Hospital patients being discharged too early with dangerously inadequate social care”

“Patients are too often being discharged from hospital when it is not safe for them to leave due to poor levels of health and social care integration, according to MPs.

A report released today by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, found that a lack of integration, caused by the historic split between health and care, meant that interdependent services were being managed and funded separately. This “political maladministration” was causing suffering for patients and relatives, it said.

The committee was responding to work carried out by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which it said highlighted “harrowing cases that illustrated the human cost of poor discharge”. These cases were not isolated but were persistent problems across the health service.

Poor patient discharge can take the form of delayed transfers of care, where patients are kept in hospital longer than is necessary, and premature or early discharge, where patients are sent home before it is clinically safe to do so, or without appropriate support in place.

Barriers to the implementation of best practice are prevalent at the interface between health and social care, the committee said. Pressures on resourcing and capacity were “leading to unsafe discharge practices”, and it called on health and social care leaders to ensure that person-centred care remained the undisputed priority.

The report found that while excellent guidance was available, good practice was not being applied equally across the system and more data was needed on the scale and impact of the failures.

Responding to the report, parliamentary and health service ombudsman Julie Mellor, highlighted the human cost that could arise when people fell through the cracks, and blamed the underfunding of social care.

She said: “We see too many cases where discharge from hospital has gone horribly wrong, particularly for older, frail people who often don’t have the right support in place at home to cope on their own.

“These shocking failures will continue to happen unless the government tackles the heart of the problem – the chronic underfunding of social care which is pilling excruciating pressure on the NHS, leaving vulnerable patients without a lifeline.”

Committee chair Bernard Jenkin said some hospital staff felt under pressure to discharge people earlier than was appropriate.

“Hospital leadership must reassure their staff that organisational pressures never take priority over person-centred care,” he said.

He stressed that staff needed to feel a level of trust and openness that enabled them to raise concerns about unsafe discharge.

The report referred to the Better Care Fund and the Discharge Programme Board as being “promising”, in bridging the gap between health and social care. But, it cautioned that these plans were far from implemented.

The committee urged the health secretary to establish a set of objectives for the board, with measures and timelines, so progress could be monitored. Also, it advised the government to set out a route map, by March 2017, to demonstrate how arrangements for sustainable funding for integrated care will be implemented.”

NHS bed closure ” consultation” to begin

“Consultation” – Owl really doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry!

This afternoon NHS Northern, Eastern and Western (NEW) Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing body gathered for an extraordinary meeting at Exeter’s County Hall, following the announcement to close 72 community hospital beds in its eastern locality.

Details of the proposed consultation were discussed which will reduce the number of community bed units from seven to three.

The Your Future Consultation was approved by the governors signalling the start on the consultation on Friday, October 7.

It will run for 12 weeks and ultimately it will be NEW Devon CCG who decide which beds to close.

The four options being proposed in the consultation are…

A) 32 beds in Tiverton, 24 beds in Seaton and 16 beds in Exmouth.

B) 32 beds in Tiverton, 24 beds in Sidmouth and 16 beds in Exmouth.

C) 32 beds in Tiverton, 24 beds in Seaton and 16 beds in Whipton.

D) 32 beds in Tiverton, 24 in Sidmouth and 16 beds in Whipton.

In the options Tiverton hospital will definitely remain open. Honiton and Okehampton have not been included in the options so will close.”


The NHS is not overspent, it is underfunded!

EDDC’s badger expert

Brown has been a freelance badger consultant since 1996 and is largely contracted to undertake badger surveys for the planning, construction and development industries.”

ANIMAL campaigners have won a reprieve for a Bridport wildlife haven after a last ditch appeal to planners.

Retired zoologist Harry Britton and his wife Jill are fighting to save what they claim is an important home for badgers on the town’s New Zealand site where 15 homes are to be built.

Last week developers Hunt and Son asked West Dorset District Council to remove a condition preventing the bulldozers moving in until a protection zone has been establish around the setts once identified there.

They claimed a study by their badger expert Dr Julian Brown in late May had confirmed that the animals no longer live on the land.

But Mr and Mrs Britton, who live at Folly Mill Gardens next to the site, say they have conclusive evidence the badgers are still in residence.

And backed by Bridport Town Council they successfully persuaded the development control committee to halt the building work and order a new independent badger survey of the land.

Chairman Fred Horsington used his casting vote to back the protesters after the committee decision was split 4-4.

The reprieve came after Mr Britton argued that Dr Brown’s findings were flawed.”

Where are the main badger setts on Exmouth seafront?

Deputy CEO Cohen and Deputy …. whatever, something or other, waffle …. Councillor Moulding were both very, very vague about where the main badger setts (plural) are on Exmouth seafront.

Under the Premier Inn?
Under the Bowling Alley?
Under Exmouth Town Hall?

Owl thinks we should be told!

Brian May’s latest Save the Badger song:


EDDC’s Cohen says they will “do the right thing by them” in Exmouth

Source: today’s BBC Spotlight Richard Cohen, Deputy CEO of EDDC and Regeneration supremo, interviewed on Exmouth seafront said that “EDDC will do right by them”.

Unfortunately for us (though fortunately for the badger set under the demolished Crazy Golf area) he meant only the badgers.

Badgers are a protected species whereas human beings are not. Though perhaps someone should check that they don’t come under the Devon gassing orders.

Looks like EDDC got him down there pretty fast after the Moulding omnishambles on Radio Devon earlier – see post below.

Exmouth regeneration: Councillor Andrew Moulding, comedian



BBC iPlayer, Radio Devon this morning, Simon Bates

From 1:05:15

After a fair amount of discussion about the badger set found under the Crazy Golf and some local “vox pop’, Independent EDA Councillor Megan Armstrong can be heard at 1:09:53 followed by Tory Councillor Andrew Moulding at 1:10:28.

By 1:14:30, when Moulding has said nothing whatsoever of interest or use, simply regurgitating old, old, information, Simon Bates feels obliged to cut into Moulding’s waffle (and it IS ultra-top-grade waffle) Moulding says “the water sports park will have open spaces in it” (1:15:28). He doesn’t even understand why what he said was so silly!

When Moulding says they have a developer for the water sports development and also HAVE (not had) a preferred developer for the rest of the site, Moirai Capital Ltd, Bates breaks into laughter. He then says really ruefully: “Well, Adrian I think that’s all we are going to get, don’t you?” to which Adrian (the on-site reporter) says, just as ruefully and with a big sigh “”I know …” at which point they both break into peals of laughter!

Summary: 30 seconds of Independent EDA councillor being totally focused and on point, then roughly 5 minutes of Councillor Moulding saying nothing at all, waffling and being laughed at by two radio presenters!

By Owl’s reckoning that leaves BBC Radio Devon owing Councillor Megan Armstrong 4.5 minutes of air time for right of reply.

Though, to be fair, Moulding said nothing anyone COULD reply to!

EDDC hints at return of Sidford Business Park planning application in future

Owl NEVER knew that delegated decisions could be made this way! And so quickly!

The latest press release sounds like a hint that if the applicant can put in lots of trees to largely camouflage it, hide it and baffle some noise, dig into their pockets for a little bit of traffic management and change the use of some of the buildings to generate slightly less traffic, they will be able to push it through.

Bet their agent is finishing off plan B as Owl writes. Keep those barricades up, Sidford – you may need them sooner than you thought yesterday!

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has this morning shed light on why it refused an outline planning application for a 9.3-acre business park in Sidford.

The decision was made yesterday (Tuesday) at the authority’s weekly planning chairman’s meeting.

In accordance with EDDC’s constitution, as both Councillor David Barratt, the ward member for Sidmouth Rural, and Sidmouth Town Council were opposed to the proposal – and the officer recommendation was also for refusal – the application did not need to be determined by the development management committee (DMC).

“The application was therefore presented by officers at the DMC chairman’s delegation meeting, where the decision was made in consultation with the ward member and DMC vice-chairman Councillor Mike Howe (standing in for the Cllr David Key), an EDDC spokeswoman told the Herald.

“The reasons for the refusal were that the application failed to demonstrate how the developers would achieve the high standards of design and landscaping, which are a requirement for all developments taking place in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The proposal also did not sufficiently prove that traffic likely to be generated from the proposed mix of uses at the site would not be harmful to highway safety.

“Members attending the delegated session were also not satisfied that any noise impact would be acceptable and were concerned that the application did not show how a cycle route would be put in place. The proposal also failed to include possible junction improvements and did not show how the site would be landscaped to reduce its impact on the surrounding area.

“The applicant has a right to appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate within six months, or they may wish to attempt to address the reasons for refusal through the submission of a new planning application.

“It is important to note that the council remains committed to seeing the Sidford Two Bridges site developed for employment purposes – its allocation remains in place and is supported by the Local Plan. All future applications for the site’s development must fulfil the requirements of the Local Plan and should include specific details that justify the extent and mix of proposed employment uses.”

EDDC councillor laughed at on radio when talking about Exmouth and Moirai

Which EDDC councillor got laughed at on air by a BBC presenter this morning for a daft answer to a question about Exmouth seafront regeneration and EDDC’s links with Moirai Capital Investments?

Answer: Councillor Andrew Moulding!

From a correspondent:

Cllr Moulding seemed very flustered when questioned on radio Devon about the opinions of locals and EDDC financial support for the Ocean complex. Ignoring the question entirely, Cllr Moulding proceeded on his own agenda to talk about phase three of the development, leaving the presenters laughing incredulously.

Additionally, Cllr Moulding agreed that people love the openness of the space but that it is okay to develop on that because the watersports centre will include open space! I’m not entirely sure Cllr Moulding actually understands how people value open space?!”

Er, is it open space when you have to pay to use it Councillor Moulding? Owl guesses that, in EDDC la-la-land, where money rules, it probably is!

“Right to know Day”

International Right to Know Day is an annual occasion designed to promote freedom of information worldwide.

In 2016, 250 years since the launch of the world’s first Freedom of Information law in Sweden, the right to request information from public bodies is as important as ever to democracy.

The Information Commissioner:

Acts on Complaints
Works to improve transparency in public sector outsourcing
Provides guidance and helping raise awareness of information rights
Is independent

and EDDC is one of a handful of councils that the ICO has taken to court (Knowle consultancy secrecy) where the ICO won its case and forced previously secret papers to be published.