Tourettes Action

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

Guess what it’s the NHS’s birthday today, 63 today! Happy Birthday NHS, or Penblwydd hapus GIG as the NHS’s founder Aneurin Bevan might say (I don’t know if he was a Welsh speaker or not).

I wonder what our Welsh hero would make of Lansley’s plans for our beloved NHS, I think he’d be turning in his grave, I wonder if he’s considered coming back to haunt the condemns?

Today I have finally got around to reading the Future Forum’s summary report on the proposed changes to the NHS, after members of the Future Forum along with Lansley, Cameron and Paul Burstow listened to mainly healthcare professionals and few patient groups it’s arrived, what we think of the proposals (apparently). There were 4 core themes of the listening exercise – Choice and Competition, Public Accountability and Patient Involvement, Clinical Advice and Leadership, Education and Training.

Choice and Competition – Personally for me this is the element that gives me the greatest concern. At the moment you can choose to some extent where you will receive your hospital treatment, for example I had the choice of seeing a gynaecologist at the University Hospital in Coventry or George Eliot hospital in Nuneaton, I opted for George Eliot, however, if I was involved in a road accident (heaven forbid, but a lot of motorists are completely oblivious to motorbikes) I’d be scrapped off the road and taken to the nearest A&E department. I choose to go to George Eliot to see a gynaecologist, purely because GE is closer to home, I guess that the gynaecology departments at both hospitals are pretty similar in their standards of care. However for some conditions, Tourette’s syndrome for example, the services available can vary greatly, and I imagine that the treatment that I receive in Birmingham is somewhat different to what I’d receive had I not known about the TS clinic run at The Barberry (Birmingham) and I’d been only referred to the local psychiatrist for example. I’m not sure that your average GP would know where the nearest TS consultant would be found. I agree totally with the point made that “Monitor’s primary duty is not to promote competition, but to ensure the best care for patients.” Competition, in my opinion should be part of the equation at all, to create competition, prices need to be brought down, in order for prices to go down savings need to be made, and I wonder where these savings will be made? Another point made that I agree with states “People were worried (I was!) That the private sector will come in and cherry-pick profitable, low risk patients, leaving the complex and expensive patients to NHS services. This could potentially mean that the NHS organisation could find that some clinical services became unviable. It is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that cherry-picking does not undermine the quality of services that patients have access to locally.” I also have concerns with the “Any Qualified Provider” policy – this means that any company, charity etc could get involved and deliver NHS services. Just like Circle.

Patient Involvement and Public Accountability – I think when discussing this at Rethink’s listening event we mat have got the wrong end of the stick, or is it that they just don’t like the idea of patients having any say in how their local hospital is run? I don’t think that they see “patient involvement” as anything more than picking which hospital you’d like to go to. However I do agree with what they say about the Secretary of State for Health to be accountable to Parliament to deliver a comprehensive health service.

Clinical Advice and Leadership – I don’t remember this one!

Education and Training – Another one it seems that us service users got the wrong idea about, the Future Forum talk about training for healthcare professionals, we were talking about access to information for patients/services users to ensure that we make the right decisions. DUH!

Well, that was a potted version of it from my perspective; let’s just see what happens next.

Also here’s a vid that I found earlier today about the NHS reforms.