Monday, March 01, 2010

Foundation Trusts


Today, I've completed a Membership Application Form to join The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation Trust. I considered carefully before joining. After the horrors of what happened at Stafford Hospital, everyone will consider carefully. Reason I'm posting on the issue is to encourage others to do the same.
'The Orthopaedic' at Gobowen, near Oswestry is a much loved hospital. It serves the whole of North Wales, as well as much of the West Midlands. It was where Mrs D had her knee replaced. About 30 % of its business is derived from North Wales, significantly less than in years past, because of Assembly Government policy to repatriate treatment to Wales - the policy I believe has the potential to create two separate NHS' each side of Offa's Dyke.
A few years ago, when I was an Assembly Member, I arranged a presentation by the Hospital Trust Board at the National Assembly for Wales. Several AMs attended, but the application for trust status wasn't submitted. Since the Stafford Hospital catastrophe, all applications have been on hold. The process is only now getting going again. Lets hope the regulatory side is water-tight this time.
The idea of a Foundation Trust is that anyone with an interest in the Hospital, (patients, staff, carers, volunteers, etc.) can become a member, and can then, collectively elect Governors of the Trust - or even apply for Non-Executive Director posts on the Board of Directors. There will be a total of 21 Governors running the Hospital, which will remain part of the NHS. 11 of these will be Public Governors. Powys will have just one of these places, while North Wales will have two, Shropshire will have four, with the remaining four coming from Cheshire and the West Midlands. I accept that there is political antipathy to the whole concept of Foundation Trusts within the Assembly Government, so there's not likely to be encouragement from that quarter. But its happening at our Orthopaedic (and at the Royal Shrewsbury as well) - and in my opinion, we're better served becoming involved than burying our heads in the sand. Anyway, I've filled in my form.

5 comments:

bonetired said...

Its something I worry about: that hospital is part of the fabric of life in Shropshire and North Wales and the fact that the WAG is "repatriating" services to within Wales is going to cause real probalems for patients. However good, and they are good, are places like the Maelor or Bronglais, they are not in the same league as the Orthopaedic, which is literally world-class. There are five hospitals in the NHS Orthopaedic alliance (plus a few associates): the RJAH is one of that five. There are none in Wales. As I said in another post, you could have the ludicrous situation of patients from (say) the welsh side of Llanymynech being sent to the Maelor for orthopaedic treatment, driving straight past the RJAH.

Heads need banging together over this. Good luck with the membership application. I would also like you to consider becomming a govenor.

I know and love that hospital myself.

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

We should save Gobowen, and to this end Powys should join Shropshire and Herefordshire in a Duchy of the Marches, free from Cardiff and Westminster interference!

Anonymous said...

I trained over 41 years ago in the only orthopaedic hospital in Wales - The Prince of Wales Orthopaedic Hospital in Rhydlafar, outside Cardiff. It was a wonderful hospital and I had first class training for 2 years before going to Bristol to do my General Nursing training. I'm not sure when it was closed down, but I do know that where the hospital once stood is now a housing estate, tragic.

And these days, patients have to wait 6-12 months longer than English patients for elective surgery in Gobowen as it is over the border, because the LHB drag their feet over funding, so English patients get priority over the Welsh patients, which is scandalous. This is despite the massive amount of fundraising that goes on in North Powys for the RJAH hospital.

As Britain is such a tiny country and Wales is even smaller, it is madness to try to insist that all Welsh patients are seen in Welsh hospitals, especially when there is no DGH anywhere near us in North Powys. Sometimes the nonsense that comes out of WAG makes my blood boil.

bonetired said...

I always felt that Oswestry was the most Welsh town in England ...

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

I always felt that Oswestry was the most Welsh town in Britain...