‘Well and safe?’
I have been going through some back issues of the Herald, and came across a very interesting letter from Jane Farrell, chief operating office and deputy chief executive of the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, from August 15, 2013.
She said: “Southlands Hospital remains an essential part of our trust.
“There are large numbers of people who continue to rely on Southlands for outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests and day procedures and, although in-patient services were moved out of the Harness Block more than a year ago, we remain committed to developing the site.
“We have already made the decision to develop a centre for eye services on the site and we are also committed to investing in Southlands.”
Did Ms Farrell mean the trust is committed to selling the site for development?
Not only are we promised in writing here in the Herald that the eye services would be moved from Worthing to Southlands, but this ‘promise’ was also made at several public meetings to discuss the future of Southlands and to reassure the public that all was well and safe there. Are we to believe anything we are told?
Adur District Councillor for St Mary’s ward, Shoreham
Public can help
As a recent recipient of the excellent health care offered in Worthing Hospital, I would like to thank Juliet and the cancer screening team.
I will totally support any campaign, as I have done in previous years that will benefit both of our hospitals, the staff and the backup services, such as Guild Care and the many independent and voluntary sector providers.
Being cynical, I can only surmise that BUPA CSH Ltd put forward a more convincing argument as to why they should get the £235million for their profit, rather than the Western Sussex Hospitals Foundation Trust bid.
I agree with my colleague, Dr James Walsh, as to the concerns about ‘privatisation by stealth.
The facts and figures shown in the Herald & Gazette are very useful in the understanding the problem, though I would say the problems go even deeper than most might suspect.
While the A&E service is overloaded, we, the members of the public can help ourselves, by listening to the experts about the prevention of accidents and falls, by using the NHS 111 service, which uses the hospital doctors out of hours, and was, in my experience, swift and efficient as I was seen within the hour of my first phone call.
I urge readers to back the campaign to save our services and our lives, but help remedy the initial overuse of the hospital service in the first place through whatever means you can.
For example, the Friendly Prostate Cancer check-ups for 55-year-old males and over, that will be available next January, courtesy of Worthing Lions, the PSA charity and hosted by Guild Care.
Councillor Hazel Thorpe
Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Worthing West,
I have been saddened to read the negative articles and letters about the decision to appoint BUPA CSH as the lead provider to run new musculoskeletal (MSK) services in coastal West Sussex. It appears people are too ready to criticise an organisation they don’t yet know enough about.
I’ve been an MSK patient of CSH Surrey for many years now, and they have consistently provided me with outstanding care.
I needed partial knee replacement surgery, in 2012, and the multi-disciplinary team, which included CSH, provided me with pre-surgery assessments, an information pack and DVD prior to surgery.
CSH’s physios showed me exercises to do post-surgery, which were invaluable.
This familiarisation before the operation, without question, accelerated my recovery. Like everyone, I was anxious about surgery, but left the assessments feeling reassured and confident.
Within two days of leaving hospital, I was contacted by CSH to arrange my rehab physio programme. Throughout this programme, there was constant communication and reassurance regarding my progress and recovery.
I have been very impressed with the care, speed, quality and how the whole process flowed seamlessly before, during and after surgery, allowing me to make a full recovery. CSH is, without doubt, a highly professional, knowledgeable, committed and motivated team.
It is quite simply an outstanding organisation and I would urge the people of coastal West Sussex to be open to finding out more about this innovative new service before leaping to attack it.
NHS is precious
I wonder how many of the objectors to the back-door privatisation of the musculoskeletal service in Worthing voted Conservative or, worse still, didn’t vote in the last election.
Strange how political decisions impact on the lives of ordinary people, isn’t it?
Our NHS is precious, but it’s not safe, and we only have ourselves to blame.
Some years ago, the Princess Royal Hospital at Haywards Heath was taken over by Brighton Hospital.
Matron is in Brighton and appears occasionally. There is a ‘private’ NHS block which does elective knees and hips. If anything goes wrong, the main hospital takes over.
The Princess Royal still does elective surgery, but only the difficult cases.
This often means patients are in for weeks. It is also used as a ‘dumping ground’ for Brighton, which repairs broken hips ,etc., and moves the patients to the Princess Royal – often, these patients have dementia and are then transferred to homes.
I can only assume that the BUPA patients under the new scheme will have their own wards and a similar scheme will operate in exactly the same way that patients are transferred from Goring Hall in an emergency.
I believe that it will cost more money than will be saved. The new BUPA unit will operate as soon as replacements may be needed, so that they can rush patients through – sometimes with day surgery. It would seem unlikey that A&E could operate on a similar basis. There is no money in accidents (apart from for insurance companies!).