Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Chorley Hospital A&E Closure was planned (proof)

Well, I must confess I wasn't surprised when I heard the announcement today that the re-opening of Chorley Hospital A&E won't be reviewed again until April 2017.

In fact, Mystic Maverick actually predicted the EXACT MONTH in 2017 the Hospital Trust said they would consider re-opening the A&E at Chorley. I'll explain in a minute how I did this, for now just make a note of the month the A&E was closed (April) 2016.

The A&E at Chorley was closed in April this year [2016] due to a lack of staff leading to an increased risk to patient safety. Or so we're told.

Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Trust told Campaigners a while back that there should be enough doctors in place to open the A&E late August.

But last week hopes again were dashed when campaigners were told an August re-opening was OFF and it would be another six months before the A&E would open.

Today [3rd August 2016], after a meeting between multi NHS agencies at the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) offices in Leyland, a decision was made to Privatise the urgent care centre (built last year at the side of the A&E) and only revisit the issue of re-opening the Chorley A&E in April 2017. Note the date April.

When the urgent care centre (UCC) at Chorley hospital was opened in October 2015, many suspected it was built to replace the A&E. But immediately closing the A&E and telling people to use the new UCC instead would reveal the obvious pre-determined plan of a major service reconfiguration.
So the Trust were advised to wait a while.......

The Master Plan Revealed

When any major hospital reconfiguration is proposed, such as centralising acute A&E services at another hospital, evidence must be provided that changes must be clinically safe and financially viable.

This can be done in two ways:

1) using an existing model that has already undergone configuration (the model must have a similar population catchment area with supporting ambulance services).

2) Using a progressive step-down model which utilises a 12 month trial period where the service [eg. A&E] is temporarily replaced with a UCC to allow study data which will determine if surrounding hospitals can take up the demand from the temporary closed service [eg. A&E].

source:  The reconfiguration of clinical service, (Strategy Unit NHS England 2013) King's Fund

Model 2) requires 12 months clinical trial which tallies EXACTLY with the date the A&E at Chorley was temporarily closed (April), and today's announcement of when the A&E will be revisited (April).
April to April, 12 months exactly.

The initial whole system proposal is part of the Trust's ‘Our Health Our Care’ service reconfiguration programme. The proposal can be found here in the Trust's Annual report & accounts 2015-16
Note. the above is a PDF download..

The winter period is the most challenging time for any A&E so it's little surprise the Lancashire Hospitals Trust avoided any re-opening date before the new year [2017].

There is more to it than that of course, but when a Hospital foundation trust is rated poor (requires improvement) in 5 out of 7 clinical categories they will stop at nothing to resolve the issue.

Now consider this...
the hospital trust 2 weeks ago claimed they needed to recruit TWO permanent doctors to reopen the A&E at Chorley hospital. Today, they said they need EIGHT.

A source at the hospital confirmed no wte doctors (junior or consultant) leaving A&E services.

But I hear you saying "what if you're wrong? And the recruitment issue was correct all along?

Then I'd say do your research, take a look at the trusts annual report 2015-16  (PDF download) where service reconfiguration was first proposed. Then look at the trust board papers over the last 2 years which shows a deficit of over £41 million and how they've just loaned £21M from Monitor. Take a look at the local CCG board papers and how the reconfiguration was slowly introduced.

A forum of over 55,000 doctors have been following my plea to join and help out the Lancashire trust and time and again they say applications have been made.


Finally, a freedom of information (FOI) request was submitted to the trust in May this year asking how long the Trusts doctor recruitment campaign had been ongoing, how many doctors/consultants and what level they Trust had recruited to support re-opening of the A&E at Chorley Hospital.

I was astonished to see the Trust had used section 70 of the FOI act to censor the results, indicating that many doctors who COULD have been recruited, may have been told the vacancies were no longer available. In the FOI response, the Trust had censored the number of doctors required to safely run the A&E. Andrew Oddy, who initiated the FOI request said..
"Sadly the Trust chose to redact [censor] most of the information sought despite it being of a non-personal nature - the answer is meaningless without context".

The Censored recruitment figures can be found here

Campaigners have been told by the hospital trust to wait until April next year before the issue of re-opening the A&E is revisited.
The only way forward is not to wait until next year but demand an independant investigation NOW as to why this Trust are failing them so badly, and why we should believe the lies they are so blatantly telling us.
In the meantime, question everything you are told, after all it's OUR NHS!

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