Evasive health jargon

First published in Letters

Dear Editor,

It is with no great surprise that it is it difficult at times to disentangle the evasive jargon of Hywel Dda health board officials. People who are constantly trying to hide the real story get quite imaginative, but sadly naive if they think it is not noticed by some.

Chirs Martin (who is also advisor to Allied Healthcare who run a commercial home nursing service), the Hywel Dda chairman, talks of 'the last couple of furlongs' at a closed meeting. What he means is 'we think we have successfully ignored your outrage'. In a January board meeting there was a comment stating the need for 'ongoing dialogue to pre-empt the need for formal consultation'. In other words they are scared of a consultation, because they have not properly followed consultation guidelines and would lose a judicial review. The board is cleverly holding 'private' meetings with 'stakeholders' so that they can claim they have widely consulted. Those who fall into the trap of attending these private meetings are in fact giving the board the go ahead to do what they like. In addition, as a local resident, I am a stakeholder who might require hospital services, yet nobody has asked me to attend a meeting. Who decides who a stakeholder is?

The new plans for the hospital will be shown at 'engagement events'. In this sense 'engagement' stands for here are our plans but we don't want your opinion because it has all been decided. In addition the board claims, that their not so recent 'consultation' exercise showed the public supported care closer to home. That is a blatant distortion of what I stated, and I believe many others as well. I at the time was given to understand that 'closer to home' meant a local community hospital with a hub of larger hospital providing more intensive care. Not closing the local hospital.

The January report states that beds will not be transferred to the new development - but there is a need for 'associated' beds, in other words, beds in private nursing homes. Mr Martin's nine year experience with a commercial organisation, Allied Healthcare, providing such service will surely boost the quality of advice such service could provide. 'Associated beds' is the board's way of saying there will be no beds in the new hospital, despite past repeated assurances, they do not have the courage to say they deceived us all along.

Of course the new development is not to be called a hospital, but an Integrated Care Centre (black is no longer black but white). According to the Oxford Dictionary a hospital is "an institution for the medical and psychiatric care and treatment of patients". So which part of that is not going to be delivered or is it that a rather chaotic board does not even understand the basic meanings of health care words? The aim I presume is to extinguish the memory of the local hospital built by public subscription. Oh yes, as was the prime development land of the current site.

I would plea that those invited to these private meetings to boycott them until the board invites the real stakeholders - the public. By attending them you are admitting defeat and subcumbing to the board's divide and conquer strategy. I would also plea to the Hospital League of Friends to explore the possibility of a judicial review; if only to avoid having the name Cardigan's Integrated Care Centre League of Friends.

Dafydd Ladd

Beulah

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