Chase Farm Hospital 

    It was revealed yesterday that staff at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital are verbally and physically abused by patients.

 Councillor Linda McFadyen, deputy leader of Barnet Council’s Labour group said: “Front-line staff are subject to physical or verbal abuse and they shouldn’t have to put up with it,” This comes as a shock to most readers, but staff insist that this has been going on unnoticed for some time.

   Linda McFadyen went on to say: “What I find disturbing is that quite a lot of nurses are not reporting these incidents.” The findings were held out by the Healthcare Commision (HC), they surveyed every staff working for the HNS accross the country. The findings have also claimed that one in ten staff have been assaulted by either the patients or their relavtives.”

   Along with the HC, The British Medical Association (BMA) declared their findings in January. They managed to work out similar results to the HC survey and believed that this was due to the patients frustrations, either caused by prescription drugs or of being isolated most of the time.    

   One former police officer, Leigh Marsden, sees a way in which this sort of abuse can be tackled effectively: “A face-to-face with the aggressive patient can sometimes work wonders. The ward sisters are always involved and are great. We always liaise with the staff affected and take their views into account.”

   Mr Marsden, works at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital in the security department, is still adament these reports, that shed light on the problem, will be dealt with prompley: “I am sure that the issues are under-reported but we are making inroads to reassure staff and deal with this.”


Chase Farm Hospital

 I read another article on the problems that Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital are up against. This time it is on women in labour who are turned away from the Barnet Hospital due to lack of space.

So they transfer the patients to an already cramped Chase Farm Hospital. Not only does this cause further grievance to the Chase staff, but it naturally also offended many pregnant mothers-to-be.

Women being diverted from Barnet to Chase Farm, were initially being asked if they opted for water birth; “I was put in a room and seen by a midwife and registrar and then one of the midwives tried to persuade me to have a water birth,”

The mother refused to have a water birth, knowing fully that she would be transfered to Chase Farm. Barne deney such claims, stating they give the choice to patients, but when a hospital is full there much little they can provide. “All women are advised at their initial booking appointment that, while the trust will endeavour to offer them their preferred hospital or unit for the delivery of their baby, if that site is working at full capacity, they will be asked to attend another site within the trust’s maternity services.”

This might be the case but it is not like Chase Farm has an array of wards for the patients to be treated in, clearly there is little cohesion between the two hospitals. Not a good sign.

Praise For Chase Farm

March 23, 2008

Chase Farm Hospital

    “CHASE Farm Hospital is officially one of the best places in the country to have a baby, yet its maternity services are among the first in line to be reduced.”

   This is what Enfield’s local newspaper said when Barnet and Chase Farm hospital were ranked top 19th for its maternity care. The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) ranked hospitals around England and Wales in search of the best maternity care given by hospitals.

   This naturally comes as good news when considering the fact that most of the maternity cases in Barnet are transfered to Chase Farm due to ‘insufficient staff’. This in fact may cause various problems for Chase Farm, a noticable factor is the issue over the hospital’s Accident and Emmergency situation.

  However, this may give Chase Farm a much needed life-line in the batte to save its A&E, it was also revealed that the childcare and maternity sections are in the Secretary of State for Communities and Housing Caroline Flint’s plans. If these plans are approved and the A&E service is to be closed down, then various problems occur.

   The most obvious one is that it jeopordizes the people living close or around the Hospital. If Chase Farm Hospital’s A&E services close it means that the next available A&E is Middlesex Hospital, which is just over five miles away. Potential patients would have to figure out routes to get to the A&E in time, it would take them almost half an hour to get to the A&E in an emergency case.  Not only are the peole caught up in this, ambulancce services would be forced to venture further for emergency cases, get caught up in traffic jams and lose valuable time.

 So, amid the praise and positive feedback Chase Farm has recieved there is that growing issue of the closure to vital services in the area. The councils are urging the government and the NHS to review their plans, but it appears that these pleas are not budging the plans.


   In September the Labour government announced plans to create a whole new cleaning system throughout the hospitals in England. This means a large scale operation, which hospitals need to take full responsibility of.

  Gordon Brown vowed to clean the hospitals; “a ward at a time”, with “walls, ceilings, fittings and ventilation shafts … disinfected and scrubbed clean”. Quite a huge task to set for six months, but nonetheless Barnet and Chase Farm were able to meet the deadline, without any last minute cleaning frantics.

  With an additional half a million spent on furthur cleaning the hospital managed to finish in just under four months. This comes as good news when the future of Chase Farm is in the Secretary of State for Communities and Housing Caroline Flint’s hands. She is planing to go forward with the proposed 279 houses if not enough patitions confront the housing plans.

 It appears the renewed hospital might keep it in safe hands, Enfield MP Joan Ryan is planing to talk to Mrs Flint on the housing plans. Miss Ryan stated that she supported the patitions being dished out by Save The Chase Farm campaigners and still believes there is a chance that the plans will not go through. “”I think it (the proposal) is premature, in that before any further development of the site occurs we need to have the final outcome from the Independent Reconfigura-tion Panel (IRP).”

   Let us hope the Save Chase Farm campaign has not diminished its objective in protecting the half decent A&E that is in Enfield. Only time will tell.

NHS, Bad? Think Again!

March 12, 2008

 I was unfortunate enough to come across a hospital worse than any hospital in London to date. What is more surprising is that the hospital in Italy, Milan, a fairly sophisticated country. 

   The hospital in situated in Lodi, situated in the outskirts of Milan. Appearances can be deceptive, and it certainly is in this case. It is a large building, in the process of being refurbished, so that would mean new wards, waiting rooms, new floors, toilets and so forth. Everything looked new and fresh but in truth the sight of a toilet was a rare thing, finding a clean seat was a gift from God.   

There is an endless list of negative features that I could point out, but I decided to shorten them. One of the first words that might come to mind with a hospital is hygiene. It is an essential necessity, but not in Ospedale Maggiore (hospital’s name in Lodi).   

 The toilets are dotted around the hospital and there should be a toilet in every floor. However, in this case one has to travel across the hospital to find a decent restroom. With only one cubical, a sink that has no soap to clean your hands and lack of toilet paper which seems to have gone missing. 

In addition a disconcerting concern arose when visiting a patient in ICU, in finding that NO antiseptics were available. When asking the nurses for some, she assured us they were not needed! Having been to the hospital consecutively for days, we found no improvement in hygene. The lack of basic hygene in a hospital that treats thousands of patients throughout the year makes us re-examine our hospitals in a different light.

 Let’s move onto another point, the A&E area. It is just larger then a classroom with one receptionist and three small wards for the seriously injured. This tiny room struggles to fit 30 people, and they have ‘codes’ which determine the seriousness of the injury.

    Code red was urgent injury, while white was minor. There was a lady in her mid-50s that had a white code with pain on her left leg, she waited from 4pm. We later found out that she waited more than 5 hours before she left.  

 This might be understandable with a minor injury, the previous day (Friday) an elder women was branded code red, she waited 4 hours before getting to see a doctor. She was brought in by the ambulance after complaining of bloated stomach, she had ulcer-like balls in her intestine that needed urgent removal.  

  As I said before there are other factors such as the nurses, who rarely interact with patients making them feel alienated, that degrades the hospital. Although the hospital appears fresh, modern, with ‘dedicated’ staff, in reality it is a wreck covered up.  

In my opinion there should be no difference between one hospital to another. Hospitals are goverment funded and should recieve the same funding throughout the country. It should make no difference whether one hospital is in a better area than the other. What surprised me more than the conditions of the hospital was the passivity of both the patients and families. They seemed to accept these conditions on the premis that there was nothing to be done about it.    I may have come across the only bad hospital in Milan or Italy but this hospital potentially treats hundreds of thousands of patients. A risk too many in my opinion.


Chase Farm\'s A&E 

There must be solid reasons to why the NHS want to close down the A&E, Chase Farm Hospital is renowned in being one of the worst kept hospitals in London.

  I think an article on the Guardian may support that view. Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, Kent, was claimed to have appaling conditions in all areas. The rooms were dusty and out-dated. It was given a stern censorship by health inspectors.

  The interesting fact is that the censorship came second best to Chase Farm:

  “The improvement notice was the second to be issued by the commission, following similar action against Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals in Enfield, north London, in July.”

  So you can see why the NHS are not optumistic, another article on The Guardian expressed concerns over budgeting. That was reported almost five years ago with issues still recurring.

   It has been 2 years since the NHS announced their plans to close down Chase Farm hospital’s A&E. Obviously there was huge uproar from Enfield locals, a much needed campaign was created called Save Chase Farm. They patition for rallies, donations and volunteers.

  Clear reasons for the closure of Chase Farm’s A&E are not clerified by the NHS. The only other A&E is 5.4 miles from Chase Farm. How can a the population of a borough (over 300,000) be admitted to one A&E?

  This blog is not specifically not for just the campaign for Chase Farm,  it is on the NHS overall. It is not all criticisms for the NHS, I’ll support some of their views, trying to give an unbiased view.

  As always with blogs your opinions are just as important, so feel free to comment on anything. Enjoy