Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Healthcare reorganisation of community hospitals

Yesterday I was at two BETSI meetings held in Flint, and I was there to see the local people of Flint who had come out to support their Community Hospital.  I have also been at meetings in Colwyn Bay, Prestatyn and Rhyl.  Rhyl has already seen the closure of the Alex Hospital.  Prestatyn, Flint and Colwyn Bay are facing closure of their community hospitals, with services being concentrated at other sites accross North Wales.  The Health Board is promising what it calls "Home Enhanced Care" which will allow greater investment in care at home accross North Wales.  The figures last night were that it costs abouts £924,000 to keep Flint Community Hospital open, with the hospital having a 160 in patient addmissions over the course of the year.  The Health Board are arguing that they need to provide a greater consistency of care accross North Wales.  The problem is that 5 years ago, when there was a raft of closures of community hospitals accross North Wales improvements in care were offered, and the argument then was that better care would be offered in the home. People are just not convinced that they are going to see those improvements.  Aligned with this are proposals to move level 3 neonatal intensive care to Arrowe Park in Liverpool.  I have blogged about these proposals in earlier posts.  I have raised with the Health Board the statistics which show that infant mortality in Anglesey is 6.7 and Denbighshire is 7 when the Welsh Average is 4.3, the fact that the Health Board wishes to move neonatal intensive care should be a wake up call, as it will mean the downgrading of services at Glan Clwyd, and the loss of specialist Doctors who have experience with the smallest of babies, who can not talk and tell Doctors what is wrong with them.  This is likely to mean the loss of 5 Senior House Officer Doctors.  What can you do?  Get involved, respond to the consultation email the Health Board at jointhedebate@wales.nhs.uk  if you dont fight to retain local services, you will loose them.