I always read with concern those articles in newspapers which report on cuts to vital services.
I have grown up with some might say, the privileged position that many of us have in the Western World, of having access to medical services. I have grown up safe in the knowledge that if I become sick, there will be a health professional there to look after me.
I make no bones about this in that whilst I fully accept that this is a fortunate position, it is a standard which I would expect good healthcare for anyone on this planet and for this reason if nothing else, it should be here to stay.
In my view the provision of healthcare services must be such that the bar should be set high.
I do not therefore expect the government to set the NHS on a new course so that we compare only slightly better to the health service provided in many other countries. Instead we should see the health service that we have as being a shining beacon, to be maintained and managed in an efficient state so that others aspire to have this service.
Leaving any issues with regard to management to one side, the main contact that I have with the NHS is through my clients.
It is rare indeed for clients who are injured to seek the assistance of the private healthcare sector. Instead they find themselves invariably in the Accident and Emergency Department and thereafter often at teaching hospitals where the standard of care in most part, is second to none.
One of the most debilitating injuries involve neurological injuries. It is generally straightforward to put someone together who has a broken leg. Even significant Orthopaedic Injuries can normally be mended to a reasonable standard, but Spinal and Brain Injuries are so much more complex and invariably involve many weeks, months and years in Rehabilitation, learning how to walk again if possible and retraining the brain in even basic daily activities.
This firm has been at the forefront of pressing for rehabilitation services as being vitally important at the earliest possible opportunity after an accident.
Our Signposting project, encourages consultants to look to the rehabilitation services which insurers are obliged to provide under the Rehabilitation Code and ensuring therefore that injured parties are provided with a degree of rehabilitation as quickly as possible. Early intervention in terms of Rehabilitation is key to improving clinical outcomes and ensuring where possible an early return to work. Brain injury affects both the injured party and their families and can lead to deep psychological consequences in the absence of timely Rehabilitation. Our Signposting project aims to address this ensuring funding to facilitate early intervention.
This applies equally so to NHS rehabilitation centres and reading therefore of the cuts that are to occur at Bath’s Royal National Hospital which is due to merge shortly with the Royal United Hospital and where cuts are to lead to the closure of a specialist neurological rehabilitation unit at the Royal National Hospital, is madness.
We are all aware of the harsh economic climate that we are in and the need for us all to show our worth. Where the balancing act is such that patient care is not at the forefront but instead a vitally important unit such as the one at the Royal National Hospital is forced to close since it cannot justify its existence, we have to question whether the balance is shifting well away from patients.
My concern is this. It is a slippery slope. We start in closing a vital department, ignore those in real need and where are we likely to end up?
By Tristan Hallam, Personal Injury Solicitor.
For more information on Brain Injury Compensation please contact;
Trevor Sterling, Regional Head PI (North West) & National PI Business Development, Personal Injury