SIR, - The plan of NHS Borders to pull specialist clinics away from local centres into the BGH is wrong for a number of reasons.
It is blinkered, putting the needs of the Health Board above those of patients. If Tesco shared such a mindset and expected everyone to go to a superstore in Edinburgh they would go bankrupt. Unfortunately we are stuck with NHS Borders.
It is inefficient to drag 50 people to BGH to save the travel of one consultant. It is arrogance to assume that the time of a consultant is worth more than that of a patient.
It is inconvenient. The only way to get to BGH is by car; some don’t have one. Those that do find that the carparks at BGH are always full. Why add to the congestion?
It is not necessary. Why drag elderly and sick people 30 miles simply to have a chat to a consultant.
It is not fair. We paid equally into the NHS; we should have, where practical, equal treatment.
Centralisation is lousy, lazy management. The drive should be precisely opposite: delivering services patients need (including tests, diagnosis and treatment) to where patients are. Toyota, the biggest car company in the world, discovered that so-called ‘economies of scale’ do not deliver what people want. Yet the NHS blindly follows the doctrine. They should change track. They say they ‘put patients first’. Let’s see them do it.