It is almost a year since nearly 200 people gathered in Wirksworth to express their concern about the coalition’s proposed changes to the NHS. We were assured by the government that, although they sought to save an incredible £20 billion in the NHS budget, there would be no cuts in front line services. The service would be improved because local clinicians would understand the needs of their patients and would decide priorities.
The emerging reality is different. Our doctors have been instructed that they must not undertake minor skin operations, which they had previously managed cost effectively, saving money with no hospital visit. Top down imposition with no local consultation.
Similarly a Wirksworth patient has been told her varicose veins cannot be treated.
I myself was informed that if I wanted treatment of my feet to continue I would have to go private. Feet are vital front line medical provision and although I can afford to seek private provision many older people, the main beneficiaries of this service, will not have the money. Policy from on high.
Have you noticed that recall appointments are delayed?
Royal Hospital departments seem to have been told that they must save 30 per cent on ‘returners’, those who need follow up appointments.
After a minor operation I was told that I would be fine after ten weeks.
When after thirteen weeks I was still not well, I contacted the hospital, as instructed, and was told that as I had passed the twelve week deadline I would have to go through my GP and be referred again, an unnecessary additional procedure. The hospital avoided having a ‘returner’, contrary to the interest of the patient.
More tasks are being dumped on GPs with no additional resources.
In another department my annual check was delayed by three months.
When I read figures about national waiting times I am confused. I share these personal experiences, because they illustrate that locally there are reductions in services to the disadvantage of patients and the government will not acknowledge this decline in service.
Why was the Darley centre closed?
Each of your readers may have had similar experiences. Am I the only one who has noticed reductions in front line NHS provision?
I have informed my MP of these concerns.
In Wirksworth the Hannage Brook medical centre offers outstanding service with high patient satisfaction. We all want that standard of excellence to be maintained.