If ever there was an issue that could strike fear into the heart of a politician, no matter their affiliation, it has to be hospital closures. Today the RCN has jumped into the ring, batting about the old idea that some hospitals need to close. The idea may be aged but the action has been negligible because there is barely a politician in the land who hasn’t campaigned to keep their local hospital / maternity unit / bunion clinic open. They and the public remain cemented to their local bricks and mortar regardless of the onslaught of catastrophes such as Mid Staffs and the Oxford Children’s heart unit.
We have previously blogged here and here and here on the need to bring the NHS into the 21st century; to move care into the community; ensure procedures are safe and quality is high. We need a new narrative to communicate that care is best where it’s safest; that medicine and technology can come to you and quite frankly that hospitals are full of germs. Hospitals grew out of the word ‘hospitality’ – which we associate with good care in the home. This is where it needs to return and we, the public, need to allow that to happen.