The way trauma care is handled in the UK is in the process of being centralised. This means that a small number of more specialist centres are meant to be taking a far larger proportion of the workload in order to improve the patient outcomes. That is the theory anyway.
Now for the reality. The government is starving the NHS of cash and despite the current service reconfigurations the so called specialist centres simply do not appear to have the funds to be able to increase capacity and handle this extra workload. The result is a disaster of pretty sizeable proportions.
David Goodier, an excellent and highly conscientious trauma surgeon at Barts and the London, has resigned due to systemic failings regarding the standards of care and management failing to take his warnings seriously. This is an incredibly brave stance from a really noble surgeon.
His resignation letter can be read in full. The concern I have it that this is no isolated example. The same lack of care and concern from management that has resulted in genuine patient harm at Barts and the London is highly likely to be going on in many other hospitals and in many other specialities other than trauma surgery.
The combination of the government's target driven top down approach to the NHS combined with the failed reforms which have left numerous NHS trusts struggling for small change, has resulted in a management structure and system that ignores harm being done to patients, as long as targets are met. It is disgraceful. Bravo to David Goodier for taking this brave stand.