I HAVE great respect for the efforts made by patient safety champion Dr Narendra Mathur. His letter Express June 24 ‘Increase capacity now’ is spot on regarding the incompetent failings of the Strategic Health Authority.
However, he does not tell the whole story when he portrays Wakefield District PCT as being fellow champions by providing a few extra beds.
Under the welcome new rules introduced by health secretary Andrew Lansley, Mid Yorks Hospitals Trust will be responsible for patient care for a full 30 days after discharge and gets fined if a patient returns because of failed treatment. The Express article by Don Mort same issue: ‘Review of NHS costs launched’ shows those fines to be around £5 million. This gives a clear picture of how failed the ‘get patients out of the door and back home as soon as possible,’ culture has been.
What is not made clear is the part the PCT’ has played in this ‘revolving door’ by introducing extra tiers of expensive diversionary and poor quality primary care. The new walk-in centre in King Street is a prime example. Diverting patients from receiving pertinent, quality diagnosis at A&E increases the number of emergency cases that are far more complicated (because of delayed treatment) to resolve and require longer and more expensive hospital stays.
I wish Dr Mathur well with his efforts, but I am afraid that without the major reforms that were planned by Andrew Lansley, he is whistling in the wind.