Letter: Do changes to the health service matter, so long as patients get the treatment they need, when they need it?

This reader explores the planned changed to the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service

front of ambulance

OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.

This from Hans Bromwich from Cowes. Ed


The Isle of Wight NHS Ambulance Strategy 2021-2023 paper makes for interesting reading.

The plan is to expand the role of paramedics, so, beyond their diagnostic skills, they are able treat and medicate patients in their own homes, hopefully removing the need for many patients to attend A&E, unless absolutely necessary.

Anxiety and uncertainty over government funding
Given this new extended role, paramedics will inevitably need to spend more time with some patients. Will paramedic numbers be increased in order to maintain safe levels of emergency cover on the Island?

The Trust says it hopes to invest in the IW Ambulance Service later this year, however, the Trust’s Director of Finance has expressed anxiety and uncertainty over government funding looking forward.

Behind Covid firewalls
Covid has had a huge impact right across our NHS. With GPs hunkered down behind their Covid firewalls many are struggling to meet their patients needs. For some patients, gaining access to their doctor is akin to winning the lottery.

There have been widespread reports of GP Practice telephones going unanswered, patients being turned away at the Practice door and told to go online.

Support from Ambulance Service gratefully received
Heaven help anyone who hasn’t got a computer, they simply don’t exist and perhaps very conveniently are invisible, that’s until they call 111/999, or present as a patient at St Mary’s A&E department.

With access to GPs for many Islanders effectively denied, any additional support the IW Ambulance Service can offer I am sure will be gratefully received.

Will paramedics usurp GPs?
As the governments transformation agenda gathers pace, will £100k+ GPs with ten years training, find themselves being usurped by a much cheaper substitute, paramedics with just two years training?

Does it matter?
Is this what’s really behind the new model of care being trialed on the Isle of Wight? Will it be rolled out nationally if successful on the Island?

Will the IW see the continuing demise of many GP practices in the community?

Does any of this real matter, just so long as patients get the treatment they need, when they need it?

Image: gwire under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 23rd April, 2021 8:21am

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Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

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11 Comments on "Letter: Do changes to the health service matter, so long as patients get the treatment they need, when they need it?"

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Tamara
Paramedics could even save us a journey to hospital and hours spent waiting in A&E. I like the idea of a paramedic coming to my home, rather than being taken to the hospital by ambulance with severe bursitis, waiting to see a doctor, swallowing a tablet and being discharged immediately with the rest of the packet, having to lean on a nurse and stagger outside, still in… Read more »
porter
Why all this nonsense talk about privatisation? The NHS has pots and pots of money, I mean, think of that ‘extra’ £350 million a week that’s been going in, yes EXTRA money every week that’s been going into our NHS since the beginning of the year. What do you mean, it hasn’t been? Boris promised it in big letters on the side of his Brexit Bus. Do… Read more »
nicola
‘Does any of this really matter?’ Well yes, it really does! Firstly, I am sure many paramedics are very good, but let’s not pretend that after two years training they have anywhere near the same skills as a GP’s with 10 years training. What we are seeing is the dumbing down of medical provision nationally, purely to save money. Many 111 services employ school leavers who simply… Read more »
snowwolf1
Depends on what your health issue is, I was visited by a paramedic who implied that he didn’t think there was anything seriously wrong but would arrange an ambulance. When I finally got collected by ambulance and taken to A&E and the basic tests taken I was put on blood transfusions for my whole period in A&E (over 8 hours) and then again on the ward overnight… Read more »
Tamara
Whether or not you get appropriate treatment for your medical problem also depends on which GP you consult. I had one for years who couldn’t be bothered to take time to diagnose your problem, just took a cursory look, told you what it was, printed out information, and sent you away as fast as possible. When you read the info, often you didn’t recognise the symptoms as… Read more »
Alternative Perspective

One tends to always hear the horror stories, the many, many good experiences often go unreported.

I have always found both paramedics on the island, and my GP, absolutely excellent; although I get concerned when I see the pressure they are increasingly working under.

VentnorLad
I’m firmly of the opinion that one of the greatest challenges for the NHS in the next few years will be expectation management. An ageing population is evidence of the success of our health services, but with it comes a greater burden of disease and longer survival with chronic health conditions. We’d all love to sit and have a long chat with a reassuring GP when we… Read more »
kerry

The biggest challenge for the NHS will be playing catch up with the 4 million patients awaiting treatment because this government has deliberately run our NHS into the ground, prior to the pandemic.

Creating wide spread public concern and anxiety over lengthy waiting times plays very neatly into the hands of those who want to introduce private health providers, and further undermine our NHS.

VentnorLad
The NHS is already undermined by private healthcare providers. Unfortunately the last Labour government under Blair and Brown only accelerated the damage already done (and still being done) by the Conservatives. The marketisation of health has done little for patients, but made a select few providers and their shareholders very wealthy. We would do well to remember that it’s politicians who’ve degraded the NHS, not the staff… Read more »
susan
You are correct that both Labour and the Conservatives are equally to blame, and it is interesting how silent Labour is over the privatisation of our NHS. As for NHS staff not being responsible for the degrading of the service, that is only partly true. Sir Simon Stevens is instrumental in driving the privatisation agenda, and many NHS Trust leaders and NHS Trust Directors are political appointments.… Read more »
Fenders

When you are trousering over £200k a year, with numerous benefits and performance packages, you are not going to want to jeopardise your lucrative position by going against what your politically appointed paymasters want to achieve, are you?

The privatisation of our NHS is being driven from within the NHS by those at the top of the organisation, pure and simple.