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CASUALTY

By David Vance On October 24th, 2011

I think this is a great idea, don’t you?

Patients suffering minor injuries will now be able to bypass hospital accident and emergency departments – but at a price. A consultant-led unit has opened at the Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast. Initial cost of treatment is £25 when triaged by the nurse practitioner. Treatment includes limited traumatic head, facial, ear, nose and throat conditions as well as eye injuries, cuts, burns, wounds and bruises. If you need to see a consultant, the cost is £90. A sliding scale of charges depends on tests, scans or X-rays and treatment required.  The unit is led by emergency medicine consultant Duncan Redmill, who says the unit is not in competition with the NHS. Mr Redmill said: “I believe that the growth of this kind of service from the private sector may ease the burden on the NHS.”

NHS A&E’s resemble bedlam more often than not, with a staggering lack of dignity afforded to patients. I had cause to take my father to the local A&E in his final few years and it was a truly horrible experience. Long waits, drunks fighting, foreign nationals arguing…just a MESS. I would happily pay to by-pass the NHS in this area and I wish Mr Redmill and his associates good fortune with their well-timed and welcome initiative. Hopefully other such  private facilities will pop up and we will have the one thing we lack at the moment – CHOICE.

5 Responses to “CASUALTY”

  1. I agree David about the bedlam at many A & E Departments and the lack of dignity afforded to patients. At the same time I do feel that the big, new GP practices that are springing up in our towns should be the ones to deal with these minor injuries.

    In my locality these huge GP centres are going up everywhere. They are well staffed, well equipped and generally very well run. They do cater for minor surgical procedures so in truth there should be no need under the NHS for anyone to have to pay for this service. After all our General Practitioners are reputed to be earning significant salaries and my own Doctors provide very good care.

    I do sympathise and can associate with your feelings over your own father’s experience. I encountered the same kind of thing when my late husband suffered what was to be a fatal heart attack on New Year’s Day. The place was full of drunks and there was no bed even in intensive care. This was many, many years ago I admit, but nevertheless the memory of that traumatic experience still causes me pain.

  2. David, The other thing I forgot to mention is that Practices in the NHS now offer a ‘Choose and Book’ service. A patient is not restricted to one hospital when requiring treatment. A couple of years ago when I needed to see a consultant myself I used the choose and book system and saw a consultant in a private hospital locally -completely free of charge!

  3. Marlloy

    Those are also interesting developments. I think everything should be focused on the patient, providing dignified and efficient service. I know of two A&E facilities here which are a nightmare at weekends. I don’t necessarily blame the staff but it’s a mess for sure and needs sorted. Any iniatitive that does this gets my vote!

  4. What must be remembered is that we no longer have a National Health Service. The Service delivered in England is different to the service delivered in Wales and that is different to the service delivered in Scotland and in Ulster. Health is a devolved competence – whether that makes one service better than the other three is highly probable depending upon what each devolved nation thinks is most important but we no longer get equal treatment.

  5. Excellent idea, I think.

    The best nurses I ever met in England came from Ireland, btw. I think more localized service and decentralized choice would be a great boon for you.

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