Sick people in Budleigh area can’t get to medical appointments due to lack of voluntary drivers

“People across Budleigh Salterton are missing vital medical appointments due to of a severe lack of voluntary car drivers.

Transport charity TRIP, which runs Budleigh Voluntary Car Service, has eleven drivers helping out, but most can only do limited times and days.

Neil Hurlock, office manager for the charity, said: “We desperately need more drivers.

“We are turning away several people a week because we have not got drivers.

“We had a case where we had no drivers available one day – this happened two weeks on the trot.”

The car service was created to provide transport by car for disabled people or frail elderly people who struggle to use public transport – either because there is no transport available or because they cannot walk to a bus stop or easily climb on and off a bus.

As well as covering Budleigh, the service extends to residents living in Colaton Raleigh, East Budleigh, Otterton, Woodbury, Woodbury Salterton and Yettington.

Mr Hurlock said a lack of on-call drivers could have serious implications to those relying on the service to get to appointments.

He said: “It means some of our users will not be able to attend medical appointments. If we do not get more drivers, then people are unfortunately going to be continuing to miss appointments.

“That is going to have a knock-on effect on their health because they will not be getting to their appointments at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

“We want to make sure these people are attending their appointments.”

The voluntary car scheme sees people utilise their own vehicles to help people visit hospitals and go shopping.

Anyone can become a voluntary driver and full training is provided by TRIP.

The charity also offers the opportunity for those interested to attend a ride-along to see if they are suited for the role.

The charity offers 45p a mile in fuel expenses.

For more information, drop into the TRIP offices in New Street, Honiton, or call 01404 46529.”

https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/voluntary-drivers-needed-in-budleigh-devon-1-6329908

“New report reveals alarming shortage of country doctors”

“Hospitals in rural and coastal Britain are struggling to recruit senior medical staff, leaving many worryingly “under-doctored”, a major new report seen exclusively by the Observer reveals. Some hospitals in those areas appointed no consultants last year, raising fears that the NHS may become a two-tier service across the UK with care dependent on where people live.

Disclosure of the stark urban-rural split emerged in a census of consultant posts across the UK undertaken by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), whose president, Andrew Goddard, has warned that patients’ lives may be at risk because some hospitals do not have enough senior doctors.

Just 13% of consultants appointed in England last year went to hospitals serving mainly rural or coastal areas, with the other 87% being hired by those with mainly urban populations.
…”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/13/nhs-consultant-shortage-rural-coastal-areas?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Doctors fear winter crisis chaos is looming in Devon”

“Fears of a winter crisis chaos across hospitals have been raised after new figures have shown A&E waiting times in parts of Devon are already worse than would be expected during the hardest months of the year.

NHS figures show 72.8 per cent of people arriving at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS trust’s major A&Es waited less than four hours before being admitted, discharged or transferred.

It is the trust’s worst performance since A&E waiting times began to be measured on a monthly basis in June 2015. Performance has been deteriorating at the trust since March this year. The target is 95 per cent.

The RD&E says the reason is due to ‘very high’ patient demand, staffing pressures and shortages in the care sector.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has warned poor A&E performance in September meant the NHS was on a “collision course” for what is likely to be the worst winter ever.

Overall, 81.9 per cent of patients waited less than four hours at all A&Es and minor injury units run by the RD&E in September.

Across England, 77 per cent of people waited less than four hours in major A&Es in September before being admitted, discharged or transferred.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “The NHS has just experienced its worst-ever summer. This is incredibly alarming and should be taken as a serious warning sign of the chaos that is likely to unfold in the NHS this coming winter.

“With summer performance now as bad as recent winters, we have reached a point of year-round crisis and the Government cannot continue to let this happen.

“September A&E waits were the worst performance record outside of winter since 2010 and trolley waits and referrals to treatment are worse than we have seen in the last decade.

“Patient care is suffering, NHS staff working tirelessly around the clock are suffering, and with Brexit on the horizon and early indicators of an extremely cold winter, we are on a collision course for what is likely to be the worst winter ever.

“This is a serious plea – we need to see investment across the board including community and social care, and resources such as more beds, reaching the frontline now.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/doctors-fear-winter-crisis-chaos-3419929

Nurse shortage now a serious Health and Safety issue for patients and nurses

“The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has published a report today, called ‘Standing up for patient and public safety’, outlining the serious staffing crisis and its potential causes.

The report warns of the need for legal responsibilities regarding the supply and planning of the health and care workforce. It says they need ‘Investment, long-term solutions and legislation to futureproof the workforce’.

This comes after current NHS figures show that there are now a record 43,671 empty nursing positions in the NHS in England alone, with 12% of posts are now without a full time Registered Nurse (RN).

RCN have stated in the report that there must be clearer roles, responsibility and accountability with workforce planning and supply, clearly defined in law.

Since 2017, the number of nurses in England joining the professional register for the first time has consistently been lower than the number of people leaving the register,
Recent polling for the RCN pointed out that 80% of the public agrees that the Government should have a legal responsibility for ensuring there are enough nursing staff.

This issue is having a knock-on effect on patient care, with new analysis showing that wards working with less than 50% of the expected registered nurses were twice as likely to admit they had to compromise on care.

This is why RCN have said, it is no longer the time to be discussing whether we need law, but rather how we secure these vital changes in legislation.

Despite the fact that The Health and Social Care Act (2012) devolved many of the roles and responsibilities on this issue, the RCN report shows that the subsequent poor clarity across all parts of the health system has left parts of it in ‘limbo’ and limited any potential progress on the staffing the crisis.

Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said:

“Nurses are working harder than ever to deliver safe patient care but are being held back by a system that is legally lacking teeth. Despite the public, patients and nurses all agreeing that clarity is needed on responsibilities for delivering enough nurses, we have yet to see any government pledge anything of the like, and as a result are staring down the barrel at a record 43k empty nursing posts.

“We know how dangerous it can be when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care, but at present, almost all accountability rests with the frontline nurse working on the understaffed ward, rather than those responsible for the system they work in. We believe the time has come for change and that patient care was future-proofed by law, and that from the government down, decision makers are held to account.

“Without these bold changes, the public and staff within health and care services cannot be confident that safe and effective care can be delivered, risking the health of patients now and in the future.”

In September, after pressure from RCN members, NHS England and NHS Improvement stated that the issue of accountability for workforce planning and supply remains an area that needs be resolved.

The alarming new report indicates clearly why action is needed to tackle the current workforce crisis but also to ensure there is a sustained investment in the future workforce, at least £1bn per year, according to the RCN.”

http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Health-Service-Focus/nursing-workforce-have-shrunk-at-an-alarming-rate-says-rcn-as-nursing-vacancies-rise-to-record-highs

Swire making promises he can’t keep before he exits

Swire says the only community beds in his constituency that have closed may have a brighter future ahead.

This comes from a speech made by the Health Secretary at the Tory Party Conference about ALL community hospital beds in England, not just the one in his constituency. It was a very vague statement about cons “no further cuts”.

That’s as much as Owl will report on this except to say: seeing is believing, don’t believe any promises made at any party conference just before a possible election – and especially don’t take any notice of Swire, whose only job now is to sabotage the (excellent) chance of Claire Wright replacing him …