I called in at Bishop Auckland Mara suite today to pick up my scans for distribution to USA, Sheffield and Middlesbrough. I know that the suite had been busy on the morning but I was quite shocked at how quiet it was by early afternoon. When I was going through to James Cook the lounge was never quiet.
Bishop was rebuilt and opened in early 2003 and already they have lost the A & E, alot of surgery has been moved away and now it seems that all thoracic medical and surgery will be moved, along with the chemo lounge for all treatments. It is a great hospital, clean, ideal for parking with plenty of room. I can't understand why they are trying to close the place down. Yes we need centres of excellence, more cases through the door equals better techniques and developments on the surgical front, but chemo is chemo, sometimes a hip operation is a hip operation and what new advancements can be achieved there.
Our other local hospital is Darlington, its old, unclean, poor parking. The labour government doesn't want people travelling to hospital using cars etc, but when you're ill you want to go door to door, not walk half a mile for a bus etc. The PCT should be looking at what is more benefical for the patient sometimes rather than whats more benefical for them. As our parents get older we want ease and accessibilty to be able to take them in and out. I know I sound like I'm against large hospitals but I'm not, but equally I think that the large towns should also have their own hospitals. They might not be able to treat everything but if someone needs a big operation they could take them to the centre of excellence then after the critical surgery time is over bring them back to the local hospital where parking isn't a problem and the relatives haven't miles to travel.
Cancer patients need that little bit more of personal attention, we don't want to be stressed out driving 30 miles to the main hospital, driving round 30 minutes for a parking space then find yourself sitting in the corridor having chemo administered while everyone is walking past. (I've been there!) Why can't our local hospitals still run the chemo lounges and patients see their consultants at their local hospital. Bishop Auckland covers a wide range of out of area villages and small towns. Travelling into Darlington, Middlesbrough or Durham adds time, more carbon footprints and a waste of a good functional hospital at Bishop.
In today's world all of our records and history are suppose to be on a networked computerised system, you should be able to have your records pulled up anywhere so why can't our little hospitals be utilised more for outpatient appointments, xrays, CT's etc and leave the Centre of Excellence Hospitals as the major and critical surgery and medicine centres. This free's up lots of car parking spaces and more time for Doctors to spend with patients.
Another thing, when they make appointments why don't they give new patients longer slots for the first appointment, this would help ease the Doctors running late. I know on the statistics they have got round this by saying your appointment is 3.00pm you get called through at 3.05, they take your weight then you wait. On their sheets they have marked you down as been attended to, government targets met!
Guess that's my moan for the day, what I will say is that before Bishop's new hospital even opened the doors people rumoured that it would only be open for a few years before it was closed down, I hope and pray that the local trust changes its mind and keeps this quality hospital open.