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 resignationHere'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
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...