I covered the story about the impact of the PFI regime on a number of hospitals last week. This week more pronouncements which I think,reading between the lines add up to a coming real financial problem around ongoing levels of health provision, and the risk of the disproportionate loss of smaller hospitals and rural provision. See what you can decode for rural communities from the pronouncements of the Head of the NHS Confederation below:

Mr Farrar said politicians had failed to act.

“The barriers that have traditionally stopped the NHS tackling financial problems and improving care for patients must be tackled head on.

“Foremost among these is political support. There is no doubt the NHS must get better at making the case for change. But it won’t matter a jot without political support to approve controversial decisions and get them implemented.

“Frankly, politicians have consistently failed – over many years and at national and local level – to put the long-term interests of their population’s health above their short-term electoral interests.

“We need the politicians of all parties to back more change and help explain why to the public. We must end the inertia that stops the NHS sorting out financial problems. We must end the inertia that prevents us from saving lives.”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley warned earlier this week that beds, wards and even whole services would close under the controversial reforms to give greater control to consortia of doctors.

He argued the changes would lead to “better services”, as more people will be treated in the home, rather than hospitals.

He has promised to protect “front line services”, but around 60 hospitals are suffering dire financial problems because of deals sign with private companies under Labour.

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One Response to Hospital services need to close to improve care for patients: head of NHS Confederation

  1. Khai says:

    I would like to make a comment about nurse trianing. I was a student nurse from 1993 until 1996. I followed in a family tradition, as my mother is a nurse who trained at St. Thomas’s Hospital, and went on to train as a midwife and eventually a Health Visitor. My mother carried on working into her seventies, such was the demand for Health Visitors in Luton at the time. By contrast I was failed at the end of a three year trianing course, based at the University of Hertfordshire and St. Albans and Hemel Hempstead Hospital. I desperately wanted to be a nurse, but the course, and the tutors were what i can only describe as inadequate. I was actually failed on my final placement at the BUPA hospital in Bushey, having passed all other placements and the written work that was required. I was bitterly dissappointed, after three years dedicated hard work, to be told i was not good enough to be a nurse. I was told i could not retake the placement. But not only was it dissappointing for me, but a terrible waste of money and resources to put someone through all that trianing for nothing. There were a lot of failings with the course. There was a lack of discipline amongst students (I got into trouble when a student nurse was kicking my chair during a lecture, and i complained and walked out. I was reprimanded for making a complaint). There were a huge number of foreign students, and they appeared to get preferential treatment. But there was a drop out rate of 50% apparently. I at least completed the course, but was judged not good enough to qualify. My reasons for wanting to train as a nurse were based on personal experience. I think of myself as a compassionate and caring person. I had completed a three year degree course at Aberystwyth University, and in my final year, a dear uncle died, suddenly, with an aortic aneurysm, then my only serious boyfriend, during my time as a student, tried to commit suicide. I left university with the idea that becoming a student nurse would be the thing to do.I am not sure how trianing courses are run now. But during my time at the University of Hertfordshie, nurse tutors seemed to live in Ivory Towers, rarely venturing onto wards and lecturing by rote from text books with what seemed little practical, hands on, experience.If you want to help the NHS, then it needs to start with the way nurses are trained, not wasting resources, and policing universities who do not uphold standards of trianing.