Through outsourcing of vital services at St Mary’s extensive wrecking is taking place to healthcare on the island. Around the country we know that amalgamation and hospital closures have been going on for decades. Moving facility, creation of “superhospitals”, existing big hospitals like Southampton, have long been the effect of centralisation for some time. They even say that it is because of “duplication” of services, although in many instances it has meant a reduction or closedown of a service. These things are obviously not in the public interest.
For some time hospitals have closed wards and cut beds for “efficiency” and either reduced staff or created a situation of relative employment cuts, after which millions had to be spent. Valuable assets owned by the NHS have been sold off for a pittance. Hospitals have had to re-open wards, find new space and scratch around for beds and try to recruit staff, relying on expensive agencies. It has gone on particularly through various crises, to try and restore stability. The high costs of restructuring through the misnamed “sustainability” will never be got back.
Despite community opposition, the closures and consolidations are still happening. Mergers and amalgamations are not in the public interest. They are extremely expensive, taking vital resources away from care, and they lead to the bogus centralisation of services, which are too far away for many residents.
The costs are much higher than if our hospitals were properly funded locally, the hospitals are often located far from local town transportation systems. Even if there is no brand new site, facility has to be enhanced at Southampton, which incurs transportation problems from the island and beyond.
Our demand is that wrecking stops, outsourcing off island and into private hands is reversed.
We must bring authority and decision-making into public hands, it may require new forms of public authority of our health service.
After all, the public has its interests and the privateers have theirs!