Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Naylor Report shows 'Chorley hospital to be demolished' was no idle threat

It's now been confirmed Chorley district hospital and the Royal Preston Hospital would likely be sold-off to the private sector to pay towards a new 'super-hospital' near Lostock Hall.

A new report out called the "Naylor Report" referred to by Theresa May in her interview with Andrew Neil last week is a recommendation to all healthcare trusts in England to sell-off their estate and other assets to release £2bn. And to do this as quickly as possible.

What's this got to do with Chorley district hospital?

The 'option' mentioned in August last year by Lancashire teaching hospitals trust was to sell-off (demolish) C&SR hospital along with the Royal Preston Hospital to make way for a single super hospital over Lostock Hall way.

"the Bamber Bridge/Clayton Brook/Lostock Hall area has been identified as a site for the major new development" (Lancs Evening Post 16.8.16)

Our campaigners questioned at the time "where's the money coming from to pay for a new hospital?

The Naylor report which Theresa May supports gives us the answers in black and white. It involves the sale of assets (mainly estate) and borrowing via PFI.

The very first page  (2nd paragraph) of the Naylor Report says they intend "releasing £2bn of assets for reinvestment and to deliver land for 26,000 new homes".

  • They call it releasing assets for reinvestment.
  • We call it selling off our NHS to the private sector.
Historical intentional underfunding by the Department of Health yields an excuse to justify selling off NHS public property to the private sector.

Trusts blackmailed into selling off assets

In her interview with Andrew Neil Theresa May said she supports the idea of hospital trusts selling off their assets [estate] or face paying an additional 3.5% charge on their capital budget (there's also the mention on the same page 22 of the dreaded PFI if your trust don't comply).

Remember the Tories health & social care act 2012?
As soon as the act became law in 2013 the Tories transferred all NHS estate to a private company. NHS Property Services (NHSPS) is a limited company owned by the Department of Health (DoH), they took over the ownership of around 3,600 National Health Service (NHS) facilities [Estate] in April 2013. NHS Property Services Ltd now manages, maintains and develops the properties on behalf of the DoH.

It's a revolving door for the new CEO of NHSPS who worked previously for BT as well as being the government's Crown Representative for Property and Facilities Management for the Cabinet Office. http://www.property.nhs.uk/new-chief-executive-at-nhs-property-services-ltd/

Watch Chris Holden's Video summary showing evidence of NHS estate sell-off..


Chorley’s hospital could be demolished to make way for a new ‘super hospital’.

Read more at: http://www.chorley-guardian.co.uk/news/new-super-hospital-shock-1-8071086
Chorley’s hospital could be demolished to make way for a new ‘super hospital’.

Read more at: http://www.chorley-guardian.co.uk/news/new-super-hospital-shock-1-8071086
Chorley’s hospital could be demolished to make way for a new ‘super hospital’.

Read more at: http://www.chorley-guardian.co.uk/news/new-super-hospital-shock-1-8071086

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Why the boss of HealthWatch Lancashire should resign

Our local hospitals have been in crisis for many years, yet the body setup to monitor them have failed to make any difference, and are now refusing to listen to campaigners on spurious radical NHS reforms called STPs.

The so-called 'chief' of Healthwatch Lancashire 'Mike Wedgeworth' upset Chorley hospital campaigners this time last year saying the save Chorley hospital A&E campaign was "deterring specialist doctors from taking up vacant posts at Chorley Hospital.”

In a separate news article (2BR), Wedgeworth said he wasn't going to apologise for what he said since he believed campaigners were criticising the trust and it was having a bad effect because that would put the Trust in a bad light and it might deter people from apply to work there.
What he didn't say, was the trust he spoke of had the worst projected deficit ever seen [2015/16] in the history of the NHS and was still under investigation from NHS Improvement for failing to meet 4 out of 5 core standards after a CQC inspection in 2014 rated them 'requiring improvement.
So much for 'Healthwatch' eh Mike?

Three years on, and after another CQC inspection, the Trust have once again been rated as 'requiring improvement' providing evidence Healthwatch Lancashire have had no impact whatsoever on the outcome for patients requiring secondary healthcare.

Toothless tigers and damp squids, Healthwatch Lancashire, the body setup to question whether people are satisfied with local healthcare provision are actually questioning why NHS campaigners are angry about poor management at the trust which has led to the huge deficit.

Call for resignation

Here's what Mike Wedgeworth said in an interview with 2BR in June 2016...
"I've requested a meeting to discuss the question - I don't feel inclined to resign but if they [campaigners] put to me good reasons to me why I should [resign] then I will consider it".
Wedgeworth and Healthwatch Lancashire have failed on many levels. They've failed to ask simple questions on major NHS reforms called Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs) for Lancashire such as how the reforms will be funded, staffed, and where the evidence of the proposed outcomes comes from.

He's failed to make or influence the hospital trust procedures. Worst of all, even though he had teams of volunteers entering hospitals and asking questions, the Hospital trust was once again put in measures of 'requiring improvement' for a second time running after a CQC inspection in 2016.

Healthwatch Lancashire are supposed to be the 'public voice' for health & social care.

"Healthwatch Lancashire will gather intelligence by engaging with residents, listen to comments, compliments and concerns and ensure that these views and experiences are heard by those who run, plan and regulate health and social care services in Lancashire".

Wedgeworth supports the STPs (even though he hasn't a clue how they are to be funded or staffed) saying "My special interest is in ensuring that the public and community groups are aware of the changes being planned in the NHS and local government services and in seeking to influence these changes in their interests".

He claims "I have been a member of the Lancashire Health and Well-being Board since its inception"

Wedgeworth serves on the following Health boards..

  • Chairman Healthwatch Lancashire
  • East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)  as Healthwatch representative
  • Lancashire County Council Health & Wellbeing Board
His special interests are ensuring that the public and community groups are aware of the changes [STPs] being planned in the NHS and local government services and in seeking to influence these [STPs] changes in their interests.

I think it's time to abolish the useless Healthwatch bodies and we'll start with Mike Wedgeworth's resignation and take it from there...

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Friday, 12 May 2017

Tory Promise of £10bn extra for NHS was 'pack of lies'


The Conservative governments claim of injecting an “extra £10 billion” into the NHS by 2020 has been 'rubbished' by MPs and proven to be untrue.

The numbers have perhaps been best explained by the Nuffield Trust’s Sally Gainsbury.

She shows that the £8 billion from 2016-2020-21 began at best as a rounding up of an actual £7.6 billion uplift over 5 years. It was only inflated to the mythical £10 billion figure by adding in the money already allocated for the previous year 2015-16.

But it was always a deception: because while alongside some increases to NHS England’s budget, there are simultaneous cuts of over £3 billion being imposed on the rest of the Department of Health budget, which is not ring-fenced against cuts.

So £7.6bn from 2016-2020 turns out to be just £4.5bn extra health spending over the same 5 years. However the £4.5bn “real terms” increase is itself calculated on the basis of general inflation in the economy, not the much higher levels of price increases faced by the NHS in the global market for drugs and equipment.

These threaten cost increases high enough to wipe out another £3.7 billion.
In other words the promised £10 bn “real terms” increase is actually worth less than a tenth of that amount, just £800 million, over the next few years to 2020.
And the comparatively generous financial uplift of 2016-17 is followed by two more years of even more brutal squeeze on spending, which is set to force a massive round of further cuts and desperate so-called efficiency “savings.” These will put local access to hospitals and other health services at risk for millions, most of them older and living in more rural areas.

Devon MP Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Commons Health Committee, was among the growing ranks of those who openly criticised the government’s deception

Article kindly reproduced from Health Campaigns Together '2017 Election Special' issue available for download as a PDF here.