The Journal’s headline article and the editorial comment about the Emerald Suite breast care unit at Grantham Hospital must have disappointed thousands of readers and totally dismayed volunteers like Jackie Whatley and everyone who worked so hard to make the Emerald Suite become a much-needed reality.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust managers are now admitting that this superb facility cannot be run at anything like its full potential and they are sending patients to Lincoln or Boston. If Grantham can provide a better breast care facility than other hospitals within ULHT it is patently perverse to send local patients elsewhere.
The problem, according to ULHT, is recruitment of a radiologist for Grantham.
A problem, by definition, is something that has to be solved and however “creative” Andy Brammer (head of ULHT radiology) feels he has been he has clearly not created a successful solution. Also, Paul Hogg (senior business manager) makes the completely negative excuse that radiologists want to work in other disciplines and, anyway, apparently “few want to come to Lincolnshire” – does that include Lincoln and Boston? In any field, whenever there is a potential shortage of a particular skill one would think that managers would be proactive enough to train additional specialists and to make essential posts sufficiently attractive to employ those professionals when and where they are needed.
So, unpaid Grantham volunteers have transformed an inadequate facility into something really special; however, well paid NHS managers appear incapable of staffing it efficiently. Are they the real problem, or do they (like Baldrick in “Blackadder”) have a “cunning plan”, which has yet to materialise?