* How emergency services will be dealing with Leicester’s busy Christmas period
Pages 8 and 9 “’To be treated in the way he was I think is disgraceful’” – pressure to change treatment of very elderly
p. 12 NATIONAL, brief: “Homeless A&E surge”
* p. 15 a letter by Robert Ball under “Hospital trust should publish details of plan”:
Around 1 in 15 planned operations at University Hospitals Leicester are being cancelled within a month of due date a Freedom of Information request showed.
Cancellations are due to a lack of beds, staff (around 600 nurses are needed at UHL) or operating theatres.
For instance, a 82-year-old patient Simon (not his real name) with bowel cancer had a vital operation cancelled twice causing great distress to him and close friends.
Delays lead to patients suffering pain and distress in the UK every year when they had to wait longer than expected for their surgery.
Lack of beds is the most common non-clinical reason why patients undergoing planned, non-emergency inpatient surgery have their operations cancelled.
NHS operation waiting lists has reached 10-year high at 4.52m patients.
In England around 16,000 hospital beds (1 in 8 hospital beds) have been lost since 2010 when the Tory-LibDem coalition formed a government.
Bed numbers at UHL are low compared to the national average, services are over stretched and there are not enough beds to allow patients to move out of the new A&E department into the rest of the Royal Infirmary.
No wonder the remaining hospital beds are full to overflowing for most of the year.
The underlying solution to cancelled operations is more beds, more doctors and more nurses.
We know our local NHS hospitals are in desperate need of upgrade and that UHL Trust will receive £450m funding for their reconfiguration plans is very welcome.
However, we the public do not know the proper details. We are in the dark-as to what their bed proposals are.
Nevertheless, we do know UHL plans move from a 3 to a 2 site hospital complex that close the General as an acute hospital and consolidate services onto the Royal Infirmary and the Glenfield Hospital. But with the same number of beds?
UHL are aiming for a public consultation in March 2020 – after land at the General Hospital has gone on? the market at the start of 2020 so maybe sold before consultation is completed. Ending prospects of expanding hospital facilities their in the future.
Yet UHL’s plans to reorganise acute hospitals services – worryingly, appear not to include an increase in hospital beds to cater for rising demand and a growing population.
UHL’s detailed plans should be put into the public domain and with a pause before consultation begins.
This will allow time for the UHL plans to be considered and show the proper respect the public deserves, transparency and openness.
We need to ensure the plans are adequate because if they’re wrong we are locked into inadequate health facilities for the next two decades or more.
p. 15 a letter by Tom Barker, Save Our NHS Leicestershire, under “Why Tory candidate was ‘empty-chaired’”
* Area to ‘off-load’ patients to be opened at Leicester Royal Infirmary to free up ambulances
* Leicester hospitals open emergency winter wards as data reveals they were on ‘black alert’
p. 12 NATIONAL, brief: “Trump: We’re not interested in NHS
p. 12 NATIONAL, brief: “Abortion pill access” – RCOG plans to make access easier