The news that King’s Mill Hospital is facing major problems does not come as a surprise to many people in Mansfield and Ashfield.
The start of its troubles can, in my opinion, be traced back to the decision to upgrade the buildings using the controversial PFI method of funding whereby our NHS has to pay rent to a private corporation for the use of the new facilities.
I understand that the annual fees due under this arrangement take up a large percentage of King’s Mill’s annual budget, leaving it struggling to pay for drugs and vital services.
I don’t know whether the decision to use PFI was taken locally or at national level, but I think whoever was/is responsible owes the people of central Nottinghamshire a massive apology.
Is it too much for us to ask in the 21st century that we have a hospital which provides good quality care? The answer has got to be ‘no’.
I wouldn’t mind so much if the PFI spending had brought about marked improvements to our hospital. To me the outside of the place looks more like an out of town shopping centre than a place providing care, what with all those bright lights on the walls.
Having to walk for miles to get to the wards, passing all those retail outlets on the ground floor, only reinforces this impression. I much preferred going to Mansfield General Hospital if I needed treatment, it was a lot more welcoming and homely. It was a pity it closed down.
I am sure it could have been modernised at a fraction of the money it has cost us taxpayers to “glam up” King’s Mill.
I never thought I would say this but I do feel that the only way out of this mess is for our hospital to join up with Nottingham and ask them to manage King’s Mill in a similar fashion to how they run the city’s services. I say this as I would not want them to look upon us as anything less than equal partners when it comes to funding levels etc. We are, after all, supposed to have a national and not local health service.
Something needs to be done and soon, in my opinion. People’s well being is at risk.
Forest Road, Mansfield