Dr Spiteri’s claim that the problem of patients being stuck in ambulances outside our A&E departments for more than an hour was due to people turning up with “cuts and sprains” does not stand scrutiny.
NHS board minutes for 7 March at http://www.bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/aboutus/tb4.php give two reasons for the Queens and King George A&E difficulties. Bed flow is a problem, patients staying in hospital, although fit to leave hospital. The second reason, lack of medical staff, appears the more serious. The board say the Trust is up to 200 beds short of that “required to sustain 95% performance, so there was a fundamental capacity issue”. A 60% vacancy rate for senior level staff in the Emergency Department is given. Surprisingly, the Trust is considering making the Emergency Department “not so reliant on Doctors”. So many people have been ill recently that another four dependency wards have been opened.
Dr Spiteri is a prominent advocate of the plans for closing King George A&E, which are built on reducing length of stay and cutting medical staff by 25%. The plan is not working, instead things are getting worse, and the Trust admits as much. In the light of such damning evidence will Dr Spiteri agree that these dangerous closure plans should be abandoned?
The next meeting of the save King George Committee takes places on 20th April at Ilford Town Hall at midday, more information at http://www.savekinggeorgehospital.blogspot.co.uk/