Old Australian Aboriginal description of a hypocrite:
“Mouth one way, belly ‘nother way.“
Which brings us to a sign spotted at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s HQ recently.
This from a Trust:
- Whose Chair is accused of intimidating a patient’s representative at a Council of Governors meeting to the extent that the patient felt too intimidated to stay to ask an important question relating to his ‘care’. Read more→
- Whose CEO is accused inter alia, of damaging patients’ health and discrimination under section 1 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended).
How can Southern Health staff be expected change the way they think and act about mental health if their Chair and CEO set such a great example!
Another of Southern Health’s dark secrets was revealed recently. It is 14th in a list of English mental health Trusts with highest number of dormitory wards and beds. Details→¹
Lunatic Asylums come to mind!
And, in respect of out of area placements (“OAPs”), where families have to travel afar to visit their loved ones, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust was exposed recently as 7th on the list of mental health Trust having the highest number of inappropriate OAP’s². Whilst these are ‘inappropriate’, the definition of an OAP is:
“The patient is being admitted to an inpatient unit with another provider.”
This reflects the fact that, whereas inappropriate OAPs affect patients and their families, all OAPs have financial implications. Southern Health admitted:
“The £1.1m deficit remains broadly the same as the previous month and
continues to be attributed mainly to out of area placements.”
It appears that Southern Health is massaging OAP figures by excluding contracted beds with Solent NHS Trust (6) and The Priory Southampton (10) from OAP figures because, “These beds are within our catchment area…” What part of HM Government’s ‘Out of area placements decision tree‘ does Southern Health directors not understand.
Whilst it is great for patents and families to have OAPs within Southern Health’s catchment area (especially those lucky enough to be admitted to The Priory), the affect on the Trust’s deficit remains.
To adapt a well-known adage attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, in our opinion:
“Southern Health is an organised hypocrisy.”
And, for balance, patients can be guilty of hypocrisy too. I suspect the person who returned £250.00+ of medication to a local pharmacist claims the NHS is underfunded.
In 2017-18, there were 11,619 community pharmacists in England.³
11, 619 x £250 = £2.9 million
And that’s just one patient at one pharmacy. Apparently, a significant percentage arises from patients’ ticking every box on a Repeat Prescription form rather than tick just the items they need – and GPs do not cross-check diligently
A report by the Department of Health estimates that unused medicines cost the NHS around £300 million every year, with an estimated £110 million worth of medicine returned to pharmacies, £90 million worth of unused prescriptions being stored in homes and £50 million worth of medicines disposed of by Care Homes.
² An inappropriate OAP: when a patient is treated out of their local area. [Media Office, NHS England and NHS Improvement – 26 June 2019]