I attended my local CCG monthly public meeting this week.
I go now and then, usually if there is a current furore over something.
The maternity investigation at my local hospital? 900+ cases over 50 years now being looked into. Avoidable deaths, damage and awful experiences for mothers and babies.
The farcical reorganisation of our hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford, the cost of which has risen from £312m to £498m before the business case has been approved. Including at least £100m for backlog repairs in a 50 year old concrete hospital.
(Dur. Build a new one!)
226 12+ hour trolley waits for admission through A&E in two weeks this month. Exponentially catastrophic trajectory since the last reported (worst in England) of 60 in November!
Those poor staff trying to stop the tide. And those poor patients getting, obviously, poor, probably unsafe, care. Dying sooner. In pain. Discomfort. Frightened.
I no longer know who is to blame.
Apart from lack of planning and funding over ten or more years. Lack of facing the future. Lack of social care. Lack of decision makers capable of doing their job.
And that comes down to government and health and care system leaders.
We are where we are. But we/they do not seem to be able to grasp what needs to be done NOW.
When asked why the acute hospital is failing so spectacularly, our CCG says ‘because of increased demand’.
Dur. Yes. And…? What are the causes of increased demand? And why have you (and other system leaders) not been working on this and reducing demand since the pattern started?
Yes, you are developing Care Closer to Home, to manage a small number of high risk patients out of hospital.
But if the population is getting older and becoming more frail in later years, (instead of dying!), could you not see this coming?
Why the huge exponential increase in the last two years?
If there is nothing that will prevent this, we need a lot more beds and staff. (Well we probably do anyway, as bed and staff numbers gave been falling (whittled away) for years, in the name of efficiency (and funding reductions).
If there ARE things that can be done to prevent need for admission, and attendance, why on earth have we not made serious efforts to do these?
We are, I think, shoals of fish floundering in an ever receding sea. No one knows what to do.
In the American system, sick people who cannot afford insurance simply don’t get treated. So in a sense the system can never fall over.
In our system, we expect everyone to be treated, but refuse to pay in the funding that such numbers require.
Result? Chaos. We get what we pay for. We get what our government gives us. We get what our system leaders can manage to organise.
(And perhaps what the Tories secretly want to happen.)
Why did I waste three hours of my life?
The reason I sat for three hours in the front row of the public seats this week at my system leaders’ (CCG) meeting, was to protest silently about the continuing lack of care or support for people living with a diagnosis of dementia.
I wore a tee shirt that told them they were ignoring 3,800 people with dementia in Shropshire, who live with ‘terminal brain disease’.
And on the back? ‘Equality Act’.
And, yes, they ignored me. There were some looks and smirks. No one approached me. No one asked me about it. And dementia received the usual accolades in the Performance Report.
71% diagnosis rate…above target.
80% of those diagnosed had care plans and had had a face to face review in the last 12 months.
And that was that.
Only, they are lying.
We do NOT have care plans. And we do NOT have face to face reviews of our non existent care plans.
How do they get away with this?
GPs get paid for these fictional reviews.
And we do not get any meaningful support to live well with our brain disease. We do not exist unless we are likely to be admitted to the mental health dementia ward. At which point a crisis team intervenes.
And 35% of inpatients in our overstretched hospital have dementia and stay three times longer than those without.
What the hell is going on!