Four Issues in Tonight’s DriveTime
· NHS Future is Precarious
· Stay Well This Winter
· Patient Transport
· Nascot Lawn
1. NHS Future is Precarious says CQC
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report this morning on the NHS highlighting
· Staff shortages (vacancy rates up 16% over the last two years)
· Bed shortages as a result of reduced capacity and bed blocking
· Falling numbers of nursing home beds (down by 4,000 beds over 2 years)
· 1.2m people now not getting social care support they need (up 16% in 12 months)
While the quality of care was being maintained currently thanks to the efforts of staff, that resilience is not inexhaustible given the rising pressures. The report says “We are going to see a fall in the quality of services that are offered to people and that may mean that the safety of some people is compromised.”
Locally, we’re already experiencing this as a result of the Commissioning Groups £45m deficit; this leads to rationing and operational delays.
2. Stay Well This Winter
There’s a lot we can do to help ourselves, and this web site covers them all
· Keep Warm – wrap up warm; keep your house warm; get help if you need it; watch out for others
· Ten Common Problems, and how to deal with them! There are tips for each of them! They cover Heart Attacks, Colds, Sore Throats, Asthma, Winter Sickness, Painful Joints, Cold Sores, Cold Hands & Feet, Dry Skin, and of course the FLU!
· Watch Out For Winter Tiredness – get as much light as you can, sleep well, relax, and eat a healthy diet.
3. Patient Transport – another Commissioning Group problem! The company providing patient transport in our area (“Private Ambulance Service”) went into receivership at the beginning of OCT. The local Ambulance Service is providing a caretaker service until new arrangements are completed.
Patients are being prioritised based on clinical need, but if you need any help call 01603 481 208; it operating weekdays 8:00 am to 6:00 pm each day.
4. Nascot Lawn – Nascot Lawn is a large Victorian house in Watford that has been converted to provide respite care for children with complex health needs and learning disability. In June our local commissioning group (HVCCG) announced that they were cutting £600K a year of funding to the unit. But, after the threat of a judicial review they have changed their position and Nascot Lawn, or rather what remains as some staff have already left, will remain open. A short-term relief for patients, but such a pity they’ve had to endure the last 4 months of chaos – and the future is still uncertain!
Have you been affected by these issues? Have you had a good or bad experience with the NHS in the last few weeks? Let us know here.