Labour Oldham’s healthcare decisions have put the safety of people without Coronavirus in jeopardy

Oldham Council and their CCG partners made the decision early in the Coronavirus lockdown to close the boroughs only walk in medical centre and convert it into a central Oldham Coronavirus hub leaving a huge gap in provision for people with other health problems. I recently experienced this gap on Sunday 27th September when my elderly mother was taken ill. Now a couple of years ago she had suffered the exact same symptoms and ended up in hospital for two days. Knowing about the Coronavirus problems she made the informed decision not to phone 999 but to phone 111. She communicated her symptoms and her previous experience with the same problem the call handler then recommended that a 76 year old woman with severe symptoms should make her way to Ashton or Manchester to attend their walk in centres. This option was not an option and after much debate the operator agreed to refer her to a doctor who would conduct triage on the phone. After the phone triage they decided to send a doctor to make a house call and informed her it could be some time even as long as six hours. A doctor eventually turned up almost ten hours later and after examination wanted to send her to hospital for scans she refused not trusting hospital safety in respect of Coronavirus transmission. As she said to me after he left if I had suffered some kind of embolism or haemorrhage after ten hours I would be unconscious or dead. The doctor who attended was great I have no issues with him just a system where the vulnerable are constantly pushed to the back of service provision. Labour Oldham’s entire political and social ethos is focused solely on central Oldham and the surrounding wards everyone and everywhere else is at best a secondary consideration receiving a disproportionately small return on their monetary and social contributions.