Monday, 12 September 2011

More bad news for Barnet - Tories Shaft Chase Farm Hospital

Today is one of those forlorn days where I think to myself "What has the Conservative Party got against the residents of Barnet?". They have just announced that they are shutting Chase Farm hospital - full report on the BBC here - - it is times like this that I think back to my dear old mum who passed away in 2008. I think of the endless hours we used to spend in A&E when she had a stroke and the countless times after that when other issues cropped up. A little selfish part of me is thankful that those wasted hours are, for the moment, a thing of the past.

The closure of Chase Farm will only add to the queues, the misery and the wasted hours of peoples lives.In opposition David Cameron had promised a "bare-knuckle fight" over the closure of local hospital services. At one point, he even promised to protect Chase Farm from what he said was an "unjustified" top-down reorganisation. Well, now we know what Cameron's promises are worth, don't we?

I wonder what our GLA rep, Councillor Brian Coleman will have to say about his bosses decision.


baarnett said...

The subject of hospitals obviously is very emotive, and if "the closure of Chase Farm will only add to the queues, the misery and the wasted hours of peoples lives", then the politicians deserve to be thrown out.

However, A&E, stroke departments, and "difficult case" maternity services, all have better outcomes when there are doctors with bigger caseloads than in small hospitals. The doctors build up more experience, and have consultants and expensive equipment and technicians instantly available, around the clock.

Travelling an extra distance in a modern ambulance is not a great risk. Travelling further to visit a patient is not a show-stopper, given all the other factors.

The BBC story suggests than other departments will stay, including midwives for "easy" births, and a clinic where a nurse can sew your cut finger together again.

Jaybird said...

I have to say that I agree with Baarnett, up to a point. I think the distance for stroke and major trauma travel is too far to be safe now.

The recent stats of stroke treatment, which were not good for Barnet, back that up.

However I do think that centres of excellence make sense in terms of quality of care.

What I object to is that both Cameron and Lansley made personal pre-election pledges to reverse the decision on closing these departments at Chase Farm, aware that it was an important local issues, and made a point of visiting the hospital in order to get maximum impact for those pledges.

Those turned out to be false promises at best (lies at worst) and that is wrong.

baarnett said...

I think that nowadays, paramedics can usually stabilise a patient at the "roadside", and a modern ambulance is well-equipped to carry a patient longer distances without extra risk.

That would suggest the state of the ambulance service ought to be more of a political priority than it is.

Politicians usually back local campaigns because it is political suicide not to. They may also be chancers and liars, of course. Or just interested in their allowances, as in the case of a certain "larger than life" personality.

Rog T said...

I have to say that I think you guys are missing the point. Barnet & most other A&E's have massive waits at busy times. When they shut Edgware Gen, this overloaded Barnet. I can remember waiting with my Mum for 7 hours with her on a stretcher waiting to be admitted. Where is the plan to increase capacity at Barnet?

The other point you are missing is that it's all very well to say that big hospitals provide better services, but if your kid breaks their arm and you live in the wrong place & haven't got a car, how the hell do you get there.

This is a nightmare for several elderly neighbours & relatives when they need to get to A&E to see people or bring them home

Jaybird said...

I agree it is a difficult decision. However, it is better to wait for good care than be seen faster but have poor care. also, although uncomfortable, the wait for admission is not the same as the wait to be seen and treated in A&E.

Sprains and simple fractures can still be seen in a nurse led unit, as they are in Edgware / Finchley Memorial.

The argument for maternity units large enough to have round the clock consultant cover is even stronger.

Baarnett - my father died of a head injury in 2003. It took 40 minutes & 3 999 calls for a blue light ambulance to get to Finchley through rush hour traffic. More time to stabilise him and then get him to hospital. They told us they had come from UCH.

rithompson said...

We all know how much a coalition promise is worth in Number 10. Not much.

I can see the point of those arguing the care is better with less A&E Depts, BUT if you're having a heart attack in Enfield Town the ambulance has a longer journey to get you to the care of any doctor. Rather than a five minute drive up the road.