According to research we in the U.K. are;
1.Below the level of eastern block countries for our cancer survival rates;
2.There are inherent dangers in cardiac patients and people with other
chest/breathing difficulties being transported distances to obtain appropriate medical care;
3.And if you live in North London, where patients have to be transported through dense London traffic up to TWELVE MILES to have heart and breathing problems dealt with, you are likely to have even weaker survival chances. Even weaker than what? Someone who has to travel hundreds of miles for similar treatments?
Okay, we are keenly aware as consumers that our medical services can be well below first world country standards. If you live, as I do, in a remote area such lacks are even more pronounced.
Transporting of patients over huge distances is a perennial requirement here; when available (note ‘when‘)helicopters have to transport severe life-threatening cases to not one hospital but two, sometimes even, three. Often the first is a triage and holding station, the second is another triage and specialist assessment and the third is the one where the specialised resources reside, if all that is needed doesn’t exist at hospital number two. Two hops can be made if it is clear from the outset what services are needed that do not exist in the region. The examining doctor needs to be familiar with regional resources The distances covered are about 300 miles, if within Scotland.
For the very infirm, limited ambulance transport just might be available either for county out-patients’ requirements (40 miles round trip) or regional ones 240 miles round trip. Otherwise, you may be fortunate to be squeezed into a taxi with several other frail people, to meet up with a hospital service minibus 50 miles down the road. For other ambulance needs, perhaps a maternity emergency that can only be dealt with at regional HQ, an ambulance would have to be found and a midwife organised, this, sometimes with difficulty.
I have absolutely no sympathy with twelve miles for a North London Hospital, I heard bemoaning the problem in its own terms this morning. This is a hospital I became extremely familiar with last year. A filthier, dirtier medical establishment in the U.K. I have yet to see. It is no wonder Chase Farm Hospital near Enfield is a failing hospital. In my view, it would be safer, if any of our hospitals can be construed as safe, to go elsewhere, even if it is three or four miles further on.
The variables used in the research models would be worth a quick look just so we could say “I could have told you so, without the expense of research”. However, in days when everything we query has to have evidence to back it up, such basic facts have to be ‘researched’ to point out the obvious.