King’s Mill Hospital has many strengths, not least its hard working doctors and nurses. Many people have positive experiences of receiving care there, but we all know that it has some well-documented problems.
I think one of the reasons why Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has failed to get to grips with these problems is due to the continual change at the top. NHS bosses have now decided that what is needed in order to make the improvements required at King’s Mill is to bring in a crack team of experts to turn the trust around once and for all.
I have met with the new interim chief executive Peter Herring and we agreed that there is much to celebrate about King’s Mill. But, he is determined to sort out its problems in the year that he will be in post.
Let’s hope that this is the year that the trust is put on the path to stability.
Shocking figures have suggested that as many as 40 per cent of former mineworkers may have some kind of lung disease – despite being given the all-clear following x-rays at work.
UK Coal routinely x-rayed employees to check for problems such as pneumoconiosis, which encompasses conditions such as black lung. But now it seems that these x-rays may not have been detailed enough to pick up the beginnings of these conditions.
One trade union recently paid for five former miners to have CT scans and two were found to have pneumoconiosis. It is now calling for the Government to pay for CT scans for all ex-miners.
I have written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt asking him to investigate why so many cases of these serious health conditions could have been missed. I await his reply to see what can be done to rectify this situation now.
Labour won an important victory in forcing George Osborne to u-turn on plans to cut working tax credits in the Autumn Statement. But the Tories are still pressing ahead with a £9.6 billion cut to the Work Allowance of Universal Credit by the end of this Parliament.
In Ashfield alone it is estimated there will be 12,000 people in receipt of Universal Credit by 2020. There will be an awful lot of hard working families who will be up to £1,600 a year worse off.
This is another shameful attack on working families who are struggling and the cut should be scrapped. After forcing the Government to back down on tax credit cuts, we cannot let them force this proposal through.