Monday, 14 July 2014

Could we lose our A & E?

Although we might not all visit A & E regularly (we hope!), it's reassuring to know it's there if and when we need it. However, recent reports are saying that Milton Keynes and Bedford A&Es could be shut down in order to try and save money under a services review. This would leave those in the area of these services (around 500,000 people) having to travel an extra 20 miles to get to the nearest accident and emergency centres- in either Northampton, Kettering or Luton.

The fact that the centre has 'emergency' in its name would imply the serious need for it to be near to a high percentage of the public, and while there are no plans decided yet, these are the fears which the review has raised. Having to travel 20 miles instead of maybe one or two could potentially mean the difference between life and death for some of the more serious health issues and accidents, and for those without transport access will be even more difficult and expensive.

In cases where people are taken further afield in order to receive more specialist care, it makes sense, but to demand all emergency patients to travel further will surely put more pressure on these specialist services. It seems the NHS want to try and save money and improve GP and community services to help prevent people from having to go to hospital in the first place, but if these improvements come at the cost of cutting other important services, is it really worth it?

Final decisions will be made in 2015, let's keep our fingers crossed to keep emergency healthcare local!

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