In amongst the 1500+ letters we get a week here at ND Central one of the team noticed a missive from one of the few ISTC (Independent Sector Treatment Centres) in our neck of the woods. For those who have missed it, these are private hospitals which provide elective surgery for uncomplicated NHS cases and consume huge amounts of public money, are underused and have higher complication rates than normal NHS hospitals. You can read about them here in their own words or another view is here.
It was concerning the “Aftercare Service”. This “service” was currently provided by nurses who did 3 home visits after certain types of surgery to remove stitches and change dressings. The missive said that the Party organ had found that this was no longer cost effective.
Let us read on further into the Party organ’s edict for it reads that to make the “service” more “efficient” and “cost effective” those treated at the ISTC will now be “invited” to attend a clinic at the ISTC which is many miles away from ND Central to have their stitches removed and dressings changed. As a Brucie bonus if those so invited attended they will be rewarded with some dressings to change using a self care protocol.
In the extremely unlikely event that some comrade patients feel that a 60 mile round trip is too far then the punters (sorry patient or is it clients now?) MAY be offered transport (cost effective?) or a (cost effective?) home visit MAY be arranged and (can you see what is coming yet?) in an exceptionally rare and highly unlikely scenario the punters may be asked to travel the few hundred yards to their GP surgery.
Wonder which one of these options most non paying patients will take? 60 miles of petrol versus a few hundred yards surely “market forces” will determine patient “choice”?
Private sector dumping on the NHS to maximise profits surely not? Or possibly the start of the thin end of a very long wedge whereby those in the private sector already cherry picking patients are now also discharging their clinical responsibility in the interests of a “more efficient and cost effective service”.
Praise be to the Party for providing GPs with a level playing field which whenever there is extra work to be dumped always leans towards the GPs’ and their staffs’ direction. The White Paper we are sure will put an end to such practices won’t it? In the same way that these world-class commissioned ISTCs won’t be able to weedle out of their robustly commissioned contracts.
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Northern Doc was once a blog originally written by a group of GPs in Northernshire and expressed their experiences and frustrations of working in today's NHS. The pieces were compiled at social meetings after work and published anonymously in a once free society. Following the Government's Medical Council clamp down on freedom of thought, speech and expression by doctors and our belief that the views of a few doctors DO NOT represent the views of the profession as a whole their views will now be written by and published by a journalist who has previously contributed to the blog by virtue of social ties. Any inference that the word Doc means a doctor is now purely coincidental. This is as of the 22 April 2013.