LETTER: I will continue to fight for answers
I totally agree with Graham Jones letter (September 9) regarding the junior doctors strike; yes many were going to Australia, but it takes guts to move and leave behind a lucrative pension. Their dispute is clearly not about patients’ safety, otherwise they would never strike and leave patients at risk.
My mother died in Hinchingbrooke hospital on November 8 2009 after two and half months of what I believe was neglect; it was impossible to see a doctor or anybody in charge, and I believe from what I experienced hospitals should meet the needs of patients, rather than the wishes of staff.
I had five meetings with senior management, when I also complained that nurses were working 12 hour shifts and the director of nursing said she would look into it, but I suspect it hasn’t changed; I witnessed how tired they were, and why patients (especially old people) could become neglected.
My mother had only been home for five days, but woke me in the early hours as she was certain she now had a blockage in her intestine, because her stoma-bag was empty; she reluctantly had to return to Hinchingbrooke.
In hospital I was told every day by a junior doctor that my mother only had wind and she would be sent home the following day, after nearly five days of pain and discomfort she eventually had an operation for a blockage.
It was too late for my mother as her gut had already burst.
I realise there will be many people who have received good care that will dismiss my accusations, but I know equally there have been many other people who have suffered the same indignation, but haven’t had the strength to fight.
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I was told my case was time-barred after three years and I should forget it, but I have refused to give in without having the truth and justice served.
I don’t now support any political party, as local Conservative MPs have failed me, and because politics continually costs money with nothing to show.
I am increasingly aware that the BMA (British Medical Association) is driven by hard-line left-wingers, who want to use the doctors’ dispute as a tool to attack the Conservative government.
The BMA knew that seven-day working and a pay claim would be unsympathetic to the public in support of a strike, which is why it came up with all the rhetoric about protecting ‘patient safety’ and ‘saving the NHS’. Striking junior doctors are willing to put lives at risk for the sake of financial gain, which makes a mockery of the Hippocratic Oath.
I understand trainee junior doctors are paid £30,000 per year (about £600 per week).
I don’t know why doctors work up to 80 hours per week, but if this is true they need to take it up with the chief executive of the hospital, who is paid more than the Prime Minister (about £4,000 per week).
We are all aware that changes need to be made to improve and save the NHS, but forever giving more money will not cure the problem, when a great deal is being used for the benefits of top management, who seem to take no responsibility and can’t be transparent with their over-paid salaries.
This also affects the attempted closure of MIUs (minor injury units), and instead of cutting frontline staff, I believe they need to start cutting out unnecessary organisations.
I have no idea what the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) actually do, or the roll of the county council health committee, which I believe should have nothing to do with care, as care should be financed and managed separately.
I believe to bring about change for the better: there needs to be transparency with the salaries of the management; accountability where neglect is evident (many people still don’t know the difference); patients pay a small percentage towards their cost of treatment, and a statement of charges and the names of staff involved (to safeguard care).
To bring attention to my plight I haven’t paid my council tax for three years. I will continue to fight my corner.