Senior consultant backs Echo blood test campaign

Senior consultant backs Echo campaign  to keep blood testing in Southend and Basildon hospitals

Senior consultant backs Echo campaign to keep blood testing in Southend and Basildon hospitals

First published in Southend

A CONSULTANT physician has branded plans to move blood testing services to Bedford Hospital “madness”.

Throwing his weight behind the Echo’s campaign to prevent pathology tests ordered by GPs being sent on an 88-mile journey for processing, John Mellor, who has been a consultant for 25 years, said the cost-cutting move had virtually no support in the medical community.

SIGN OUR PETITION HERE http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43260?ref=fetp

Dr Mellor, who worked as a consultant at Southend Hospital, specialising in general medicine, geriatric medicine and gastroenterology, said: “Based on my 25 years of experience as a consultant physician in Southend, madness is the only polite word I can find to describe plans to send tests to a centralised lab service in Bedford.

“So far I am only aware of one doctor supporting this move yet every colleague I have spoken with - both in hospital and general practice - opposes the proposal.”

Dr Mellor, a father of three who now works as a consultant at a private practise in Leigh, added: “As a result of these changes there will be an inevitable loss of scientific expertise from local hospital labs. On countless occasions a personal discussion with lab scientists has helped to resolve of difficult problems.

“This face to face interaction can't be replaced with a telephone call and can't be measured by the bean-counters bringing about theses changes.

“The bean counters of the world seem to only have interest in finance and the phrase " they know the price of everything and the value of nothing" comes to mind.”

Dr Mellor is the latest physician to support the Echo campaign. Dr Philip Kelly, who works at the acute medical unit at Southend Hospital has expressed concerns that the highly specialised service will “suffer for the sickest and most vulnerable patients in the district.”

Both Southend and Basildon Hospitals lost out on a bid to handle blood and other tests ordered by GPs under a scheme to centralise services. Despite huge local opposition, health officials maintain the move will not affect patient care.

 

THE chief executive of Bedford Hospital quit last year and a replacement hasn’t been chosen. Joe Harrison announced his sudden departure at the end of November.

At the time Unison said the announcement would affect morale among the 2,500 staff at the hospital.

Hospital spokesman Paul Cooper said the hospital was still not in a position to announce a replacement or to confirm when Mr Harrison would leave to take up a new post at Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Cooper said the hospital couldn’t comment further on how they hope to provide the new service until further meetings had been held but that they hope to do so soon.

Comments (9)

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7:22pm Sun 6 Jan 13

jolllyboy says...

Of course it will affect patient care. write everyone, dont let this happen, MPs PM, sign the govt petition on line or they are going to go ahead regardless of what everyone is telling them - THIS IS MADNESS.
Of course it will affect patient care. write everyone, dont let this happen, MPs PM, sign the govt petition on line or they are going to go ahead regardless of what everyone is telling them - THIS IS MADNESS. jolllyboy
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Devils Advocate says...

I suppose we will find out soon that all blood tests in non National Health hospitals are sent to Bedford for analysis? Of course not, and of course the right-wing will never have to live under the cuts they make for the rest of us. Then they moan about "privilege" when a Trades Union sends his child to a private school? What a bunch of hypocrites they are, and always have been!
I suppose we will find out soon that all blood tests in non National Health hospitals are sent to Bedford for analysis? Of course not, and of course the right-wing will never have to live under the cuts they make for the rest of us. Then they moan about "privilege" when a Trades Union sends his child to a private school? What a bunch of hypocrites they are, and always have been! Devils Advocate
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Sun 6 Jan 13

woolstone says...

What is worrying that I have been told that to get the most correct and best results it should be tested within a certain time frame after the blood has been taken, will this cause a problem with obtaining the best and correct results for patients.
What is worrying that I have been told that to get the most correct and best results it should be tested within a certain time frame after the blood has been taken, will this cause a problem with obtaining the best and correct results for patients. woolstone
  • Score: 0

10:48pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Elephantman2 says...

The bidding process was flawed but they are keeping that quiet; the result is that the current team at Southend lost the bid because Bedford were cheaper. However Bedford hadn't bid to deliver a large chunk of the service where as Southend had. The result is that GP's are now having to pay for additional services to cover the gaps making the Bedford bid far more expensive. The comparison on price was not apples for apples; this process is as bad and as flawed as the Virgin Rail issue; if not worse.This is a corrupt process and the question that needs to be asked is if there has been corruption at the heart of the decision making? This decision will cost some people their lives and every resident affected should be lobbying their MP and the NHS managment to get this reversed.
The bidding process was flawed but they are keeping that quiet; the result is that the current team at Southend lost the bid because Bedford were cheaper. However Bedford hadn't bid to deliver a large chunk of the service where as Southend had. The result is that GP's are now having to pay for additional services to cover the gaps making the Bedford bid far more expensive. The comparison on price was not apples for apples; this process is as bad and as flawed as the Virgin Rail issue; if not worse.This is a corrupt process and the question that needs to be asked is if there has been corruption at the heart of the decision making? This decision will cost some people their lives and every resident affected should be lobbying their MP and the NHS managment to get this reversed. Elephantman2
  • Score: 0

1:56am Mon 7 Jan 13

heartbeat says...

Elephantman2 wrote:
The bidding process was flawed but they are keeping that quiet; the result is that the current team at Southend lost the bid because Bedford were cheaper. However Bedford hadn't bid to deliver a large chunk of the service where as Southend had. The result is that GP's are now having to pay for additional services to cover the gaps making the Bedford bid far more expensive. The comparison on price was not apples for apples; this process is as bad and as flawed as the Virgin Rail issue; if not worse.This is a corrupt process and the question that needs to be asked is if there has been corruption at the heart of the decision making? This decision will cost some people their lives and every resident affected should be lobbying their MP and the NHS managment to get this reversed.
Interesting. Thanks for explaining that, Elephantman2.

This clearly needs to be taken up at a high level by someone who can't be ignored. Thanks to Dr. Mellor for saying what he thinks about the proposal. I don't think most people in the area are aware of what is being proposed and just how badly it could affect them (i.e. life or death!) and their children, their grandchildren, their parents, their grandparents etc. etc.

Maybe the Echo could organise a protest march, and local TV and radio companies might then pick up on this appalling proposal.

AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO SIGN THE GOVERNMENT PETITION AT THIS ADDRESS:
http://epetitions.di
rect.gov.uk/petition
s/43260
[quote][p][bold]Elephantman2[/bold] wrote: The bidding process was flawed but they are keeping that quiet; the result is that the current team at Southend lost the bid because Bedford were cheaper. However Bedford hadn't bid to deliver a large chunk of the service where as Southend had. The result is that GP's are now having to pay for additional services to cover the gaps making the Bedford bid far more expensive. The comparison on price was not apples for apples; this process is as bad and as flawed as the Virgin Rail issue; if not worse.This is a corrupt process and the question that needs to be asked is if there has been corruption at the heart of the decision making? This decision will cost some people their lives and every resident affected should be lobbying their MP and the NHS managment to get this reversed.[/p][/quote]Interesting. Thanks for explaining that, Elephantman2. This clearly needs to be taken up at a high level by someone who can't be ignored. Thanks to Dr. Mellor for saying what he thinks about the proposal. I don't think most people in the area are aware of what is being proposed and just how badly it could affect them (i.e. life or death!) and their children, their grandchildren, their parents, their grandparents etc. etc. Maybe the Echo could organise a protest march, and local TV and radio companies might then pick up on this appalling proposal. AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO SIGN THE GOVERNMENT PETITION AT THIS ADDRESS: http://epetitions.di rect.gov.uk/petition s/43260 heartbeat
  • Score: 0

1:57am Mon 7 Jan 13

heartbeat says...

I'll try the petition address again:

http://epetitions.di
rect.gov.uk/petition
s/43260
I'll try the petition address again: http://epetitions.di rect.gov.uk/petition s/43260 heartbeat
  • Score: 0

1:57am Mon 7 Jan 13

heartbeat says...

heartbeat wrote:
I'll try the petition address again:

http://epetitions.di

rect.gov.uk/petition

s/43260
Oh well, I tried!
[quote][p][bold]heartbeat[/bold] wrote: I'll try the petition address again: http://epetitions.di rect.gov.uk/petition s/43260[/p][/quote]Oh well, I tried! heartbeat
  • Score: 0

12:15pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Saisho says...

Funny how it is only hospital consultants who speak out against the proposals. Where are the GPs? Have they been silenced by threats to cuts in their funding if they dare oppose the plans. I believe that must be the case. Who in the GP community actually agrees with this?
Funny how it is only hospital consultants who speak out against the proposals. Where are the GPs? Have they been silenced by threats to cuts in their funding if they dare oppose the plans. I believe that must be the case. Who in the GP community actually agrees with this? Saisho
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Wed 9 Jan 13

cgb says...

I'm so glad to see this story and the comments on here. Slowly the NHS is being privatised by the back door and a huge number of MPs have financial interests in private healthcare companies. The bidding process was flawed. If the people of Southend want local services kept local they need to start shouting and fighting for it now!
I'm so glad to see this story and the comments on here. Slowly the NHS is being privatised by the back door and a huge number of MPs have financial interests in private healthcare companies. The bidding process was flawed. If the people of Southend want local services kept local they need to start shouting and fighting for it now! cgb
  • Score: 0

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