Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lansley on hospital acquired infections

Andrew Lansley has attacked Labour for failing to tackle hospital overcrowding after new analysis showed a strong link between overcrowded wards and the spread of deadly hospital infections.

The independent research by the House of Commons library revealed that NHS Trusts with a bed occupancy rate above the recommend level had an 18 per cent higher rate of C-difficile and a 21 per cent higher rate of MRSA.

Andrew, the Shadow Health Secretary, said, “Far too many patients are catching infections like MRSA as a result of having to share overcrowded wards.”

And he attacked the Government for denying there was a link between MRSA rates and high rates of bed occupancy in England:

“The Government urgently needs to stop burying their heads in the sand and take action. The price patients and their families in this country are paying because of their failure is far too great”.

Andrew promised that a Conservative Government would tackle overcrowding by providing 8,000 more single rooms across the NHS to ensure that infected patients can be isolated.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hospital Sites

The local NHS keeps saying that it will be consulting shortly on a new site for West Cumberland Hospital, although the date keeps going back.

They are currently talking about launching a consultation in the spring with a decision by May.

Copeland Council has been preparing proposals to put to the trust concerning possible sites. At one point the council had previously identified five possible sites, but had dismissed suggestions that the Pow Beck site was the preferred option.

The Executive report to today's full council meeting said that the council is concentrating on two of these sites, at Hensingham near the existing hospital and at Pow Beck. The site for the latter option was described today as being at The Ginns, which is subject to a lower risk of flooding than some parts of Pow Beck but still has access issues.

The final decision will be taken by the Trust, not the council. It may become very important for as many people as possible to lobby to make sure the hospital stays in Whitehaven.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

No hospital decision likely this year

The impression had been given, and reported both here and in the local media, that a decision on the future site of the hospital in West Cumbria would be taken by December this year. It now appears that it will take longer than that.

A meeting of the Children, Young Peopl,e and Families scrutiny committee of Copeland Council today heard a presentation from representatives of NHS Cumbria.

The most interesting thing to come out of the discussion is that it now appears to be impossible for a final decision on the site of the hospital in Whitehaven to be taken in 2008.

Cabinet office rules will require a full consultation lasting at least 12 weeks - possibly longer if it runs over Christmas, followed by consideration of the points made by doctors, nurses, other staff, and the patients and public. From the start of the consultation to the decision is likely to take four months, and the PCT is not in a position to start the consultation just yet (though I have heard informally that it will not be too long.) So if - and it is a big if - there are no significant further delays we are probably looking at a decision in February or March.