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NHS turning away sick babies

This is appalling. The NHS in this country is an absolute mess and at crisis point. We keep hearing the same old crap from Bliar and his cronies. They keep saying that they are pumping more and more money into the NHS and it is getting better.

Then why oh why are hospitals turning away ILL babies?

Why are more and more hospitals either closing down essential wards or closing down entirely? See here here here and here

Why are there more and more cutbacks? See here here here and here

Why are there not enough nurses, doctors and other staff? Why are these nurses and doctors overworked and yet get absolute rubbish pay rises (sometimes less than inflation)? See here here here here and sadly here

Why are 25% of NHS employers now bureaucrat?? We NEED nurses and doctors not paper pushers! We don't need management consultants either.

Why cannot ordinary people get essential cancer drugs? See here and here

What is happening to OUR money?? See here and here for possible explanations. They have even said all the BILLIONS (our money remember) have made NO DIFFERENCE

Why is OUR NHS being slowly privitised without our consent or our approval? Some examples: 1 2 3 4 and some great articles here by Start The Revolution 1 2 3 and this one which is essential reading

Is it no wonder NHS workers are revolting.
They are trying to stop the government selling OUR NHS to some faceless corporations whose ONLY responsibility is to it's shareholders. Will we get a refund when the government cashes in??

I hope you get the point now. This story really sums up the state of OUR NHS.
"was forced to close its doors to hundreds of new premature baby arrivals 71 times in the last six months because it did not have room."

"Across the country, problems with understaffing mean hospitals are frequently unable to accept children, despite having beds lying empty."
So you have to ask yourself WHY is this happening? Why are beds lying empty, why are mothers forced to travel large (and potentially dangerous for babies) distances just to get essential treatment.

The story in full (From The Observer 22nd October 2006)

Hospitals turn away ill babies

Gaby Hinsliff, political editor
Sunday October 22, 2006
The Observer

One of Britain's leading hospitals was forced to refuse 518 requests to care for seriously ill premature babies last year because it did not have the necessary resources, The Observer can reveal.

St George's in south London was forced to close its doors to hundreds of new premature baby arrivals 71 times in the last six months because it did not have room. The hospital has five cot spaces that it is unable to open because it cannot afford nurses for them. Dr Sandy Calvert, consultant neonatologist at the unit, said it was distressing for staff to be unable to help: 'It is very frustrating and it affects morale, if you feel you are turning away babies and they are not getting optimal care.'

The move meant newly delivered mothers and sick infants had to travel large distances in search of another bed, and raises fresh questions over services for the rising number of babies born early. Across the country, problems with understaffing mean hospitals are frequently unable to accept children, despite having beds lying empty.

Dr Andrew Lyon, honorary secretary of the British Association for Perinatal Medicine and a consultant at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, said this was not an isolated issue. 'St George's probably had a bad time last year, but this is a national problem. '

Such pressures on resources have prompted questions over whether the NHS should set limits on the amount it spends on neonatal care, and whether doctors should continually push the boundaries in reviving younger and younger babies.

Next month, a landmark report from an expert panel on neonatal care convened by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics is expected to reject calls for national limits on viability - as in Holland, where doctors do not revive any child under 25 weeks - arguing that babies should be treated individually.

However, debate among doctors in Britain over the merits of treating younger infants still rages, with babies born at 23 weeks - four months before the end of a normal pregnancy - now routinely surviving.

Calvert said her own unit did not usually resuscitate 22-week-old babies, but she was aware of one in north London that now did: 'If you want my personal opinion, I think we should be concentrating on improving the quality of survival rather than trying to get younger and younger babies to survive.'

However, Lyon said such practice was rare: 'I think most of us would feel that for gestations below [23 weeks], the data on outcome is such that these babies are really not within current methods of care viable. That may change, but not in the next few years.'

As well as medical advances which keep more babies alive, pressures on neonatal wards have also risen thanks to the IVF boom, which causes more multiple births. These are more likely to be premature.

While adults and children in intensive care have one nurse per patient, for babies the ratio is usually one to two.

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