As we have said before, we take no pleasure in reporting problems with the health service in any format.
Nobody wants a doctors’ surgery where it is nigh-on impossible to get an appointment, nor a casualty department where you have to wait for more than an hour to be seen. However, it’s for precisely that reason we feel it is important to put these issues in the public eye – this area wants and deserves better than that.
Today, again, we are reporting on the Queen Alexandra Hospital.
This time Portsmouth City Council’s leader Donna Jones says she will write to health secretary Jeremy Hunt because she is worried about the continuing delays to treatment. And on Thursday Mr Hunt will meet MPs from this area, who also feel action must be taken.
Now we appreciate that the problems at QA are more complicated than just, say, reorganising the layout of the ground floor. There are societal pressures such as an ageing population, geographic pressures such as the lack of a walk-in centre in the north of the city, financial pressures because of the PFI contract and just general pressures because it is a busy hospital in a densely-populated area. Delayed discharges – or bed-blocking as it is known to most of us – also cause a huge headache for QA.
The hospital’s response to queries over what it is doing to improve the situation is, time after a time, a rather robotic and jargon-y ‘we are continuing to working with our health and social care partners to deliver improvements.’
But look just a few miles down the road and you’ll find a genuine example of ‘working with health partners’ that is bringing results.
Gosport GP surgeries, finding themselves with too many patients, are looking to sign a deal with Southern Health NHS Trust, which will see more nurses and physiotherapists brought in. This comes after surgeries in the town enabled more patients to see a doctor on the same day by pooling resources. Straightforward changes, simply done. Perhaps QA could take a leaf out of that book. Let’s hope we see changes – and improvements – soon.