Speaking at the joint meeting of the West Herts and the East and North Herts Health Authorities in Harpenden (Friday, 24th November), Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, asked the two Authorities, “Why is the whole agenda, as usual, almost entirely about money, organisation and waiting lists with nothing explicitly about how many people have been cured and how many people suffered set-backs in our local hospitals?
“A car company?s board meeting which did not consider how many cars it had succeeded in selling and how many were returned with defects would seem pretty odd. So shouldn?t there be an item on the Health Authorities? agenda everytime about health outcomes in local hospitals?
“This is especially important because the figures for people dying within 30 days of emergency treatment (which of course need careful interpretation) show a deterioration over the last three years in every hospital surrounding this constituency with the shining exception of the QEII. The Authorities should be asking what is happening and why.
“At my house meetings and in my postbag what concerns my constituents is the quality of care and treatment they receive in hospital. There is growing concern about the cleanliness of wards and the risk of infection. Nationwide, nearly one bed in 10 in the NHS is occupied by someone who contracted an infection in hospital! What is the position in our local hospitals? The Nuffield Trust says that avoidable complications arising from medical treatment in the NHS may be three times as high as in the USA. Do we have any figures locally??
Speaking after the meeting, Peter Lilley said, “I was pleased that the Authorities have agreed to give me as rapidly as possible the figures I have asked for about infection rates.
“I know that everyone who works in the NHS is dedicated to caring for people and restoring their health. All I ask is that those at the top focus on that objective of curing people and do not get distracted by all the political initiatives or bogged down by management and financial matters, necessary though they may be.?