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    Rame, Cornwall's Forgotten Corner / Comment/ Derriford Hospital and Breast Cancer In Women
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Derriford Hospital Plymouth.
 
 
No doubt some of you know that in September of 2014 my wife Desiree as a result of  attending the mobile breast mammogram screening unit at Torpoint in Cornwall was diagnosed with  breast cancer.
 
Cancer with out doubt is a word that most of us hate and fear as near on all of us have lost a loved one to cancer. But thankfully nowadays with swift diagnosis and treatment, the chances are that you stand more than a very good chance of winning the fight against it.

Breast Cancer since 1997 has been the most common of all cancers in the UK, so again it's no surprise that it makes more headline news than any other form of cancer, it's is very rare in men? But It's by far the most common cancer amongst women in the UK accounting for some thing like 30% of all new cases of cancer in women.

In the UK, around 50,000 women develop breast cancer each year – four out of five in the postmenopausal years after the age of 50 – and almost 12,000 women die each year as a result (Data taken from a report by Edinburgh University In January 2015)

I desperately feel for any women suffering from breast cancer, they have a really horrendous and emotional time fighting the fight against it, it is little wonder so many people especially women through out the country support the huge number of charities in the fight against breast cancer. Desiree like tens if not hundreds of thousands of others has gone to pink events, or whatever to support such charities.
 
As a result of my Wife suffering from breast cancer  I spent months reading up and asking questions on both it's diagnosis and how people have gone about treating it through out the country. While at the same time asking a number of questions to both professional organizations and others who are aware of all the issues involved. Including a number of former patients and or there relatives who have attended Derriford Hospital with breast cancer.
 
As a result of all this I am in fact having a meeting shortly with Ann James the Chief Executive of Derriford Hospital, The aim of the meeting as far as I am concerned is as follows:
 
To ensure that in future all Women who attend the Primrose Breast Care Centre at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth are both diagnosed and treated with in a far shorter time frame and that proper procedures are put in place to achieve this aim, and that as a result in future all patients who attend the Primrose Breast Care Centre will given proper documents outlining there treatment and procedures and what to expect from what is currently that department
 
I was in fact fobbed off to a degree at one point in my aim of achieving this, however I have persisted as you do? which has resulted in the meeting with Ann James.
 
There is also a number of other objectives which I won't bore anyone with now, as we will see what happens, I will keep you posted.
 
Last but not least you may feel I am in fact blowing my own trumpet here (No doubt some people will say that, normally the ones who sit back and moan daily about what ever but do nothing about it?) from it in fact I just feel women could get a better deal than they get at the moment as they deserve no less in my view.
 
I cannot say much more at the present as I need to give the Chief Executive of Derriford Hospital the chance to respond to me which I hope will be of a positive nature.

That apart Desiree having finally finished her treatment in mid March which yes took over six months? over six months? thankfully she is currently very well, and not long ago had a appointment at Derriford which went well, and from now on yearly checks for the next five years, which we feel we have no real reason to be concerned about. But saying that, It was a harrowing time and a long six months and more to say the least.

The support and kindness from our Daughter and friends and everyone through out Rame who knew was quite incredible, I wish to thank the people who supported us and to every one of you who was so kind to Desiree, especially all the Darts Team and of course Colyn & Marilyn, Phil and Janet, Jan and Robbie, Moira, Len and his team, Ben and Fay, our Neighbours and not forgetting  everyone who stopped me while in the village asking me to send her there best, thank you from the bottom of my heart, the response from you all was quite amazing and it will never be forgotten.
 
Having posted the above online on Thursday evening  2nd July 2015 at around 9.30 less than 12 hours later the news headlines stated the following:
 
A review by the Nuffield Trust think tank released today  (3rd July) compares the NHS’s performance with the health services of 14 other developed countries.

Although it is not all bad news – the report finds that the UK is stable or improving on all but two of 27 indicators – there are a number of indicators on which the NHS is underperforming. They include:

Cancer survival rates.

The UK also has one of the highest mortality rates for breast cancer at 30.4 deaths per 100,000 women. There is a high incidence rate for breast cancer in the UK (95 per 100,000 women in 2012) when compared to other countries such as Spain (67.3 per 100,000 women).

With regard to cancer care, the UK has a somewhat contradictory position. Although it seems to perform relatively well on a range of measures of population screening, the survival rates for some common cancers are still relatively low in the UK.

Yet the UK is also stagnating or significantly lagging behind in terms of cancer survival generally, raising concerns about potential delays in patients getting a diagnosis and being able to access effective treatment?
 
Wish me luck when I go to see the Chief Executive at Derriford Hospital.
Update 29th January 2016
 
Having had the meeting at what now seems a life time ago with the Chief Executive Ann James and a number of heads of departments and who ever, which I may add I was not informed I was going to have? I understood it was just a meeting with Ann James? it seemed to me it was just a case of them going through the motions, I have no doubt nothing was or has been achieved by my attending that meeting, far from it in fact.
 
Having listened to Ann James who I have been told has only been given the position of Chief Executive due to her experience of so called bringing departments and other organizations with in the NHS together I must say I am not impressed with her at all. As per normal when dealing with such people who are at this level they have an answer for every thing and I mean every thing, and again most of the answers are stock answers and are totally politically correct and little else? and again the questions they don't want to answer they don't? They are in fact like clones of our MP's, would I trust Ann James the Chief Executive of Derriford Hospital no way, not one little bit.


I found her to be a very clever women, she in fact even sent me a card thanking me for attending the meeting? I didn't want a card for attending the meeting I went to the meeting to get improvements for the patients and people of Devon and Cornwall who attend Derriford Hospital end off? That's what I wanted not some smarmy card. 
 
Unbeknown to me when I first wrote this article there was the fact a report due out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) no mention of this was made to me prior to the meeting with Ann James or during the period my complaint was being dealt with? As a result of that report this is what the BBC said at the time:
 
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said there was "work to be done" to ensure people attending A&E were being cared for in the right place. Plymouth Hospitals Trust was rated "outstanding" for its patient care, but was told it requires improvement overall. It said it was working on areas identified by the watchdog. Suzy Franklin, from Unison, said the results came as "no surprise" and staff morale was "still at an all time low".

Inspectors were "particularly concerned" at the backlog of patients waiting for the results of scans and numbers of patients awaiting follow-up treatment. Some people have been unable to get initial appointments as soon as they should, delaying their diagnosis, or treatment, or they are waiting too long for surgery. This has had very serious consequences in some cases."Inspectors would return "in due course" to check on improvements, he said.

"It is a credit to all the staff that we found caring to be outstanding overall, but especially in maternity and gynecology, children and young people's services and end of life care," he added.

Ann James, chief executive of Plymouth Hospitals Trust, said at the time  "The areas highlighted by the inspectors as needing action are ones we are already working on.

"We are looking, for example, at how best we use our beds to try to reduce the number of patients experiencing cancellations and to ensure staffing levels are right, we have been undertaking targeted recruitment drives for many months.

"We are continuing to do everything we can to attract more staff, particularly more nurses and more doctors in some specialities."
 
Back to me again
 
Ann James reply "The areas highlighted by the inspectors as needing action are ones we are already working on?" and how many times have we heard this type of reply?
 
It's absolute dribble really! "The areas highlighted by the inspectors as needing action are ones we are already working on?" Of course she was? it's been her job to do so for the last four years or it should have been? yet again six months on from that report and A & E  at Derriford was on a red alert one down from the highest which is black, this at a time when yet again we have had a very mild winter and thankfully no flu epidemic or such like.
 
The simple truth no matter what is said by who ever, the simple fact is the hospital has not enough beds or staff to cope with the demands placed on it, aand no matter what is said by the likes of Ann James or David Cameron or who ever it's just one of many hospitals through out the country who are in the same boat.

But saying that again like many of our hospitals nowadays I am positive Derriford Hospital could be run more efficiently and in a way which would be far more beneficial to both the frontline staff and to it's patients alike.
 
It's fact that we have lost due to cuts in England over 40,000 odd hospital beds over the last twenty years, this at a time when the population has increase as never before, not counting the fact that peopel are living longer nowadays and the NHS is seemingly all of a sudden finding themselves with a shortage of beds and wondering why? as for staff shortages again considering the way the NHS is run it's little wonder there is a shortage of staff.
 
Back to Derriford Hospital, As for the  "Rated  Outstanding For Caring"  bit yes I can understand that, I meet some fantastic staff  at Derriford Hospital during both my Wife's treatment for breast cancer and from my own enquires about about the hospital, yes a majority of staff are doing there best to cope in extreme circumstances in fact near on all were nothing short of exceptional, but as  always I am sorry to say I also meet others who really seemed the opposite, both in attitude and there approach to there job and that's being kind .
 
Again I was not impressed on how a majority of the staff seemed to be treated by the hierarchy with in the hospital, the recent out cry from staff over upcoming talks about increasing the charges for staff parking yet again speaks volumes in my mind and does nothing for staff morel. All in all it's little wonder why they have problems recruiting new staff both with in the NHS and at Derriford Hospital.
 
Personally I would not like to work at Derriford Hospital, getting in and out of it is a nightmare most of the time, parking your car through out the area is also a nightmare. How on earth the staff cope God only knows, it must be at times a real nightmare for them.
 
The building itself is a concrete jungle, you need at times to do near on a route march with in it to get from one department to another, the whole building should have been knocked down years ago and a new hospital built. I dread to think what the running cost of it must be.
 
Through out all this Ann James has carried on with her  "Rated  Outstanding For Caring" media campaign at near on every given opportunity, which to be honest I find quite distasteful  considering what was said regarding all of the other poor souls who are on waiting lists or what ever.

I will remind you what the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspectors said, they stated they were  "particularly concerned" at the backlog of patients waiting for the results of scans and numbers of patients awaiting follow-up treatment. Some people have been unable to get initial appointments as soon as they should, delaying their diagnosis, or treatment, or they are waiting too long for surgery. This has had very serious consequences in some cases. Not that Ann James seemed to care one iota when I questioned her of the fact, far from it in fact.
 
So has the Chief Executive of Derriford Hospital Ann James delivered the improvements and been on top of her game at Derriford hospital since she has been it's Chief Executive over the last four years? from my understanding no she has not, and again from my dealings with her no she has not, I don't think she is up it to it to be honest. Yes she can talk the talk as they all do and it all sounds so convincing but the bottom line is how long are the people of Devon and Cornwall going to have to carry on waiting for appointments, diagnosis, results, treatments and operations and such like at Derriford Hospital?
 
How many more problems is Derriford Hospital going to have? how many more missed targets must we put up with? how many more millions is the hospital going to be fined for its incompetence in doing what it's supposedly there to do or what ever? and last but not least how many more people are going to carry on suffering or even dying as a result?  
 
 
As for the board if I was on it I would be demanding some answers and thinking to myself  surely enough is enough and it's time to replace the Chief Executive for one that can deliver and meet the demands placed on the hospital for the good of it's staff it's patients and the people of Devon and Cornwall.
 
As for David Cameron and his Government they to have been condemned for the situation that the NHS finds it's self in today, and that includes there treatment of our junior Doctors,  the Government have also been rightly accused of wasting billions of tax payers money due to there meddling in our beloved NHS, and like Ann James the Government to are talking the talk while trying to convince us all that they have it all in hand, if that was the case then we would have nothing to say would we? Nor would thousands upon thousands of people be suffering and waiting for diagnosis or treatment.
 
In news today the 29th January 2016 the following:
 
Dr Cliff Mann, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the NHS was reaching a "critical point" in winter.

"We were beginning to think this winter would not be as bad as last winter, but the problems we are beginning to see suggest it could end up being worse.

"We have virtually no flu or norovirus (a vomiting bug which leads to mass ward closures) - if there was to be an outbreak of either we could see the whole system tip over."
 
So it seems that it's not just Derriford Hospital sitting on the edge of what is seen by many as a total meltdown, but the whole of our beloved NHS is in danger of complete collapse. Yet it seems no one wishes to talk about it or suggest a way forward to over come the crisis? Putting real people in place to run it would help!
 
 
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
                                         Derriford Hospital and a number of others here in the south west back on Red Alert yet again today, no comment from our local MP or Ann James?
 
Saturday 27th Feb 2016, This from the Daily Mail.
 
 
Daily Mail Saturday 14th May 2016 (Platells People)
 
Good for the Daily Mail for sticking up for our elderly yet again.
 
 
 
 
All The Best Everyone
 
Cliff
 
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