Bring back cottage hospitals to tackle health crisis, urges top GP

This is the obvious solution but the Tories don’t want to admit how cruel their policy of closing cottage hospitals was. None more hawkish than local District and County Councillors. – Owl

The NHS needs a “rethink” to deal with Britain’s increasing sick population, the former head of Britain’s family doctors has said.

Dame Clare Gerada, former chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, called for a new generation of cottage hospitals to offer better treatment to elderly people increasingly living longer with multiple illnesses.

“The problem with the NHS at the moment isn’t obesity, not really, and it isn’t really because we’re getting older, it’s actually because we’re getting older with chronic disease,” she told Times Radio.


“So for the last 20 years of our life, most of us are suffering from three, four, five, even ten long-term conditions and we’re living with those until our late 80s and early 90s. And the NHS was designed for a time when the average life expectancy was 67, when you tended to become unwell not long before that, and the NHS was geared up to provide acute care for those acute illnesses.”

Gerada, who will sit on The Times Health Commission, which launches today, led an ultimately unsuccessful campaign against David Cameron’s NHS reforms a decade ago and warned against another structural upheaval.

“Clearly what we need now is a rethink — not a top-down reorganisation, but a rethink about where the staff are, where staff are trained, where the resources are.”

She said ministers should consider “how we develop what I would call cottage hospitals — we used to have them and they all got closed down.”

She said beefing up care closer to home would help “deliver the two extremes of what patients need, which is one of acute necessary care, you break your leg, you’ve got an acute infection… but for the vast majority of patients today it’s the long-term chronic disease which isn’t really treated in a way that it should be.”

With waiting times for both emergency and routine care at record highs, The Times commission will take evidence from across the health service and draw up a radical blueprint for far-reaching reform of the NHS and social care.

2 thoughts on “Bring back cottage hospitals to tackle health crisis, urges top GP

  1. A good start would be to get rid of Sara Randall Johnson who is still chair of the DCC Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee, and was when many beds were lost. That committee decision has surely been proven a disaster and may have resulted in shortened or lost lives. It is an insult to keep Randall Johnson as chair. Here’s a link to the other members


  2. “may have resulted in shortened or lost lives”??

    For example, had Cottage Hospital beds still been available at the start of the CV19 crisis, elderly patients would most likely have been moved there (where there were many preparations to handle CV19 and where it could have been contained) rather than discharging them into Care Homes which were completely unprepared for the pandemic.

    As another example, there have been multiple occasions when all main hospital beds were full and patients ready for discharge but unable to be discharged due to lack of social care provisions. If anyone died due to ambulances queuing to deliver patients because beds were not available, then these can also be laid at the door of the decision to close cottage hospitals.

    It seems to me that this is at best highly likely and at worst almost certain that deaths could have been averted had the cottage hospitals remained open. This was a VERY predictable outcome – when you remove all the safety buffers for peak periods – and IMO any such deaths can directly attributed to the decision to close cottage hospitals.

    So yes, it is IMO a disgraceful insult for SRJ to remain as chair of this committee when IMO it is highly likely that people died as a consequence of her decision made despite the obvious risks and the predictions presented to her.


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