A few days ago, we put up this post about the unacceptable treatment of patients attending Orsett Hospital for blood tests: Unacceptable… Since then, Thurrock Nub News have picked up on the story: Leading councillor is dismissive of blood test concerns and bangs drum for council’s controversial medical centre policy. A brief reminder of the issues at stake – they’re a combination of a poor bus service to the hospital plus COVID-19 regulations which require patients to wait outside the blood testing centre, even though we’re now in winter.
Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for health, Cllr. Allen Mayes (Con), was asked by Thurrock Nub News for his opinions on the problems at the blood testing centre. Mayes swept aside concerns about the bus service to and from the hospital. He stated that the COVID-19 regulations were necessary for ‘keeping our residents visiting the hospital as safe as possible’. He made no acknowledgement of the fact that over zealous implementation of these regulations meant patients had to wait outside in the cold. He certainly made no attempt to offer an apology. He then concluded his remarks by lauding Thurrock Council’s role in the four Integrated Medical Centres to be built across the borough, even though the first one in Corringham isn’t due for completion until 2022!
What’s galling is that opposite the blood test centre which appears to be constantly behind schedule, there’s a drive through COVID-19 testing centre with five staff dealing with the occasional car that turned up. A bit of a misallocation of resources? We certainly think so, particularly when readiness to ‘deal with’ COVID-19 appears to be taking priority to the detriment of every other service the NHS has (or had) to offer.
A word about the portfolio holder for health, Cllr. Allen Mayes. He started out his life as a councillor as a member of the Thurrock Independents group before deciding to cross the floor and join the Tory ruling group. As far as we’re concerned, he shouldn’t even be in office because crossing the floor should mean a by-election is called immediately as we explained here way back in January 2020: Do the honourable thing – stand down and call a by-election. With a moral compass like this, it’s no surprise he comes out with the bullshit he has regarding this issue…