ATSSJH Newsletter - 26th January 2016

Stop this cover up – NOW !!!

A few weeks ago we brought to your attention that NHS Lothian was deliberately withholding the report on the fate of our children’s ward at St. John’s until after the election in May. We expected a few responses but what started as a trickle is now a flood! Patients, staff, even senior managers, are contacting us through our website and on Facebook. Examples of mismanagement, bullying, and manipulation of statistics dominate; the almost daily mixing of men and women in admissions unit bays at St. John’s-not just ONE example as claimed by Mr. Crombie-has also been brought to our attention.

We simply don’t know what to present to you next!

The mismanagement of our local health service now attracts UK wide attention, with weekly articles in national newspapers-and weekly apologies from a beleaguered NHS Lothian!!

We would encourage you in the strictest confidence and with total anonymity to contact us about ANYTHING that is happening at St. John’s which you think is harming patient care.

The suppression of the report into the children’s ward is another scandal which has engulfed the top echelons of NHS Lothian including its medical director, Dr. Farquharson.  Their assertions that the report could not be done in time for the next election are dubious at best. Mr. Crombie, who, amongst other things, is responsible for a multimillion pound waiting list disaster, asserted that the report would be delayed because the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – was unable to provide an “engaging public expert” sic. But what of the months of delay in instructing the review? Has Mr. Crombie deliberately misled the public and the politicians who serve us? We’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

What do you think?

Talking about waiting times, we have had numerous complaints from patients that their guaranteed appointments have been cancelled. NHS Lothian said that this involved only cardiology patients but it seems clear that other specialities have been affected.

Or will NHS Lothian deny this?

Lothian is the only health board in Scotland to receive millions of pounds from the Scottish Government to reduce the waiting lists and then throw it straight at the private sector. How much money has gone this way? Well, we can’t tell you since NHS Lothian has admitted that they don’t know!! If you don’t believe us then read this article here:

So, even though NHS Lothian spends millions of pounds of our money in the private sector, the waiting lists just keep growing and growing!  So, not only has Mr. Crombie lied about mixed bays and misled the public about the children's ward review process, but he is presiding over an ongoing train crash of waiting list management costing us millions of pounds.

He should go. NOW.

Accountability for one’s personal as well as corporate conduct lies at the heart of any public body. NHS Lothian and its senior executives are failing on both these counts.  They consider themselves unaccountable both to the public and to government.

NHS Lothian takes government money specifically to reduce waiting lists.  Yet it doesn’t know how much it spends in the private sector. And the waiting lists are getting longer and longer.

When will our politicians rein in a health board which is a law unto itself?

Its senior executives mislead the public, then also attempt (through a series of dubious excuses) to suppress a report which is vital for the children’s ward and indeed for the whole hospital. The last thing that NHS Lothian wants is informed public debate. They cannot stomach the idea that their plans will be subject to proper scrutiny in the glare of an election campaign. Instead, they want to get the report out by stealth after the election and just before people go on their summer holidays.

We said publish the report BEFORE the election!!  This is how democratic debate works. Now, as a result of a convoluted review process contrived by NHS Lothian NOT to deliver the report, an issue of major significance for West Lothian cannot be subjected to proper debate during the election. Like the rest of the downgrading of St. John's we will be told what Edinburgh has decided when it is too late to stop it.

We intend to publicise everything that is going on at St. John’s. This is our hospital. We don’t believe that a small clique in Edinburgh should devalue and diminish healthcare for the people of West Lothian.

We believe that it is wrong that all the staff who work so hard at St. John’s to provide good care for their patients should have their efforts undermined by senior managers. We have seen the emails asking that patients should be “discharged as soon as possible” or “boarded” immediately to unsuitable wards. No mention from the NHS Lothian managers about providing good care for these patients because that is not on their agenda!

We believe that it is wrong that men and women who are seriously ill should be forced to share a bay and a single, common bathroom. This is degrading and it is inhumane. And it is being done solely for the reason that NHS Lothian can then claim to be meeting their four-hour target!

We believe that it is wrong for NHS Lothian senior executives to make statements which are at best misleading and at worst downright lies. They are playing us for fools because they think that they are unaccountable to the public and to government.


There is more coming…………….


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