12 HOUR VIGIL on 20th September 2008. Over 400 signatures collected.

12 HOUR VIGIL on 20th September 2008. Over 400 signatures collected.
photo copyright News Shopper.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Dare we hope??????

All credit to the thousands of local residents who, over the course of 2008, have protested one way or another against the planned closures at Queen Mary's Hospital. Their protests have not been in vain.

The Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, has written to me saying that he will pass any referral that he receives from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, something he doesn't have to do. This is excellent news as the future of Queen Mary's will now be in the hands of experts who have no political remit and who are not personally involved in the proposed reconfiguration and loss of services.

Coupled with the fact that the Chief Executive of Queen Mary's has announced her resignation to be replaced, possibly, by someone who puts the local residents first and not our discredited politicians, can we dare to hope that Queen Mary's can be saved as a fully-admitting hospital?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Bromley Council and the disappearing £5,000,000

It should come as no surprise to anyone, not that Bromley Council has possibly lost a £5,000,000 deposit in a failed Icelandic bank, but that Bromley Council has multiples of this sum to put on deposit.

Since the inception of Council Tax, the yearly increases have outstripped inflation yet Bromley Council does not appear to be spending our money on local services, but squirreling it away.

Bromley Council leader, Stephen Carr, should not be in a position to play the markets with our money. He does not have the skills to do so and he should not have been able to tuck this money away whilst all the while cutting vital services in the Borough.

If he can't get our money back then he and the councillors responsible for this situation should be considering their positions.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Letter to News Shopper: 1st October 2008

It is disingenuous in the extreme to the local population for John Austin MP to claim (News Shopper letters) that "all the evidence shows this [a more specialised A&E and major trauma centre] will save lives and aid recovery."

Why can't we have this at Queen Mary's?

We now know that some of the A&E patients will have to go to Darent Valley Hospital, some 11 miles away. As for "all the evidence" Mr Austin doesn't provide any. No less a body than The British Medical Association last year, in responding to Lord Darzi's healthcare review, reported that increased journey distance to hospital is associated with increased risk of mortality.

Mr Austin then writes, "not every hospital can do everything."

Why not?

A shortage of consultants is blamed but where's Mr Austin's government's NHS money going? Not on training consultants. doctors and nurses but on management consultants which cost the NHS about £1.5 billion a year and PFI payments which will cost the NHS over £2 billion a year by 2013, to name but two.

Queen Mary's won't "remain a hospital providing vital services" and it won't be providing life-saving services to the 26,000 very major health emergencies each year that will first have a trip up or down the A20 or across Chislehurst, Bickley and beyond to look forward to before getting to an A&E.

VIGIL - 20th September 2008

Vigil for Queen Mary's Hospital raises awareness of plans to close vital services
The 12-hour Vigil for the future of Queen Mary's Hospital organised by Independents to save Queen Mary's Hospital held on Saturday 20th September collected 400 signatures on a petition objecting to the flawed process which led to the closure decision being taken (if it hadn't already been decided pre-consultation).

With placards showing the distances to the nearest hospitals, travelling times and bed-occupancy rates it was no surprise that over 1,000 motorists passing the Vigil energetically responded to the "Give a hoot for your hospital" notice.

Campaign leader John Hemming-Clark commented: "It was a very noisy day, but it went to show the strength of feeling that this decision to close vital services has aroused. All is not lost, by any means. With an independent review and judicial review application being prepared the decision to close is now out of the hands of the bureaucrats and into the hands of the Secretary of State and the High Court. Let's hope the Secretary of State is listening, not only to the people in and around Queen Mary's but also to those living further away whose A&Es and other departments in their local hospitals will also be affected.

Yesterday I visited the A&E of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich. I met a man who had had a fall and believed that he had broken his ankle. The A&E was full to bursting, no wheel chairs were available and he was going to have a 6 hour wait. He was told that Queen Mary's A&E had no waiting and so he went over there!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Rejected by 10 Downing Street!!!

It appears the Prime Minister does not want anything to do with Queen Mary's Hospital. I have had an electronic petition rejected as being "impossible to understand." My nine-year old son understands the wording so what conclusion am I to draw other than my petition has been censored? The full reply from 10 Downing Street is as follows:

Hi, I'm sorry to inform you that your petition has been rejected. Your petition was classed as being in the following categories:
* Wording that is impossible to understand
Further information: Your title should be a clear call for action, preferably starting with a verb, and not a name or statement.
If you wish to edit and resubmit your petition, please follow the following link: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/itsqmh/CheEtPDabvy1B5gJq1AYqLS
You have four weeks in which to do this, after which your petition will appear in the list of rejected petitions.
Your petition reads: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to: 'stop the planned closures of the Accident & Emergency, Maternity, Intensive Care units and other vital services at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup because the consultation process was flawed. The process was flawed as the A Picture of Health questionnaire did not give respondents the opportunity to choose for Queen Mary's to be retained as a fully admitting hospital. All three options presented included downgrading Queen Mary's notwithstanding the majority of the 23 long list options advocating Queen Mary's remaining or becoming a fully / medically admitting hospital.'
The closure of Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup's A&E, Maternity, Intensive Care units and other vital services will put intolerable pressure on the other 3 outer south east London hospitals and Darent Valley Hospital. There is no spare capacity in the other hospitals and with a forecast growth in the population over the next ten years of 100,000 the above decision is short-sighted in the extreme. Those that will suffer most will be, once again, the most vulnerable. This includes the poor, the elderly, young families and the seriously ill. -- the ePetitions team

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Appeal reaches £2,000

Many thanks to all those who have donated to the appeal to raise enough to fund a judicial review. £2,000 has already been raised but we still have a long way to go. The most heart-warming letter received so far was from a gentleman who wrote, "Please find enclosed a cheque for £40 which is a week's war disablement pension. I hope that you will be able to raise the amount you require to take this very important cause to so many of us to the High Court."

Please don't forget the Vigil on 20th September outside Queen Mary's Hospital. Please come and show your support anytime between 8.00am and 8.00pm. If you are able please bring a banner. There will be a petition to sign and more information about what we will be doing in the coming months.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Appeal launched to raise £75,000

No one is listening to us – we the people who live in the area and the businesses that operate here. We all need a fully-admitting hospital locally. As Queen Mary’s is now under imminent danger of closure of its emergency and other vital services we’re taking the fight to the High Court. But we don’t have much time.
We need to raise £75,000 to cover the cost of a judicial review. It is a lot of money. However, 1,000 donations of £75 are achievable. Please donate as much as you can afford and tell your friends and work colleagues about this appeal. Fundraise yourself – anything – we only have until mid-October to raise the money.
Under successive governments we have lost a fully-admitting hospital at Bromley South, Orpington Hospital continues to be chipped away at, and now they’ve started on Queen Mary’s. If we do nothing we will lose vital services at our popular hospital. Don’t let them get away with it. Thank you for your help. All donations will be acknowledged.
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