a general to a "planned care" centre. Not only will this mean the loss of A&E by downgrading to an Urgent Care Centre this means Poole will also lose maternity, paediatrics, complex cancer treatment and the Intensive Care unit.

 

In return, we will get all the planned operations like hips, knees and low risk cancer patients and operations that can be done on a day basis. Outpatient appointments, therapies and tests that need to be in a hospital such a MRIs will also remain in Poole along with what are referred to as "integrated services for frail patients" and a community hub.

 

Of course common sense says it’s better to travel a bit further and have consultant-led care, instead of junior doctors overstretched on both sites.  If we were building it would make sense to build one hospital in the centre of both towns but this isn't Lego City.  We are dealing with real people, real emergencies.

 

We are told that "blue light services" would all go to Bournemouth.  All fine and well if you are within the 90% of people who are supposedly within 30 minutes but what about the other 10% and have they used Castle Lane in the run up to Christmas, in rush hour or after a minor accident on the Wessex Way?

 

Imagine your toddler is sick, floppy and not responding - what do you do?  At the moment you bundle them in the car to Poole and the angels in A&E  have you in for triage before you know it, jumping the queue from the broken bones and bleeds (that will still go to Poole).  If this change happens and you race to Poole you will be told you need to go to Bournemouth.  Then an ambulance may well need to be dispatched and in the meantime staff who are now only dealing with non emergency cases need to divert from other cases to stabilise your sick child.

 

So instead you think, "I'm not risking it” and call 999.  Ambulances are always dispatched quickly for sick children, but at what expense?  Just a few weeks ago a local lady slipped and broke her hip.  She lay on the ground for 3 hours before an ambulance arrived, neighbours having to cover her with blankets as they weren't allowed to move her...how much longer will she wait in the future?  I sit on Dorset Fire Authority who are piloting a new scheme where firefighters answer some of the less urgent calls for ambulances.  Why?  Because the ambulance service cannot recruit enough professionals to deal with current capacity.  How long must our frail lady lie on the floor in the future - not just cruel and undignified but potentially reducing her chances of a full recovery and ultimately costing the NHS thousands more for her care.

 

Paramedics are incredible - modern ambulances are almost as safe as being in the hospital bed.  If you increase 999 calls from mums in labour, parents of small children, or those with suspected heart attacks who would normally have made their own way to A&E, the system runs a real risk of collapse.

 

Merger of some services and management is a good thing; millions can be saved in agency fees by recruiting permanent staff and by slashing the costs of supplies through simpler buying processes and negotiating with energy suppliers like the private sector would.

 

Our NHS is precious but if we cannot turn to it in times of crisis it needs to change.  I welcome services in community, increasing the use of small hospitals like Wimborne allowing people with low level injuries to access care outside of 9-5 without going to a main hospital.  We must accept the truth - we need to pay more for a good NHS now we are asking it to do so much more. With 10,000 new homes proposed just in Poole we need more hospitals not fewer and if you ask people to choose between slightly higher tax to fund the NHS or lost hospital services I know which one I would choose.

 

 

In the meantime, you have 48 hours to complete the questionnaire.  Don't allow the questions to force you to make a choice between Bournemouth and Poole - for to lose Bournemouth would mean equal risk to those on the other side of town.  Don't miss this chance to have your say, share my post and the link and lets not be responsible for this enormous mistake.  https://www.csr.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk/major-hospitals/

 

 

 


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