THE Tories are proceeding with savage cuts to the NHS, with A&Es being scaled back or closed across the country.
Just a few examples are that South Tynesiders who would use South Tyneside District Hospital A&E were asked to help deal with the very sick over the bank holiday weekend.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Operating Officer Michelle Arrowsmith said: ‘We have faced sustained, unprecedented demand on our Accident & Emergency services in recent months and, with the August Bank Holiday approaching, we expect that our staff will be extremely busy, which could mean some patients waiting longer than we would like in A&E. The public can really help us to manage the pressure by remembering that A&E is for serious and life-threatening injuries and conditions in the main.’
Patients were advised to consult their local pharmacist, make sure they have enough prescribed medicines, make sure they have a plan to help them ‘manage your condition at home’ and ‘Dial NHS 111 if you are unsure which service you need.’
‘For information on walk-in centres across South Tyneside, urgent care centres or minor injuries units, go to www.nhs.uk and type in your postcode.’
NHS England is considering Shropshire’s draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan, which sets out a number of service cuts and changes, to help tackle the predicted deficit in the county’s health and social care services, expected to be £123m by 2021.
Measures in the proposal include the ‘Future Fit’ ‘reconfiguration’ of A&E services at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford (PRH), reducing spending on orthopaedic services by £4.5m a year, plus other cuts to potentially save £12m.
The report also says the ‘rationalisation’ of acute services at RSH, PRH and Oswestry Orthopaedic Hospital could save between £3m and £5m a year. Plans to close the A&E at either RSH or PRH are also estimated to save about £22m a year, although it requires £300m of capital to complete.
Shropshire’s hospitals are reviewing whether orthopaedic services should be provided on three separate sites as part of a bid to save £4.5m. Orthopaedic services are provided at Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen, at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
Families in Staffordshire are being advised not to take their children to the A&E centre at Stafford’s County Hospital, following a ‘temporary suspension’ of walk-in treatment.
While the adult A&E is not affected and remains open between 8am and 10pm, trust bosses have taken the decision to suspend A&E services at Stafford hospital for the under-18s with immediate effect due to staffing issues.
Support Stafford Hospital campaigners are demanding the children’s A&E is re-opened and both adult and children’s emergency services be restored to 24 hours, seven days a week.