Hospital car Parking and a seven day service.

  flycatcher1 20:11 06 Sep 2014

My wife and I have been lucky and have not needed Hospital treatment until recently when she needed a Cataract Op and I had my problem with BCC.

At both hospitals we found the parking adequate and not too expensive - £2.80 for up to four hours. There are special deals for long time patients and others with special needs.

The Cataract OP was carried out on a Sunday, one for assessment, next one for operation and a further check-up the next but one Saturday. Op was 100% successful.

On the Sundays the car parks were nearly empty and the Hospital with all its facilities was very, very quiet. Good for us but why does not the NHS operate on a seven day week in hospital? Maybe not at full pelt but, say, at 50 %. It may well cost a little more but having done a lot of shift work in my time I have found many people who appreciate days off during the week and it should be possible.

It cannot be good economics to use expensive facilities for five days out of seven.I realise that some operations are done a week-ends but these are not routine only emergencies.

Before anyone says anything, in our family we have nothing but praise for the NHS but it is not perfect, no large organisation is, and improvement is always possible. People are taken ill seven days a week not just from Monday to Friday.

Now GPs - I will save that brick for another pond.

  spuds 20:39 06 Sep 2014

My local hospital's were in the position of being 'fined' a few years ago, because they were not meeting targets for some procedures.

The result of that, was one of the hospital's obtain the services of an outside company qualified to do scans, who rigged up a couple of juggernaut's and other specialist equipment in the car park on Sunday's. I attended one such session, and other patient's waiting with me all thought the idea was superb. And it was. No hassle or rushing etc, only problem was public service transport for those without vehicles, so it was a case that some had to order a taxi.

Ultrasound scans were no problem, plenty of hospital staff available for that.

True, there is quite a lot of very expensive equipment going idle at weekends, mainly due to either staff shortages, people not wanting to work on Sunday's, or funding arrangements.

  Woolwell 21:09 06 Sep 2014

My local hospital has X-Ray departments, etc working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but not at full staffing overnight or at weekends. Out patient times are still normally Monday to Friday. I have found that one of the limiting factors is the availability of consultants to deal with the test results. There are only so many consultants. It can take a while to get the results.

spuds refers to outside companies being brought in. That doesn't always work see Musgrove Hospital Eye Operations legal bill

  wee eddie 21:41 06 Sep 2014

Many NHS Hospitals offer little, or no, extra money for working antisocial hours, so, is it surprising that they cannot get the staff

  Woolwell 21:50 06 Sep 2014

Jock1e - Having had more than my fair share of hospital experience recently I am aware that the majority of staff already shift work and long shifts too with 12 hours not uncommon. As I stated the snag is getting test results processed. The other problem is that an emergency can push everyone else down the queue and sometimes off it for several days. The NHS has many faults but in my experience is remarkably good if you have a major problem.

Stats tend to show that more die after ops in the afternoon, evenings and weekends than in the mornings. This is apparently a world-wide problem. What the stats do not tell us is how many of the evening and weekend ops were unplanned or the patients were more severely ill. Specialist 7 day palliative care is not always available at hospitals although it should be. Age is also a factor plus booze at weekends.

  Aitchbee 22:30 06 Sep 2014

My local hospital, The New Victoria Hospital [Glasgow southside and designed by German Architects, BTW], stands on a relatively small 'footprint' yet there is about a fifth-of-an-acre of surrounding land comprising of hundreds of very healthy but boring-to-look-at [from the bus anyway] grassy clumps [ of Luzula Sylvatica, 'Starmaker' ] and also a few newly-planted 'token' trees, used to 'showcase' the front of the building ... I reckon that that space would have been much better appreciated by ALL as a much-needed parking space [more practical] for at least 50 visiting vehicles, or so.

The actual Hospital is Topnotch!

  morddwyd 08:04 07 Sep 2014

You need somebody like our Alex.

He did away with hospital parking charges except at two, where parking is owned by English companies who won't play ball!

  spuds 08:34 07 Sep 2014

I have to agree with the link provided by Woolwell, because there have been a number of horror stories reported from time to time. My own Hospital Trust was involved with a similar case concerning using a private company doing hip and knee replacements, not to the standards expected. Again, this private company was brought in, because expected targets were not being met at the time.

But in defense of the scan exercise, nothing could have been better, in fact those that were doing the scanning went that extra little bit more, than what I had previously received from the NHS/Hospital direct staff. Kept you fully informed, and in my case scanned beyond the point, the consultant had requested, which gave a clearer picture to what was going wrong.

  spuds 08:39 07 Sep 2014

Perhaps I should have also mentioned, that my local hospital trust, as certain arrangements with two of the local private hospital's for particular procedures, which give the patient the choice of using and booking appointments with either hospital's.

In most cases, its possibly the chance of seeing the same consultant, who is working for the NHS and the private sector. Whatever the case, in the situation mentioned, the NHS picks up the tab.

  BT 08:57 07 Sep 2014

Many hospitals do work on weekends. I once attended the Eye clinic on a Saturday. I had my Prostate operation on a Saturday and my Wife had her Pre Op assessments for her Cancer Op on a Sunday including Xrays and an MRI Scan.

What most don't run on weekends are the routine Clinics and the extra parking space available is probably because a large number of Admin staff don't work on weekends.

  Forum Editor 11:01 07 Sep 2014

"why does not the NHS operate on a seven day week in hospital?"

I imagine it's simply a matter of economics - it costs more to run a full service on a 24/7 basis, and there isn't enough money to do it.

There are exceptions. I had two operations for a serious foot injury a couple of years ago, and one of those was carried out by a consultant on a Sunday afternoon. The hospital is near to the M25, and the surgeon said they run the operating theatres at weekends because road accidents happen every day.

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