Honiton fighting back on bed cuts

Since this article was written, it has been announced that all Honiton Hospital’s community beds will close on 28 Augusy 2017:

“A BAND of angry residents calling itself Honiton Patients Action Group says it plans to keep hospital beds in Honiton by taking direct action to stop the removal of ward beds and equipment.

The group, consisting of several local patients and their families, say they have become increasingly frustrated at the ‘failure of NEW Devon CCG to listen to the voice of local people and their representatives’.

They claim some end of life patients have already been informed by local GPs that Honiton Hospital will not be available after September and, if they need a local hospital bed, they must be prepared for an out of area transfer to Tiverton, Exmouth or Sidmouth.

A spokesperson for the action group said: “It is quite clear that NEW Devon CCG have never been prepared to fully engage in a sincere dialogue.

“There has been a failure to listen to the voice of local people and our representatives. We believe they decided in advance they would close these beds despite the fullest and proper representations that have been made by locals and their representatives, including MPs, district and town councils. We have tried sitting down and discussing it with them. We have tried large public meetings, marches, deputations and lobbying including the county council. Now we intend to sit down to stop the closure.

“We feel we have been disgracefully let down by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, by Devon County Council and their local representative Cllr Sarah Randall Johnson, and by Cllr Paul Diviani who seems to be representing no one except himself.

“While they prevaricate, the rundown of the wards has begun and it may well be more serious than they are letting on.

“With the closure of the maternity unit and privatisation of the site Honiton Hospital could be scrapped in the near future – this has happened at 45 other hospital sites.

“Meanwhile there is not a scrap of evidence the promised alternative care system is ready or will be effective.

“As patients we will not meekly accept this and at a time of our choosing we plan to take direct action to prevent the removal of beds and equipment and the stripping of wards.

“This will be a peaceful, non-violent, direct action to prevent contractors gaining access to remove the beds and equipment using whatever peaceful methods we can.

“We are also contacting health trade unions to set up a picket line. We shall invite nurses, doctors and local health groups to join in solidarity, along with Neil Parish MP who claimed he would ‘hold feet to the fire’ to stop the closure. Our MP has become very quiet but this is his last chance to show solidarity.

“When we have finalised our plans we hope that local people and families, all of whom could potentially require these beds in future, will join us to keep up the action as long as we can. We need help and support to organise and publicise this if we are to be effective.

“It is the last real chance for Honiton Hospital and our community and we appeal to everyone to search their conscience.

“While we have life and the will to fight ‘They Shall Not Pass’.”

https://www.viewnews.co.uk/honiton-patients-group-promises-direct-action/

East Devon community bed closures to be speeded up – Seaton to close next week, Honiton the week after

From the blog of Claire Wright – did Diviani and Randall-Johnson know this? Do they care?

“I have seen this SO many times.

A threat to hospital beds. Hospital beds close temporarily due to staffing shortages (because understandably staff leave) and then the permanent closures are brought forward.

What I am not reassured on here is how the loss of the existing beds will morph into the new care at home service and the message on staff redeployment is as vague as ever. Last autumn, I was told by the CCG chair, Tim Burke that around double the number of staff will be appointed… the CCG now talks in terms of ‘redeployment’ and ‘recruitment’ of 50 staff, which is difficult to get to the bottom of, given what we have already been told.

What we also still don’t know (because the CCG won’t tell us) is what happens to those hospitals that lose their beds…

Devon County Council’s health scrutiny committee needs to keep a very close eye indeed, on this issue.

The letter below has been sent to Health Scrutiny committee members:

Your Future Care

I am writing to let you know that we are ready to proceed with the changes to improve care for people across Eastern Devon as part ‘Your Future Care’.

These changes are intended to shift the focus of health and care services to keep more people well and independent at home. Part of this shift will be the redeployment and recruitment of over 50 nursing, therapy and support worker roles to enhance the existing community services in each local area. This will enable the reduction in the number of community inpatient beds across the Eastern locality of Devon.

In order to achieve this safely, we will take a phased approach – working closely with staff and partners – to implement the changes as per the following timetable:

• Seaton Community Hospital week commencing 21 August 2017
• Okehampton Community Hospital week commencing 21 August 2017
• Honiton Community Hospital week commencing 28 August 2017
• Exeter Community Hospital week commencing 4 September 2017 (this is the original closure timetable).

The provision of inpatient services at these locations will cease from these dates. All other services at these hospitals will continue as normal. Patients in these areas in medical need of a community inpatient bed will be accommodated at either Tiverton, Sidmouth or Exmouth hospitals, depending on where they live.

It has become apparent over the last couple of weeks that the schedule for the closure of the in-patient beds at Seaton, Okehampton and Honiton would need to be brought forward by a number of weeks due to the increasing pressures on safely staffing the current configuration of seven community inpatient units.

We have been preparing the comprehensive plans for each area since March 2017 and are confident that moving to the new model swiftly is in the best interests for our patients and our staff. For example, our new Community Connect out-of-hospital service, introduced this Spring, has already led to a reduction in demand for community inpatient beds.

Gateway Assurance Process

As you may be aware, part of the implementation process included a clinical assurance panel reviewing the implementation plans against a series of 30 gateway questions. These were developed to provide assurance of the RD&E’s and the wider system’s readiness to switch to the Your Future Care model.

The Gateway Assurance Panel has given its recommendation to proceed. The workforce HR consultation has been completed and staff have been informed of their new roles and working environments. We have also received the approval of the Equality and Quality Impact Assessments, which took place on the 4th August. We can now commence the redeployment of staff into our enhanced community teams and into the remaining community hospital sites. This change will provide extra capacity and resilience to meet the needs of our local population.

Your Future Care is just the beginning of the work needed to move fully to a model of care which proactively averts health crises and promotes independence and wellbeing for our population.

There is still much more to be done and we at the RD&E look forward to continuing this in partnership with you and our local communities.

Yours sincerely,

Adel Jones
Integration Director”

“Constructive ambiguity” – a new Tory tactic

David Davis on the Today programme this morning on Brexit. He says Brexit negotiations are going incredibly well. Or, as he puts it:

“You’ll find it difficult sometimes to read what we intend, that’s deliberate, I’m afraid in negotiations you do have constructive ambiguity from time to time.”

So, that’s what our MPs have been doing with their silences on the NHS, education and the environment!

Our Local Enterprise Partnership agrees it isn’t a “democratic representational body” and puts it in writing!

Our Local Enterprise Partnership has published a list of consultations to which it has responded on our behalf (though, of course, not having consulted US) which contains this golden nugget:

Consultation:

West Somerset Council & Taunton Deane Borough Council to create a new district council to replace both.

Our LEP’s response:

“Letter sent stating as the LEP is not a democratic representational body it does not as a matter of policy comment on such issues relating to democratic representation.”

Click to access 5.-LEP-Register-of-Consultations-2017-3.pdf

An American view of Theresa May

“… Across the Atlantic, May’s administration may not be nearly as frightening [as that of Donald Trump], but there is a strikingly similar failure of government.

To refresh my memory of the past dispiriting year in British politics, I went through the weekly calendars of Parliamentary business since the Brexit referendum in June 2016. Among all the Parliamentary statements, motions, and debates, there is really only one major piece of legislation, the Investigatory Powers Act, commonly known as The Snoopers’ Charter, which codified the toughest surveillance regime in the West. Otherwise, the sound and fury in the chamber of House of Commons amounted to nothing.

May presides over a Parliament that is, to all intents and purposes, legislatively comatose—the more so since she lost her overall majority in the spring General Election. I cannot remember a more lackluster performance.”…

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/08/donald-trump-theresa-may-and-the-end-of-government-as-we-know-it

Do we have ANY statistics on votes at elections? Seems unlikely

It would appear that someone or some agency appears to ask for this information regularly – wonder how many local authorities register the replies that EDDC registers?

“Verification statements for the 2017 general election count

Date submitted: 19 July 2017

Summary of request

1. For each of your constituencies, a copy of your full verification statements for the 2017 general election count, including

(i) for each polling district separately, (a) the number of electors; and (b) the verified number of ballots
(ii) for postal votes,
(a) total postal ballots issued; and
(b) total postal ballots received

2. The same information as in 1), but for the 2015 general election

3. The same information as in 1), but for the 2016 EU referendum
(Note: Some of you sent us this information for the 2016 referendum in response to our survey last year seeking other referendum voting details; if you are one of the authorities who already sent us this, there is no need to send it again, please simply confirm this has already been sent).

4. Please also let us know if the boundaries of any polling districts have changed between the 2015 general election and the 2017 general election. If so, please indicate which polling districts were affected and when the change took effect

Summary of response

1. For each of your constituencies, a copy of your full verification statements for the 2017 general election count, including

(i) for each polling district separately,
(a) the number of electors; and
(b) the verified number of ballots –
This information is not recorded

(ii) for postal votes,
(a) total postal ballots issued; and
(b) total postal ballots received –
This information is not recorded

2. The same information as in 1), but for the 2015 general election –
This information is not recorded

3. The same information as in 1), but for the 2016 EU referendum –
This information is not recorded

(Note: Some of you sent us this information for the 2016 referendum in response to our survey last year seeking other referendum voting details; if you are one of the authorities who already sent us this, there is no need to send it again, please simply confirm this has already been sent).

4. Please also let us know if the boundaries of any polling districts have changed between the 2015 general election and the 2017 general election. If so, please indicate which polling districts were affected and when the change took effect –
This information is not recorded.

Date responded: 27 July 2017″

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/access-to-information/freedom-of-information/freedom-of-information-published-requests/