Saturday, 30 July 2011
Yesterdays meeting with members of the NHS Trust went ahead as planned. I met up with Jim, the Chairman of the local support group, and we talked over our aims before the meeting. Did we achieve them? Probably not, but we did make progress in building some trust and at least we have now opened a dialogue. But this had been done before last October and we let it string out until there was no string left! This time, now that the ball is rolling and we are talking to different people, we need to make sure that we reach a quick conclusion, in weeks rather than months.
After both sides had made their positions clear, and there was a very frank and open discussion, we all agreed on the next steps. The Head of Urology has looked in detail at my proposed action plan. He has commented on it in an e-mail to the Head of Governance, who will now redraw the action plan and pass it back to me for consideration this coming week.
If I agree to the finished article then it will be implemented and some of the suggestions may be taken up by the Prostate Cancer Charity, who I hope will try and bring some standard practice in throughout the countries hospitals. At the meeting, the Head of Urology pointed out that many of the suggestions had already become practice within the unit. He also said that the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer only started to take place at the Carlisle Hospital 2 years ago and that great strides had been made to improve the service even since I was diagnosed a year ago.
This, along with a public apology would satisfy all of my immediate goals.
We then still have the problem of the local imbalance of what the NHS Trust spend on medical treatment compared to what is spent on PR and legal fees. The NHS nationally have been asked to make savings of £20 Billion this year, to help pay for bankers bonuses and for the cruise missiles that we are raining down on Libya, amongst a vast amount of other bloody needless projects. We must make sure that the money we have left to spend locally is spent on nurses and not solicitors!
Throughout the past year I have learnt a lot about the public in England. The vast amount of people are not willing to do anything, regardless of what is done to them. I genuinely believe that if the North Cumbria NHS Trust had turned the Cumberland Infirmary into a greyhound stadium, and issued all households with a first aid kit, apart from my small army of 'diehards', nobody would have even complained!
Am I right?
I will update you this coming week and again, thank you for your continued support.