Plans to shake up health care provision fail to address the root cause of the sickness.
The A&E crisis has not just arisen because of increased demand but because there are insufficient doctors. Shuffling the deck chairs around isn’t going to cure that.
Obviously specialist emergency consultants cannot be produced overnight but that problem must be addressed urgently. Meanwhile more patients are turning up at hospitals for help as their GPs aren’t providing out of hours service and the public mistrust the NHS 111 helpline.
GPs should never have been allowed to operate a nine to five service, courtesy of Labour, and that has to be rectified, with new contracts if persuasion fails.
Prof. Sir Bruce Keogh’s proposals are a sticking plaster over a gaping wound and expecting call centres, pharmacists and paramedics to take up the slack is not good enough.
People’s lives are at risk from a lack of trained doctors and this has been allowed to happen until we have now reached breaking point.
I also fear that creating “super” A&Es will mean seriously ill patients having to travel longer distances for emergency help, potentially imperilling their lives.