• Save Our G5 Ward

    Firstly, welcome to my new blog! I have finally decided that I should start giving a few details online of the work I am up to and why.

    It seems appropriate that my first ever post should be on the subject of the closure of G5 end-of-life ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

    Photo courtesy of The News, Portsmouth

    This is a subject that I have had first-hand experience of very recently. My own father died earlier this year, not on the Portsmouth G5 ward, but an equivalent ward in another area. In the last few months of his life I experienced the very real difficulties in getting him transferred from a general care ward to a specialist end-of-life facility. I spent hours lobbying and meeting with senior clinical staff, occupational therapists and nursing staff to get my father transferred onto an equally over-subscribed facility.

    It is for this reason that I find it so patronising when representatives of Portsmouth Hospital Trust tell me, to my face, that there is no difference in the standard of care for end-of-life patients on general wards. This is simply untrue!

    That is not the fault of the nursing or other care staff, they try very hard, but on a general ward they are so busy with acute clinical care needs in a busy environment that they simply don’t have the time to dedicate to patients who are in the last few months of their lives.

    And this is before you even consider the staff-patient ratios. Put simply, the G5 ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital had 20 specialist staff for one ward, the Hospital Trust now proposed to replace that with a mobile team of only 7 staff to cover the entire hospital site!

    I urge you to take the time to sign the petition online at http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/saveg5ward