Due to severe cut backs, Rochdale Infirmary is to trial working office hours only. This is a first in the UK since the inception of the NHS. The proposal will see the busy hospital open between 09.00 BST and 17.00 BST, Monday to Friday, and it will close completely at weekends. This includes all wards, clinics and A&E. Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have also said they will be trialling services which will see patients having to PAY for care during extreme emergencies. 
Our source, who asked not to be named for confidentiality reasons, has told said;

“We decided to give this a trial due to severe staffing issues and the difficulty in finding healthcare professionals who are willing to work out of normal hours. If a loved one is admitted to hospital, we will be treating them during these hours only and will be asking for next of kin to collect their loved ones at 5pm and look after them until we re-open at 9am the following day. If your loved one is admitted to hospital on a Friday, we are asking that you care for them at home over the weekend. Where a patient has no next of kin, we will be able to arrange an overnight stay, but they will receive no medical care and will be charged £30 per night. They will be cared for by a porter or a cleaner, because nurses and doctors just won’t work nights or out of hours. They actually never have, contrary to popular belief, which is why the government are imposing the contracts. It’s to make the work shy bastards do the job they’re paid to do”.

This shocking announcement came on the same day that the BMA announced a five day walk out over the new, imposed junior doctors contracts. The all-out strikes will take place from 08:00 BST to 17:00 BST from 12 to 16 September with more dates to follow.

Even more shockingly, when asked what will happen in extreme emergencies, such as a patient requiring intensive care, our source told us; 

“If they need intensive care, that’s slightly different. They will of course be able to stay over night, but they will be given no medication that would need to be administered by a trained nurse. We will be using agency carers to watch the machines and ensure patients remain alive. If a patient requires resuscitation out of hours, we will be trialling an American model of care where we charge £400 for the life saving intervention. This is because we would have to find a consultant who would be willing to come in out of hours to save a life”. 

Susan Crack from the Care Quality Commission told us;

“While this may be a worrying time for service users, we would like to assure people that this model could work well. We haven’t always had a 24/7 service in the past, and mankind has managed to make it this far. This programme will save the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust around £7m a year. This money can be fed back into services such as hiring Polish and Romanian speaking nurses to help the influx of health tourists the hospital is seeing”. 

Do you live in Rochdale? What are your thoughts on this? Get in touch.

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Quentin D Fortesqueue is a founding editor of The Rochdale Herald. Part time amateur narcissist and full time satirist Quentin is never happier than when playing his lute and drinking a full bodied Bordeaux. He rarely plays the lute and never gets to drink Bordeaux.