Kids Need Our Ward meeting
The Children’s ward at the RAH has been saved, at least for now, as Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board finally realise that closing the ward at the hospital will affect many other services and have a catastrophic domino effect on the Hospital.
The unexpected news came as KNOW campaigners prepared to lobby Tuesday’s Health Board meeting, at which it was expected that the closure of the ward would go out to consultation.
Now the health board say that:
Overall service provision should be incorporated into the wider strategic review of clinical services across NHSGGC to ensure that all of the implications in relation to other services are considered within the wider strategic framework.
They at last admit that
The paediatric inpatient service at RAH interfaces with a number of other services, which require to be considered as part of the wider and more strategic review, including:
Emergency Department & Adult Medical Services
Maternity Unit/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Surgery and Anaesthetics Directorate, specifically ENT, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, General Surgery, Anaesthetics and Critical Care
This means that they now know that they can’t close the ward without it having a disastrous effect on the hospital and overall service provision across the area, which is what KNOW has said all along.
But this is far from the end of the matter. The report makes it clear that the financial and staffing pressures that formed the “drivers for change” have not simply gone away. The health board will still find it difficult to manage it’s rotas in the coming years, but our campaign has always said that the answer to these pressures should never be to centralise services.
The two main drivers for change were the European Working Time Directive, which bodies have had 13 years to prepare for and Modernising Medical Careers, a set of rules that brought changes to the way doctors are trained to create a “consultancy led service”. Both of these meant that there are real staff pressures on hospitals including the RAH, essentially a shortage of middle grade doctors, but we have always said that services shouldn’t have to suffer from these pressures.
Clinicians that we have spoken to have advised us that rota pressures could be alleviated by making consultants to fill the gaps in middle grade doctors and if the issue is costs, then the health board should demand more money.
KNOW campaigners are delighted that RAH is safe, for now, but this wider review combined with the financial pressure on NHSGGC means that they will be back, maybe not for the children’s ward, but for something, so our campaign will keep a watching breif.