Sunday, June 24, 2007

A&E to close at night (Consultation)

The A&E service (aka 'minor injuries unit') at Swanage Hospital is scheduled from the Autumn to no longer offer an 'after hours' service between 10 pm and 8 am. In the interim, there is a public consultation period, so please make your views known if you have any. Consultation runs from Monday 25th June to Monday 17th September.

There will also be a public meeting on Wednesday 4 July from 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm at the Mowlem.

You may download the full consultation document at www.dorset-pct.nhs.uk Click on the 'Have your say' section.

Then comments to: consultation@dorsetpct.nhs.uk

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I gather that there is a petition against its closure and that 600+ signatures were collected in just 4 hours outside Somerfield yesterday! If there is such strong support against its closure I hope people will feel able to voice their concerns at the meeting on 04.07.07. as it feels as though we are being abandoned by the PCT at the moment given some of the recent changes(ie the current GP appointment system and what seems to be a very patchy out hours of over).

Chris said...

Is an on-line petition possible or useful ? If so I would be up for signing it

Anonymous said...

Beware of wasting energy attacking a proposal that has not been made. There is no proposal to close the minor injuries unit. The proposal is to have it open from 8am to 10 pm but not through the night. Even if you think this is the beginning of a greater agenda remember they will answer criticisms of an intention to close it completely by saying that is not what they are doing at all.

The Postman said...

I'm sorry, I did make a mistake in the original post. There is no proposal to close it completely, just the out of hours night service.

Anonymous said...

To quote from the consultation paper:
"The PCT is proposing to change the opening times of the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Swanage Hospital. Currently, the MIU is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Under the proposal, it would be open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.

The PCT is considering making this change because figures show that the MIU is little-used during the night, with very few people attending between the hours of 10pm and 8am each month. This means that sometimes there are no patients attending the MIU during these hours. This low rate of attendance has existed over the past two years. The provision of out-of-hours care will continue to be provided between 10pm and 8am every day by the Dorset Out-of-Hours Medical Service."

The Postman deserves a mighty slapped wrist for stirring up trouble without reading even the first page of the document. Not good enough, Postman!

Anonymous said...

My posting (12.11) crossed with the apology from the Postman, which I accept. Thank you.

The Postman said...

We are still left with a problem, not necessarily addressed by the PCT's proposals. I think there are lots of questions to be answered. Here are some:

1/ What are the figures for people who attended 'out of hours' when they did not think it merited an ambulance — but who were found to need urgent help? How many lives does the service have to save to be viable? What are thi figures for people who did require prompt medical help, but who were better dealt with on the spot than by tyong up a ambulace for hours?

2/ What guarantee is there that the ambulance service will remain in Swanage. If this goes, the need for a local on-the-spot service is even greater

3/ Tell us more about the Dorset Urgent Care Service (the service we are supposed to telephone instead of visiting A&E)? I had never heard of it before. How does this differ from NHS Direct? (Apart from the fact that the latter is run by trained nurses and the former is not). How much does it cost to provide a telephone servcie that duplicates the one provided by the NHS?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the logic of not putting the nurses and staff at risk from the potential of having to attend to the drunken wounded from the lowerer High Street. However, I believe it is yet another example of ordinary citizens loosing their services because the authorities have an excuse/reason for cut backs.

Anonymous said...

whats the lower high street got to do with it? a snide jibe at the pubs there me thinks.

Virtual Swanage said...

We have an online petition which will be added to the paper signatures online at http://www.virtualswanage.co.uk/petitions/view.aspx?c=1 Please add your name if you would like to keep the hospital open 24/7

The Postman said...

Let's call it the Accident and Emergency service. By definition, who needs a 'minor injury unit' at night? It's name wins half the battle to shut it down.But if your child is having trouble breathing and you are reluctant to tie up an ambulance, that's not a 'minor injury', it's a potential emergency.

The Postman said...

Another question. In the consultation document, they say it costs £100,000 a year to run between 10pm and 8am. HOW is that possible? There are already staff there anyway. I don't want to malign anyone, but you would imagine they are 'on call' most of the night. Correct me if I'm wrong. But if you did have to employ dedicated staff, surely you could do that for a lot less than £100,000?

Anonymous said...

The salary bands for an A&E nurse practitioner go up to £36k. Nurse practitioners are used because they are a lot cheaper than doctors. They are allowed to carry out a range of activities that used to be the exclusive property of the medical profession. The nurses week is 37.5 hours so to give you coverage for 8 hours a day 365 days a year and allow for holidays and sickness you need 2.5 or thereabouts. Add employers NI and pension contribution and £100k suggests the figure is calculated at a point nearer mid scale.

At £2000 a week thats an expensive way of dealing with a small number of minor injuries.

The Postman said...

Appreciate the detailed explanation/costing above.. but it's not just about "a small number of minor injuries." Which I would agree might not be worth supporting. But what about the middle ground, those incidents where people feel it's not an ambulance job ,but does need attention NOW. Perhaps they are not sure if it's life threatening but are reluctant to call an ambulance which would then not be available for the person who had a heart attack ten minutes later.

Anonymous said...

Just out of interest, where was the meeting on 04.07.07 publicised? I only heard about it by word of mouth and am concerned that there will others equally unaware of it.