I AM appalled after reading about the treatment of some terminally-ill patients in South Tyneside.
It is unbelievable that they are having to be moved because of staff being moved to South Tyneside District Hospital to cope with an increase in emergency admissions.
It is no wonder that there has been an increase in people attending the A&E Department when the decision was made to close a drop-in centre.
Who on earth thought that the 100,000 people attending would just disappear into the clouds?
They have to go somewhere, and it seems now that the local hospital and its hard-working staff are having to bear the brunt of such a ludicrous decision.
What is happening now, however is that there is a knock-on impact on vulnerable people such as the patients from Jarrow’s Primrose Hill Hospital who are being sent to Ward 22.
How is it possible that they can be transferred from a specialist palliative care facility, to a ward in a hospital where it is well known that there are concerns with staff? How will these patients receive the right kind of care?
This is unsettling and distressing both for them and for their relatives, not least because it was not discussed with them in the first place.
The movement of 15 staff to the hospital’s A&E Unit without extra staff being put on Ward 22 must surely mean a deterioration in the care that will be given to these patients.
If, as Steve Jamieson states, few beds are currently occupied in that ward, why not move those staff to A&E, rather than the ones at Primrose Hill Hospital, which would then mean less financial, and more importantly, emotional cost. No one seems to have taken the thought of the patients and their relatives into account when making this decision.
Something should be done to make nursing and working within the NHS more of an attractive proposition, such as events for school pupils and see how the NHS offers a wealth of worthwhile occupations, or opportunities for work experience days.
Without investment both at a care level and at a recruitment level, these types of events that are causing distress to patients will continue, and will also happen at a more frequent level.
We must stop this and get staff in the right places and treatment centres available and open at the right times for people, including GP surgeries, otherwise more and more people will suffer unnecessarily.
Mr J Grant,