ATSSJH Newsletter - 14th February 2016


We have known for several years that NHS Lothian is indifferent to public opinion. We know that they organize focus groups to allegedly become ”informed” about the views of the public. But none of us have any idea who is on these groups and how they are in any way representative of our views.

When were YOU last asked if you would like to join a focus group? When were YOU last asked for your opinion about services at St. John’s?

However, the Chairman of NHS Lothian, Brian Houston, has now ADMITTED that he doesn’t care about the views of the West Lothian public!

In a candid email to one of his cronies on the Health Board referring to the public consultation exercise about the downgrading of the children’s ward he said, “I’m not bothered, and I don’t think we should pay them any heed.”

This means that NHS Lothian has no interest in consulting the public. Our views are to be ignored. AGAIN!

They have suckered the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health into producing a report which is now meaningless in the face of a blatant disregard for public opinion. Mr. Houston joins a long line of NHS Lothian functionaries who have no respect for the public. His indifference to the public has shown NHS Lothian for what it really is. He has cut the legs off the report before it has even been written! How strange that it will be published only AFTER the election in May. Can you guess why?

Mr. Houston should resign.

We also told you of the lies told by Jim Crombie, NHS Lothian’s Acute Services head honcho. He claimed that there was only one occasion when men and women were forced to share a bay and toilet facilities in the admissions unit at St John’s. We have been contacted by furious patients and staff to say that this is not true. This happens on a regular basis!! So we plan to create “Baywatch.” Based upon the experiences of our supporters, we will tell you when NHS Lothian forces men and women to share ward and toilet facilities when they are ill and at their most vulnerable.

NHS Lothian has a long track record of creating misery for their patients, who are forced to travel for miles to access facilities which have been centralised. Or they will be transported around Lothian in search of a bed. So this is just an added insult to a long line of indignities forced upon the sick.

Mr Crombie should resign.

Many people have contacted us expressing their concern that St. John’s will not be included as a topic for debate at the elections in May. This includes the children’s ward which is being downgraded right under our noses. We feel that services at St. John’s are vital for the wellbeing of the West Lothian community. Anyone standing for election, including the existing MSP’s, should declare their position publicly. They need to state clearly what they feel about the machinations of a health board which has stated that they don’t care about the public, and whose actions serve to create misery for patients.

What do YOU think?

More information about the mismanagement of the NHS in Lothian is emerging with each passing week.

There are issues about huge waits in A&E, staffing in the wards which is now so poor that NHS Lothian regularly goes to agencies to find nurses, and meltdown in IT. As we learn more we will keep you informed.

We are constantly being told that NHS Lothian has “capacity” issues. But they themselves are to blame because they sold over £100million of hospital sites and property assets in order to balance the books. So, the next time you are forced to wait in A&E for hours, the brutal fact, plain and simple, is that NHS Lothian sold off the bed to which you could have been admitted.

It isn’t just long waits in A&E. People are telling us that their operations are being cancelled at the last minute. Or they are being bumped off clinics to make way for patients from Edinburgh. On every aspect of patient care NHS Lothian is failing. Millions upon millions of pounds are being thrown at the private hospitals such as the Murrayfield, Shawfair Park and the Edinburgh Clinic. Yet waiting times are getting longer and things are getting worse for both patients and the front line staff.

We believe that the election in May should give people the chance to express their opinion about public services through the ballot box.

We believe that NHS Lothian and its senior officials should not be above the public that they are meant to serve.

We believe that honesty and transparency are essential in the public services.

So this is why we will continue to fight for our hospital and publicise all the ways that NHS Lothian are seeking to do it down.

Action to save St. John's Hospital Party, 19 Wilton Road, Edinburgh. EH16 5NX
Tel: 01501 228813 Mobile: 07917 076204
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