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Traumatic situation

Not only have far too many patients of five Swindon surgeries been harmed by Integral Medical Holdings (IMH) inadequacy but also IMH has signally failed to consult and communicate with their service users.

The sad and traumatic patient stories that have been heard at the five public meetings speak volumes about the dangers of the IMH creeping-privatisation of our NHS.

Many individuals and agencies are culpable in this pain-inflicting debacle: IMH, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Some key questions of many that still lie unanswered on the table include: What due diligence did the CCG do when overseeing the contracting of IMH? By what date and, how effectively circulated, can the patients expect up to date position and progress statements from relevant bodies, including IMH, CCG,CQC and the five GP surgeries?

Tony Hillier, Brunswick Street, Swindon

We know who to blame

Integral Medical Holdings Chief Medical Officer Dr David Jones may well be a competent clinician, but he doesn’t appear to anything other than a lousy manager (SA 30 Nov). His latest comment confirms the wisdom of the words “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Dr Jones attempts to defend IMH’s incompetence at managing the call handling integration process of five surgeries by conflating it with the very survival of the practices concerned. The two issues are totally unrelated as I’m sure Dr Jones is well aware and he only needs to consider his medical training to understand that cause and association are two different things.

The issue of appropriate and adequate numbers of staff to handle calls was something which any competent manager would have considered in any operational plan. It is patently clear that IMH management decided to introduce and centralise a new booking system without having thought through the process and with little regard for the impact it would have on their customers.

Dr Jones needs to stop blaming the known problems of recruiting GPs or continuing to point out that doctors don’t like doing paperwork, neither of which has anything to do with his team failing to provide an adequate telephone answering service!

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Rail fare rise robbery

The great train robbery hits commuters as rail fares go up three per cent.

Passengers are getting hammered again this year as the service gets steadily worse with ever more delays and cancellations.

The 37 per cent rise in fares in the last ten year highlights the fact that privatisation has been a disaster for those people who have to use the trains to get to work.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

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