Tuesday, 11 February 2014

When the first person dies due to A&E queues at Barnet General, every Conservative should hold their head in shame

Back in 1996, I was at the forefront of the campaign to save the A&E department at Edgware General Hospital. The then Tory Government closed the hospital and paid the price at the General election in 1997, losing both Hendon and Finchley constituencies. I predicted that there would be problems at the A&E at Barnet as it would be stretched to breaking point. Sadly I was proven right. Back in 2007, an ambulance took my mother in as an emergency and she was kept waiting on an ambulance trolley for eight hours. That meant that the ambulance couldn't go back out to attend other calls. The staff told me that the A& E was chronically overworked and you should avoid being admitted on a Friday or Monday if possible, as it was always the same.

Sadly my mum passed away in 2008 and I've not had reason to go back. Friends have told me horror stories of long waits. So how has the current Conservative lead government responded to this appalling situation? They have closed Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, putting even more stresson Barnet General. One of the regular contributors to this blog was attending A&E recently with his daughter and nurses told him a tale of woe. I have been researching the problems and collating evidence. It seems I've been scooped by the Hendon Times for once, who have found that the departmentis in meltdown and one evening recently declared a state of emergency. Nineteen ambulances were unable to unload patients for admission of emergencies.


The story contains the most bizarre comment from an NHS spokesperson I've ever heard
A spokesman from Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Barnet and Chase Farm Trust experienced high numbers of attendances and ambulance arrivals to A&E on January 31.
“As a consequence of this, and in line with the NHS England (London) policy, Barnet Hospital declared an internal emergency and received support from local hospitals and non-urgent ambulances were diverted.
“Quality of care and safety of our patients is paramount. Consultants and senior managers were on site throughout to ensure the trust responded to this increase in activity.
“There was a full range of services available for patients with additional staff on duty"
I find this to be quite offensive. If you are in an ambulance requiring emergency treatment and you are stuck in paim do you really want a "manager" to tell the press that "there was a full range of services available for patients". It is crystal clear that there wasn't.

This is clearly down to the closure of the A&E at Chase Farm and the abject failure of our local Tory MP's Matthew Offord, Mike Freer and Theresa Villiers to fight the corner for Barnet residents. If you voted for any of these MP's at the last election, you should hang  your head in shame at this news and if you are considering voting for them at the next election, you quite clearly have a screw lose. Whilst there are many cuts to budgets that will not affect the rich Tories whio bankroll the party locally, anyone can get hit by a car, have a heart attack, have a stroke or fall and break their leg. It could happen to your mother or your children. Given the demographics of the Borough, of those nineteen people stranded in Ambulances, nine were statistically likely to be Tory voters. I just hope that they had the wit and intelligence to realise that they are reaping the whirlwind they have sown.


Anonymous said...

I have been in Barnet A&E twice with my elderly mother; it was very small considering the wide area it covered. Has it been enlarged since the closure of Chase Farm?

Anonymous said...

As I told the Barnet Eye a week ago before this Times article, when I was in the recovery room at Chase Farm, the talk between the nursing staf who thought all the patients were asleep. Told the opposite tale to the bullshit statement of the double talk BGH spokesperson.

People died under the last Tory administration on what they chose to call waiting lists of up to two years, but for many were death lists.

As the Barnet Eye says, any resident supporting the lazy Tory MPs Freer the useless Offord or the its worrying Villiers, must have a screw loose.

Like it or not we all need the NHS in times of emergency, and it is simply not safe in Tory hands.