Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Trust hit the national headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, with our town’s MPs quick off the mark to try and score political points.
I have to say as a journalist I do find it very frustrating how the tabloid press try and make political statements and distort the facts – this so called exclusive story is about something introduced last September which no one has used!
So it has had zero impact on NHS waiting times – and there are certainly no NHS surgeons standing over seriously ill people demanding £18k before they will operate.
The NHS is far from perfect and waiting times are often far too long – but our hospital and especially our hard working NHS staff don’t deserve headlines like “NHS hospital demands £18k for hip ops” which is totally inappropriate and factually wrong!
Apart from the fundamental problem that there will never be enough money to provide immediate free treatment for our ever increasing ageing population, we also have the massive issue of a two tier health service, with well paid, highly qualified doctors and surgeons working in both.
It is a well known fact that if you pay a fee to see someone privately, it helps you queue jump.
Until this issue is resolved we are always going to have problems with patient treatment times in the NHS as there are only so many working hours in the day – and if someone is going to spend time working privately, they are certainly not going to be able to be in two places at once.
Warington & Halton Hospitals NHS Trust Chief executive Mel Pickup explains in full detail the situation in our article below.
The funding issues lie firmly at the door of the complex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which operates differently from area to area.
In short the whole health service and funding of it needs a major overhaul – but we all know that any way!