People dying apparently not a consideration for NHS (non) Success Regime

Press Release from Save Our Hospital Services (Facebook group):

Public Meetings across North Devon against potential cuts in the acute services at North Devon District Hospital

The SOHS Devon campaign over the last two months has run a series of meetings across Northern Devon in Combe Martin, Lynton, Bideford, Northam, Westward Ho!, Braunton, South Molton. Without exception they have been packed to capacity with around 250-300 people at each meeting.

Speakers from the campaign have been informing the public of what can be done to avert the real danger of the acute and emergency services being removed from North Devon District Hospital following the publication of the so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Devon.

Laura Nicholas, Director of Strategy at the ‘Success Regime’ and one of the authors of the STP made this astonishing statement to the Braunton council public meeting in November 2017. “If an ambulance has to drive past a hospital front door to go somewhere else, someone may die. That may be the case, but we have to balance that against a whole range of people who may not have access to any services at all. And that may also lead to that outcome.” A ‘balance’ of a death against a death?

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It is abundantly clear that the general public is seriously concerned at what the consequences of any cuts to acute and emergency services at the NDDH will be.

“The people of North Devon fought to have the District Hospital built because of the vital need in this isolated area. It is the second most remote district hospital in the country”, said campaigner Phillip Wearne. “The people of North Devon are fighting now to save our hospital from cuts, which will result in lives being lost.”

Appalling exchange between (un)Success Regime and member of public

At the DCC Health and Wellbeing scrutiny committee meeting [on Thursday] a member of the public (MOP) confronted Angela Pedder leader of the STP group.

The “conversation” went something like this:

MOP “Hi Angela, this STP you are rolling out, you do realise people will die? How do you feel about this?

Pedder “I dispute that fact”.

MOP “Don’t you realise young women will die in childbirth on the way to Plymouth?”.

Pedder ” Don’t point your finger at me”.

MOP (finger removed)” You do realise stroke victims will suffer brain damage before they get to Exeter?”.

Pedder “I dispute that”.

MOP “You’re living in dreamland Angela”.

Source: John Wardman Faceboook

This will presumably appear on the webcast of the meeting.

And, yes, our LEP does have a hand in health cuts – and not in a good way

“The Prospectus promises that if local partners have greater freedom to act, by 2030 they will … Support the changes to our health and care system by galvanising and aligning resources across the whole system.”

(Last sentence of the document)

Click to access Issue11HeartoftheSouthWestStakeholderBriefing__545057.pdf

EDDC Arts & Culture Forum meeting 1 February, 2.30pm at the Beehive Centre, Honiton.

Ever wanted to know what cultural development is planned for Cranbrook? Or how much more money is going to be poured into the Thelma Hulbert Gallery to keep it on life support? This meeting should be right up your street!

AND you can hear what the council has to say about health and wellbeing throughout the district -information which has been pretty thin on the ground during the NHS crisis we have been, and are still, experiencing.

Following the adoption of a Cultural Plan for East Devon DC we have set out clearly how important the work that various Council teams deliver for cultural tourism, health and wellbeing.

At this forthcoming meeting we have the Arts Council England talking about their priorities and their fit with our work, Martin Thomas; Director for Exeter Cultural Partnership, Karin Frewin; Marketing Consultant for Seaton, Cllr Jenny Brown; Tourism
Champion updating on her cultural tourism project, plus updates on Cranbrook’s cultural development work and much more.

The meeting is open for everyone to attend, network and hopefully better understand the opportunities and work that we do in encouraging cultural activities across East Devon. So come along and find out more…”

Click to access the-knowledge-20-january-2017-issue-34.pdf

Poor broadband connections disadvantage rural children

Poor broadband connection in remote areas hinders children’s learning because they cannot do their homework properly, a report has found.

Brian Wilson, Director at Rural England, said that pupils who grow up in rural communities are at a disadvantage compared with their urban residents, as they less are able to access online learning resources and carry out research based projects. A report by the campaign group, titled State of Rural Services 2016, written by Mr Wilson, said that rural communities are suffering due to poor transport
links to vital public services.

Click to access the-knowledge-20-january-2017-issue-34.pdf

“East Devon sees biggest job claimants rise in county”

“The county-wide figure increased by 58, compared with the previous month, taking the total claimant count to 2,918.

The increase included an additional 24 claimants in East Devon.”

Our Local Enterprise Partnership is charged with improving our economy … you know, the one that’s just given its Chief Executive a 26% payrise … the one who supervises 4 full-time staff and a small number of part-time staff. The one that Devon County Council and Somerset County Council opposed but went ahead anyway as it is the businessmen that control it as a majority.

What is the point of Somerset County Council being the LEP’s audit authority if it can’t prevent this sort of thing?

“Exmouth Fun Park regeneration row continues”

“The chairman of Exmouth’s regeneration committee has refused to comment on the clash of “opinions” between the owner of Exmouth Fun Park and the district council. …

… The Echo previously requested details about how Mr Wright rejected the offer in a Freedom of Information request (FOI) to the council, and a subsequent request for clarification after the response was only partially answered: the council responded: “The offer was not accepted and was then withdrawn by EDDC.”

Independent ward member for Exmouth, Cllr Megan Armstrong, added: “I am shocked by this revelation and surprised at the way the negotiations came to an end. It is very puzzling for the council to say Mr Wright did not accept the offer of a lease, when according to him, this was not the case.

“I am glad that a journalist has been able to follow-up these discrepancies, but find it concerning that the FOI request was initially not fully answered, and only by the persistence of the journalist, was clarity provided.”

She added: “Cllr Skinner doesn’t seem to be taking what Mr Wright has said seriously and seems to have dismissed his position.

“Members of the council shouldn’t have been informed that Mr Wright rejected an offer made if this wasn’t the case.”

Leader of the opposition, Independent Cllr Ben Ingham [this is incorrect: the leader of Independent opposition is now Councillor Cathy Gardner] added:

“This is a most unusual story: the Wright family has a long history of commitment to Exmouth, which includes their business interests over the last 40 years on the seafront. As Exmouth moves into the future, we are all looking forward to positive changes for the better. As we do this, we must be inclusive, listening to our local community, taking on board their hopes and aspirations and trying to deliver a wonderful place for us all to live.

“We should be deciding our future together. Instead we are told what’s going to happen. That stinks, and badly.”

Claire Wright on NHS cuts

This is the benefit of having a local person representing local issues – unlike our MP Hugo Swire who seems to have far too many fingers in other non-local pies.

And, if his debates on NHS underfunding and school funding cuts is anything to go by, no power whatsoever to change or even slightly affect his party’s line.

(Greater) Exeter area rainfall expected to increase by 73% say researchers

“The trend of paving over gardens is putting Exeter homes at risk of flooding as the city is set to see a 73 per cent increase in rain, and paved gardens could see the city’s drains overwhelmed. …”

One can presume that this includes the East Devon area. Cranbrook is already a concrete jungle and those close to rivers or on flood plains will be particularly hard hit.

And just imagine the effect on properties around it of building on and paving over the proposed Sidford Industrial estate, not to mention its effect on the River Sid!

Parks and public open spaces at risk – how we can help protect them

“Thousands of people are expected to take part in a crowdsourced investigation to find out how many of England’s parks and green spaces are at risk.

The campaign group 38 degrees is asking its members to contact local council leaders to ask about their plans for parks, and will help them send follow-up questions in freedom of information requests.

The group said there was growing concern that councils, faced with swingeing budget cuts, are selling off parks and green spaces to try to make ends meet.

“Year after year park budgets are being cut, but too often the people who actually use them know little about the plans,” said Lorna Greenwood, the campaigns manager at 38 Degrees. “From fewer park rangers to deals with big companies that mean local people have to pay to use their parks, parks around the country are at risk. This investigation is about people across the country coming together to expose the truth so they can make their voices heard.”

More than 180,000 people submitted evidence to the communities and local government committee’s parliamentary consultation, which closes on Friday, calling on the government to make it a statutory duty for councils to protect and maintain the country’s 27,000 public parks. Separately, 322,000 people signed a petition calling for legal protection and 115,000 completed a survey, both of which were organised by 38 Degrees.

A report from the Heritage Lottery Fund this month said the UK’s parks risked falling into disrepair and neglect as a result of budget cuts. While 90% of families with children aged under five had used their local park at least once in the past month, the study said, 92% of park managers had had their budgets cut and 95% were facing further reductions.

Campaigners say the public needs more information as there is no central record of how much money is being spent on looking after local parks – or how many are at risk from corporate deals.

38 Degrees said the investigation would reveal which parks were most at risk and would allow people to put pressure on their local councils and MPs to protect parks in their area.

Greenwood said: “Parks aren’t just a nice to have. Thousands of people from wheelchair users to young families say they are absolutely essential for health and wellbeing. They’re part of our heritage.”

She warned that if people did not take action now, many parks could be lost for future generations. “The government now needs to listen to the 364,884 members of the public who have come together to protect our parks and give them the legal protections necessary to protect them,” she said.”