Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Need for renal dialysis certainty in Welshpool.

Spent this afternoon at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Two missions. Firstly, a 'Goodbye Meeting' with Tom Taylor, Chief Exec. of the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospitals Trust, who will be leaving his post in the near future. In my opinion, Tom has done a terrific job, and has had to put up with some serious c*** from the upper echelons of the NHS. I'm not sure that the Royal Shrewsbury would be there today but for him. He's off to work for DEFRA. Made me laugh when he started talking about pigs and potatoes. But longest chat was about the provision of a renal dialysis service at Welshpool - one of my highest hobby-horses.

Next stop was the RSH's Renal Dialysis Centre. Despite campaigning for a satellite unit at Welshpool Hospital for many years, I'd never actually seen a dialysis station. So I met Nonny, a super efficient nurse who runs the 26 station centre, and she showed me around. It was the quietness that struck me. Some dialysers were sleeping. Some were reading. Four hours is a long time to sit in the same place. And of course there were people there that I knew. I left in deep thought, realising that these people would not be alive for long without this service.

But I left the Royal Shrewsbury with anger in my heart - anger at the total idiocy that is constructing walls between the NHS in Wales and the NHS in England. Almost all of the people in Montgomeryshire travel to Shrewsbury for dialysis. Their consultants are based at Shrewsbury. For years we assumed that Welshpool would be a satellite unit of Shrewsbury - but no. We now have devolution - and the walls are being built. The Welshpool unit must now be linked to a Welsh hospital. No good moan about it. I learned years ago that politics is not always consistent with common sense.

I've two emotions about the Assembly Government's actions in respect of this issue. Firstly, appreciation for the commitment by Minister, Edwina Hart to increasing the provision of renal dialysis in Wales. But secondly, anger that the interpretation of devolution as the development of separate NHS's in England and Wales has caused so much delay. But it does seem that at long last, things are moving. After a deeply frustrating reluctance to keep people informed about what's happening, delivering uncertainty, the 'Project Board' has calle a meeting of 'stakeholders' on March 19th in Welshpool. I will attend on behalf of the Kidney Wales Foundation - Powys Branch, which I helped set up a few years ago. I fully expect us to be given the date of 'late summer' as the start date for the temporary unit, and 2112 as the delivery of the permanent unit - with either six or eight stations. After today's visit, its a formal announcement I'll enjoy hearing. Will plan for a celebration that night.

7 comments:

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

As the majority of Montgomeryshire's services are now provided from Shropshire, not Cardiff, would you be in favour of a referendum to vote to join England?

Anonymous said...

What? we have to wait for another hundred and two years?? :-)

Anonymous said...

Once again it shows the idiocy of WAG and it's ignorance of the geography of anywhere else in Wales outside Cardiff.

If we in Montgomeryshire have to attend a Welsh DGH and not our nearest,which of course is the RSH, we will have to treck all the way to Wrexham, or heaven forbid, Aberystwyth!

How about WAG spending some money on something more sensible like building a new DGH in North Powys? With our growing population - much desired and needed.

Bonetired said...

So what are they going to do about orthopaedics?

bonetired said...

Anonymous 12:59

What I meant by orthopaedics is that you could have the ludicrous situation of going from, say Welshpool, to the Maelor for orthopaedic treatment. On the way you will, of course, pass the RJAH at Gobowen .....

Anonymous said...

well in their enlightend idea of trying to keep services in Wales, the powers that be tried to send my elderly mother (79) all the way to LLandudno for a follow up Breast Screen (she had been done in the mobile unit at Morrisons and had a recall). Unfortunately I coudlnt take her, but she was refused hospital transport (as she has made her own way in the past). I rung and quieried the sense of this, and if I did manage to take her would they fund the petrol - afterall there is a lovley Breast Screen Unit at the RSH. Guess what, we ended up going to the RSH. What if i hadnt have objected, and they had organised transport (at great cost) and trollied an old lady all the way up there and back in a day - it may have beens sufficent stress and strain to kill one. . . . and other instances can be brought up . . . sensless, but again its Cardiff based sums it up. . .

Anonymous said...

Do you know anyone that has suffered from bad hospital food?Poor service etc?