“Supreme Court to consider legal standard on adequacy of reasons in planning”

A rather technical article but basically the Supreme Court is to rule on how much information and how much detail y must be provided when an applicant wants to build in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty:


“NHS ‘not fit for 21st Century’, says chief hospital inspector”

And not a word about austerity, cuts or underfunding!

“The NHS is not fit for the 21st Century, the new chief inspector of hospitals in England has said.

Professor Ted Baker, who started the role last month, said the system had not adapted to deal with the growth in the population.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he said: “The model of care we have got is still the model we had in the 1960s and 70s.”

The Department of Health is yet to respond to his views.

Prof Baker succeeded Sir Mike Richards overseeing the hospital division of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), having been his deputy since 2014.
The former hospital medical director said the NHS had not modernised because of a historic lack of investment.

He said: “One of the things I regret is that 15 or 20 years ago, when we could see the change in the population, the NHS did not change its model of care.

“It should have done it then – there was a lot more money coming in but we didn’t spend it all on the right things. We didn’t spend it on transformation of the model of care.”

The number of pensioners has increased by a third in the last 30 years and he said the system had not been able to deal with the increase in the number of elderly people in particular.

He also criticised accident and emergency wards and has written to all hospital chief executives calling for action to improve safety.

Too many hospitals had “wholly unsatisfactory arrangements”, he said, such as letting ambulances queue up at the entrance or leaving patients in corridors.

The CQC is expected to highlight increasing pressures on hospitals, who are in danger running out of beds and staff, in a report next month on the state of the health and care services.

That was an issue that Prof Baker touched on in the interview, saying: “Capacity is being squeezed all the time. That is a real concern going forward – because there comes a point at which the capacity isn’t there”.

The BBC’s health editor Hugh Pym said Prof Baker’s comments come after predictions of a difficult winter for the service, with the chief executive of NHS England warning of the possibility of a serious flu outbreak.
NHS Providers, representing trusts, has said that without an emergency cash bailout the service faces the worst winter in recent history, our correspondent added.”


Privatised good, nationalised bad? Think again

The NHS has about 1,700,000 UK workers:

“In December 2016, NHS Improvement forecast that NHS trusts would end 2016/17 with a potential deficit of £750–£850 million.”



Carrillion has about 48,500 UK workers:

Shares in the beleaguered Carillion construction group, which is working on the HS2 London to Birmingham rail line and the vast Battersea Power Station project, plunged by 20% on Friday after the company issued its second profit warning in two months.

Carillion reported a first-half loss of £1.15bn and said its full-year performance would be worse than previously expected. It described the loss as “disappointing”. The shares, which were changing hands at 190p little more than three months ago, closed at 51p.

The company is struggling with a large debt pile and badly-performing contracts. It said it would write down £200m on 23 support services contracts, and was taking a £134m charge relating to its UK and Canadian construction businesses. …”


CCG agrees deal with North Norfolk Council to save facility

“The North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group have voted in favour of the Norfolk County Council’s £2 million offer to turn the Cromer unit into a re-ablement centre.

This should give patients greater access to short-term care, meaning they can leave hospital earlier but still receive further support before returning home.

The vote also means that the CCG’s original proposal to remove two of the beds at Benjamin Court will not come to light. The proposal saw 16 beds at the Cromer unit being used for palliative care, IV, and Discharge to Assess beds.

Dr Anoop Dhesi, Chair of NHS North Norfolk CCG, said: “Our public consultation allowed us to listen to the thoughts and views of the public and we are very grateful to all those who responded and gave us such valuable insights.

“We are very pleased that a further idea was proposed by our colleagues at Norfolk County Council. Using the beds for re-ablement will still help reduce pressure on hospitals and dovetail with our Supported Care service.”

Bill Borrett, chairman of the Adult Social Services Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “We care about people who have had a stay in hospital and we understand that most of them want to be able to return home and live independently for as long as possible. Our re-ablement services allow that to happen by helping those who need some extra support for a short period of time.

“Re-ablement services can mean shorter stays in hospital and less reliance on long-term care as people return home. We are looking to develop more of these services across the county and think that leasing Benjamin Court will improve our ability to support people in Norfolk.”

However due to the County Council taking over the building with their own staff, some redundancies may be made when the takeover takes place.

Lorrayne Barrett, Director of Integrated Care for Norfolk Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), said; “While NCH&C are confident that this decision is the best way forward for the local community, reducing pressure on hospital beds, we are aware that this will have implications for our staff.

“This is a highly experienced, skilled and committed staff group and we are continuing to support and consult with them to provide clarity during this prolonged period of uncertainty, and we will work hard in partnership with them to retain them in the local health and social care services.”


“Free market” facts

“… May’s “greatest agent” – free-market economics – has established a system where:

eight people own as much wealth as half the planet

Such grotesque levels of inequality run through the UK, where

50% of the country owns just 8.7% of the wealth

While living standards continue to fall for most,

Britain’s richest 1,000 families are well on their way to tripling their wealth since the financial crisis. Since 2009, these families have increased their fortune by over 155%


Retaining 100% business rates will make make many count councils worse off

“County councils face unique challenges and retaining 100% of business rates could widen their funding gap, the County Councils Network has warned.

Analysis from the cross-party group, released yesterday, showed under full business rate retention the funding gap for county authorities could increase by £700m by 2029.

This was because business rate growth would fail to keep pace with acute demographic and service pressures for county councils, the analysis – done by local government consultancy firm Pixel Financial Management – concluded.

In contrast areas, such as London boroughs and district councils, are likely to disproportionately benefit from this policy, the CCN found.

The research comes as the Department for Communities and Local Government is encouraging bids for the second pilot scheme.

Council leaders at the CCN are calling on the government to provide more options in the pilot schemes to encourage more county authorities to participate, which would enable the risks to be fully trialled before the policy was rolled out across the country.

Pilots for 100% business rate retention have already been launched in Liverpool, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West of England, Cornwall and Greater London in April, which will also continue into next year.

The West Midlands combined authority was part of the first pilots for the scheme, which began this April, ahead of plans to roll out the policy nationwide by 2020.

CCN finance spokesman and leader of Leicestershire County Council, Nick Rushton, said the research did not aim to dissuade countries from taking part in the pilots but to raise awareness of the issues facing the sector.

Rushton said: “The modelling we have released shows the unique challenges facing county authorities in implementing 100% business rates retention.

“CCN is supportive of moves towards greater local retention, alongside wider fiscal devolution, but we must ensure the system provides sustainable long-term funding and a platform to truly incentivise growth and self-sufficiency.”

He concluded that more options should be on the table, such as a ‘no detriment’ clause which is missing from next year’s pilots.

The CCN warn that by not providing this clause it may mean only ‘high growth’ counties coming forward to pilot, meaning that risk is not properly trialled.

Rushton added: “These findings clearly demonstrate the need for a fairer funding formula as part of wider reforms to local government finance.

“These reforms must stay on track and government should not shy away from adopting a new approach to measuring relative need; one based on real cost-drivers, not past spend.”


Do not shut hospital beds – closures not evidence-based says influential King’s Fund – too late for East Devon

Independent DCC Councillor Claire Wright – RIGHT
Independent DCC East Devon Alliance Councillor Martin Shaw – RIGHT
All Independent Councillors at EDDC – RIGHT
All Tories at DCC – Wrong
All those Tories (DCC and EDDC) who voted to support Diviani and Randall-Johnson in closing community hospital beds – WRONG

ALL the time the Independents have called for REAL evidence about bed closures.
ALL the time DCC Tories have acceptec waffle and jargon and “death by Powerpoint” instead of REAL evidence
EDDC Tories sort-of got it right and then allowed their Leader to vote WRONG so they still got it WRONG!

Why on earth are people still voting for these useless excuses for Tory representative councillors!

Kill beds, no community alternative = kills US!

“NHS bosses have been urged to halt plans for more ward closures as experts warn that hospitals do not have enough beds to accommodate patients.

Britain has fewer hospital beds per person than almost any other rich country and numbers in the NHS have fallen to 142,000 from the 299,999 that were available 30 years ago, according to an analysis by the King’s Fund health think tank.

Thousands of further cuts are being planned as part of a strategy by Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, to improve out-of-hospital care and make £22 billion in efficiency savings.

The King’s Fund said that this plan was unrealistic at a time when wards are more than 95 per cent full, well above the 85 per cent level generally thought to be safe. Hospital bosses in London are hoping to cut hundreds of beds, but the King’s Fund estimates that the city will need 1,600 more by 2021 to keep up with population growth.

Helen McKenna, a senior policy adviser at the think tank, said: “There are opportunities to make better use of existing beds and initiatives to capitalise on these should continue, but with many hospitals already stretched to breaking point, reductions on the scale proposed in some areas are neither desirable not achievable.”

Chaand Nagpaul, head of the British Medical Association, said: “Serious questions need to be asked about whether these plans are realistic and evidence-based given it defies logic to cut bed numbers when we already don’t have enough.”

Mr Stevens said that he would only allow bed closures where NHS bosses could demonstrate local alternative treatments were being put in place first or where hospitals were remedying inefficiencies. The King’s Fund said that these tests lacked any real detail.

Saffron Cordery, of NHS Providers, said: “One of the key lessons from last winter was the importance of avoiding unsafe levels of bed occupancy.”

Mr Stevens agreed that hospitals would need to free more beds during the winter, promising an extra 3,700 would be opened for the busiest time of year as hospitals were told to prevent “bed-blocking” by elderly patients.”

Source: Times (pay wall)