Shropshire Star comment: We must have faith in health service
The quality of health provision in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin remains a cause for serious concern. For too long, there have been question marks over the future of accident and emergency and maternity units.
The enduring problems of Future Fit continue to worry many. What ought to have been a process rooted in efficiency and rationalisation has instead become a byword for muddled thinking, confusion and delay. And so the fact that Sath has been given an inadequate rating during its latest inspection is troubling.
There is no doubt that that the doctors and nurses on the frontline of local health services do a wonderful job. Each and every day they go above and beyond the call of duty to help others, to save lives, to manage long-standing health issues and to ensure comfort for the vulnerable and needed. Inspectors recognised their contribution and provided a praiseworthy assessment of their efforts.
However, the bigger picture shows the challenges facing the hospitals and there are worrying comments about the safety of some areas. It cannot be right that some people visit hospital and find themselves in unsatisfactory situations – when they ought to be safer than anywhere else.
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A root and branch look at our local health services is necessary. And improved critical thinking should be applied so that any systemic or strategic flaws are rooted out. And it is equally important that health officials are transparent and accountable as they seek to make improvements. For good health care is not merely about what health workers do, it is also about the way they are perceived.
It is essential, for instance, that we the general public have faith and trust in our hospitals. They must be sure that when they step foot inside a hospital they will receive the best care available.
We understand that in the modern era, our needs and wants are not always the same. Hospitals do not have sufficient resources to provide every service that we might seek. Some drugs are too expensive, some treatments simply not possible. But the basics must always be right. And at the moment there are too many problems, too many flaws.
Future Fit is looming and it is vital that whatever happens next must address the issues raised by the CQC – and restore confidence in this vital service.