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Do the maths on bus cut

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 10:30

From Mick Dennison, Freshwater:
SUDDENLY, at short notice, patient transport to Queen Alexandra Hospital has been scuttled and will not run after today (Friday), making two compassionate drivers redundant, and patients uncertain as to how they will get to the hospital.  
Wessex Cancer Trust ran the bus under their banner, but it too has been part of the mystery of why the service is ending and making no attempt to cover the service or fund raise to keep it going. Yet it willingly holds out its hands for donations. 
Irrespective of financial implications, there is the time aspect. Most patients travel daily to have 20 or more treatments. Each day can take up to six hours of travelling, waiting and treatment time. 
That is assuming all is well with the four Clinac radiotherapy machines and none are out of service. If one breaks down, which is a regular occurrence, the day can be even longer.
So if, in future, patients have to wait for taxis or public service buses (which are not direct to the hovercraft) who knows how long the day will be....all for ten minutes’ treatment.
This situation is disgraceful and if this withdrawal is finalised, anyone who is infirm will have enormous issues accessing treatments and may well decide that in effect treatment is denied them by the hurdles they have to jump.
I believe the CCG should think again about the withdrawal of funds. The NHS and St Mary’s may well be in financial difficulties but this cost-cutting decision is a step too far.
Consider this: IW NHS chief executive Maggie Oldham is to spend £60,000 on office moves. That equates to 30 months of running costs for the bus...need I say more?

 


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