Friday, October 12, 2012

Right of Reply in response to Dame Ruth attack?

Below is a copy of an email sent to Karl Mercer of the BBC earlier today
Dear Karl
Following a meeting of the save King George Hospital group earlier today I have been asked
to write to you about your piece of yesterday, for which I copy a link in case anyone did not see it carried statements by Dame Ruth Carnell attacking MPs and others who have campaigned against A&E and Maternity closures.
The clear implication of her remarks was that campaigners were irresponsible and were causing patient suffering. Comments I,and I expect the MPs and cllrs I have copied in, object to.
It seems fair that you do a similar piece letting the leading London campaign MPs defend themselves against these serious allegations. Perhaps Dame Ruth could debate the issue with some MPs and/or council group leaders, it would make good TV.
Dame Ruth is being irresponsible if she stands by the plan in BHRUT to King George A&E and Maternity and sack 25% of the medical staff in the area by 2015. The below comes from page 123 of the NHS business case document.
Health for north east London proposals will mean a reduction in medical staff at BHRUT but this represents no more than a 10% reduction in total medical staff in any given year:
2011/12 (Y+1)
(Y+2) -8%

(Y+3) -7%

(Y+4) -2%

This dangerous plan would have led to much suffering if implemented appears to have thrown out, but we do not know what the replacement is. I have heard a verbal report from an NHS manager that a large sum of money will need to be spent on a new A&E extension at Queens hospital, but as to how big and when this extension will be built is still unclear. To build a new A&E extension at Queens when there is a perfectly good one at KGH seems daft, especially when public money is tight and schools and housing could be built instead.

 Dame Ruth gives the impression that there is a medical consensus for the closure plans. This is not the case.
The Mail on Sunday recently carried a piece here with 140 Drs coming out against A&E closures. I know of BHRUT drs who cannot see Queens coping if King George A&E is shut, but they will not go the press because their contracts forbid them to.
The MoS has another piece here where the closure of an A&E has led to waiting times tripling
A Sheffield university study which found the closer a patient was to A&E upon collection the better their chances of survival were has been described as outdated to me by NHS managers. Until I see some clinical evidence for this assertion, I will continue to believe the finding of the study that for some conditions such as difficulty with breathing being close to a hospital is vital. An extract from the MoS about the study is at the 2nd link above.
I recently attended a school appeal on medical for a five year with acute asthma where the child's consultant said it was vital for the child's safety that he went to this particular school as it was close to King George A&E.
It would be great if you could come down to Queens/KGH at some point in the future and let campaigners tell our side of the story.

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