The pain goes on for patients
Friday 25th January 2013, 3:04PM GMT.
WITH every day that passes, HSSD’s rash decision to close hospital wards and cancel operations looks increasingly foolhardy.
Even now, more than three weeks after everything should have got back to normal, there are islanders suffering pain and worry because of the former board’s haste.
Yesterday, the island learned that there were 40 operations cancelled as a direct result of the closures. Most will be completed this month but there is at least one patient who will have seen his or her operation delayed until February.
Anyone who has had to undergo an operation, even something relatively minor, will sympathise. For until it is out of the way and the process of rehabilitation can get under way, there are always concerns.
But it is not just December’s surgical patients who have good reason to regret HSSD’s ill-fated attempt to stop the health juggernaut.
With wards still closed and highly-qualified nurses evicted from their speciality to keep other areas of the hospital going, it is little wonder that morale is low. Senior staff, fed up with coping in chaos, have left, thereby worsening the crisis, and it has proven difficult to find good replacements at short notice.
And now even the underlying motive behind the closures has been undermined. HSSD, for all its protestations that no stone had been left unturned in its search for savings, has struggled to justify the huge sums spent on relatively few patients at the King Edward VII.
Yes, HSSD makes the point that there are other services operating from the building but the department has yet to show that they could not be relocated.
So, ironically, while the old board was criticised for panicking and hastily closing wards, the new-style HSSD is under fire for not looking hard enough at closing an entire hospital.
The department should know that, if its plans are justified, well thought through and organised it will win plaudits for closing wasteful units and saving money.
Only when it acts without any justification or understanding of the consequences are critics justified in pouncing.
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