Letter: Patients face long trips for NHS care

The closure of wards at Bridlington Hospital could put more pressure on local GP surgeries.

The closure of wards at Bridlington Hospital could put more pressure on local GP surgeries.

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I see ward closures at Bridlington Hospital comes to the fore again, reported in the Free Press.

This report follows the Free Press report of fears for future of GP surgery, and minor injuries unit at Bridlington Hospital.

The potential closure of the palliative care ward is particularly a difficult decision to swallow.

It is a sad truth that 167,000 people in the UK still die from cancer each year.

Yet access to high quality care and support, including palliative care, is not a universal experience for these people or their families.

Wider research shows that one in four people don’t get the care and support they need at the end of their life. This is unacceptable.

These words are not my words, but the words of Dr Jane Collins, chief executive for Marie Curie.

Everyone has the right to palliative care when they need it, regardless of where they live or their personal circumstances.

Everyone who has a terminal illness, and their families and carers, should be able to access the care and support they need. Provision of local palliative care plays an important part for patient, families and carers, not to send patients, carers and family on a 40-mile round trip to Beverley and then back to Bridlington.

May I point out that the Care Act 2014 imposes a duty on local authorities to provide or arrange for the provision of services that contribute towards preventing, delaying or reducing care needs. The mere fact that patients are having to travel 20 miles to Beverley and then 20 miles back to Bridlington meets the criterion of Care Act 2014, so therefore the local authority is delaying and reducing care needs to patients.

May I also point out the independent regulator of health and social care in England Care Quality Commission, has 13 fundamental standards of care that trusts must obey to. If palliative care patients do not have ‘just in case’ medication in their own homes, then it is totally unacceptable to expect patients to travel 20 miles to Beverley to access a syringe driver or morphine, midazolam, cyclizine to address symptoms of pain, anxiety and terminal agitation, nausea and vomiting.

This potential closure of the palliative care ward at Bridlington Hospital also will put more pressure on local GP surgeries which is totally unacceptable to expect surgeries to take up the slack.

Ernie Mackenzie

Gammons Lane, Watford