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Inner-city hospitals 'drain on the system', says Carter


There are too many acute hospitals in metropolitan areas and that needs to change if failing hospitals are to improve, Peter Carter has suggested.

Calling for a “paradigm shift” in policy, Peter Carter reportedly said he believes a number of inner-city hospitals are “a drain on the system” and are no longer appropriate for the modern age.

Dr Carter delivered the message in a private meeting with the think-tank Reform, the Times said, where he admitted that hospitals need to adapt to cope with the strains put on the health service in the 21st century.

Dr Carter, whose union represents 400,000 nurses, also said politicians need to be “brave” enough to make widespread reforms to the NHS.

He added: “People have tinkered around the edges and not made the paradigm shift that’s required.”

His comments came as the government unveiled changes to its controversial NHS reform plans, which have attracted criticism from inside and outside the health service.

The changes announced to the reforms followed what Prime Minister David Cameron called a “pause” in the plans as health professionals and experts were consulted over the bid to extend competition in health provision amid concern over the proposals and the speed at which they were due to be introduced.

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Readers' comments (25)

  • i am so sorry but to get rid of more hospitals when the is not enough acuite beds and the goverment telling to cut back lots of people need medical help to save lives and you want to get rid of more acute hospitals has someone been chewing peter's ear i now we have bunk beds?

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  • adapt!adapt do you think we are on blue peter or is this one i made earler?

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  • How do we get rid of this buffoon and get someone in who doesn't just tow the governments party line?

    I agree that there needs to be an increase in primary care services and a lot more can be done in this area, but NOT to the detriment of acute hospitals. Primary and secondary services should be working side by side, you cannot have one or the other, carter!

    You CANNOT get rid of acute hospitals! There will always be a need for them, as is evidenced by the sheer shortage of beds on a daily basis!!! There has been a moronic move to decrease ward sizes and bed number in new hospitals for a while now, and what happens? There are still the same number of people needing the beds but less spaces to put them, and we end up arguing with the bed manager because we have no more room!!!!!!

    Yes acute hospitals cost money, but they are ESSENTIAL!!! If we go along this moronic line of thinking, why not get rid of hospitals entirely, that will save a load of money, oh wait, Nurses cost a lot, get rid of them too, hey, Doctors are costing the NHS a fortune! They're gone! Then what about the clinics, the paramedic services, they cost a huge pot of money, gone! Yay, we've got a health service that practically costs nothing!!!!! Oh wait, what do we do with all the sick and dying people now?

    It really does beggar belief sometimes.

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  • yes, but over eight hundred million pounds have just been paid out for the foreign vaccines programme!

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  • Anonymous | 17-Jun-2011 4:20 pm

    I worry about the upsurge in this type of comment. I have seen similar views expressed in other threads.

    Having spent some years working in a developing country, I cannot begrudge my country spending money on vaccines and other aid for children and babies in another country. The miserable tragedy of kids dying of starvation and entirely preventable disease is something that defies description. I wonder how easy it would be to take a view against aid if those kids were ours.

    I agree with Mike, that we need to get rid of the increasingly ineffectual Peter Carter and his latest bizarre comments. There is simply no case for a further reduction in hospital beds.

    If money has to be saved/found, then we need to start looking at the cost of Trident, bombing Libya, fat cat bonuses, bringing the banks into line, etc.

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  • foreign aid is fine but it is the timing of it by the government that is so bad just after they announce huge deficits and make radical cutbacks affecting what are already totally inadequate services and the poorest and most vulnerable in society and causing existential anxiety to many others. better prioritization would probably command more respect for the government by taxpayers and provoke less angry outbursts about this situation.

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  • with all the European and global economic problems it would seem that our vital domestic needs including social and health services will slide rapidly down the list of priorities.

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  • have to say that no matter how bad things are here, it's a helluva lot worse for those with no access whatsoever to any form of health care. things here are crap. no doubt about it. but relatively speaking, how many of us here are 5 years old and haven't eaten for 3 days or are dying from measles? there is no such thing as a bad time to give aid. yeah, get the priorities sorted out and take the money from elsewhere. keep the hospitals.

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  • This is a massive subject and not really appropriate to tackle here. However, it is worth noting a couple of points.

    There are those in the media who would have us believe (successfully it would seem) that we are sending unaffordable amounts of money to the poor in other countries, whilst our poor suffer for the want of that money. Easy headlines that ignore the real facts.

    The amount of aid this country gives is actually pretty poor. The situations in poorer countries are often caused and compounded by rich countries (where we, even in this recession, still rank 6th). And don't think for one minute that these are merely handouts. Aid given by governments usually has strings attached and buys advantage for the donors in political and economic terms, and 'favours-owed'.

    Like I said before. Don't close any more hospitals to save money in this country. There are plenty of ways to find that money that don't involve increasing the hardship to the vulnerable in this country, or decreasing the support to the poor in the developing world.

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  • Dr Carter is so right in this. We have too many beds in big cities. We should consolidate them onto sites where excellence and safety can be maintained. We need to invest the money saved and more in Community Services. He should be pressing our spineless politicians to get on with this

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