NHS and taxes: pay once, pay twice, pay three times

Once: original taxes
Twice: new additional tax
Thrice: means-tested assistance with care needs:

“Taxes are going to have to rise to pay for the NHS if the UK is to avoid “a decade of misery” in which the old, sick and vulnerable are let down, say experts.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies and Health Foundation said the NHS would need an extra 4% a year – or £2,000 per UK household – for the next 15 years. …”

Most interesting of all is this table:

The Lib Dems didn’t do themselves any favours in coalition did they!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44230033

And here’s Owl thinking we paid once!

“Inpatients at Exmouth Hospital to be temporarily relocated during fire safety improvement project”

Owl adds: Did you know there were closed wards at Exmouth Hospital?

“News Release 16 May 2018

Inpatients at Exmouth Hospital are being temporarily relocated to another ward on the site while building owner NHS Property Services invests in fire safety improvements.

Beds on Doris Heard Ward are being moved to the vacant Geoffrey Willoughby Ward while a £50,000 project to safely remove asbestos and improve fire resistance takes place. A deep clean and air testing will also take place.

The works, carried out by Integral, will be undertaken from 21 May with the ward planned to be fully reopened during the week commencing 11 June 2018.
Due to the constraints of Geoffrey Willoughby Ward, the number of available beds will be temporarily reduced from 16 to 12 during this period.

Rosemary Kearney, Senior Facilities Management Business Manager for NHS Property Services (NHSPS) in the South West, said: “We’re working closely with our partners at the hospital to ensure services can, as far as possible, continue as normal.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience but this is an essential project that will ultimately improve the fabric of Exmouth Hospital for patients for years to come.”

Donna Robson, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust’s Matron at Exmouth Hospital, added: “Maintaining continuity of care for patients is our top priority. We’ve been working with NHSPS to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum during these necessary maintenance works. We’d like to thank our patients and visitors for their understanding during this time.”

All other services at the hospital are unaffected and patients should continue to attend their appointments as normal.

The need for the work was identified as part of a survey undertaken by NHSPS.”

The press release also includes background information for editors on NHSPS. This is not usually published with the press release but is information in the public domain, so Owl reproduces it here:

“NHS Property Services brings property and facilities management expertise to thousands of sites across the NHS estate.

At a time of major change and increasing demand for the NHS, NHS Property Services is reducing costs, creating a more fit for purpose estate and generating vital funds that are being reinvested to support improvements in frontline patient care.

The company’s portfolio consists of 3,500 properties – worth over £3 billion – which represents around 10 percent of the entire NHS estate. The vast majority of our sites are used for clinical, local healthcare and fall into one of three categories:

Health centres and GP surgeries; Hospitals/hospital- related properties; or Offices.

The company has a major role as both landlord and service provider for its NHS customers. Services fall into four main business areas:

1. Strategic estates planning – supporting our customers to deliver healthcare premises that meet future needs for patient services

2. Asset management – proactive asset management to create value and reduce overall costs of property

3. Construction project management – managing the development of new buildings and refurbishment of existing buildings, along with investment in our estate

4. Facilities management services – including health and safety, maintenance, electrical services, cleaning and catering.”

“NHS outsourcing ‘put patients at risk’ “

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT OUR CCG IS ATTEMPTING TO DO – SLASH COSTS AND IMPLEMENTING NEW MEASURES AT THE SAME TIME YEY OUR DEVON TORIES ARE HAPPY FOR THE CCG TO EXPERIMENT ON US UN THIS WAY!

“Incompetent staff may have been allowed to carry on practising, the watchdog warned

“Patients were put at risk of cancer and other serious harm because of a botched £330 million NHS outsourcing deal, the spending watchdog has found.

An attempt at cost-cutting has led to more than two years of chaos in back-office services for GPs, opticians and dentists, the National Audit Office said.

Dozens of women were wrongly told that they no longer needed cervical cancer screening and incompetent staff may have been allowed to carry on practising, the report concludes.

The outsourcing company Capita and NHS England are still bickering about the deal, leading to failures including a backlog of half a million patient registrations, the NAO warns.

“Trying to slash costs by more than a third at the same time as implementing a raft of modernisation measures . . . potentially put patients at risk of serious harm,” Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the public accounts committee, said.”

Source: The Times (pay wall)

CCG somewhat opaque on future of Honiton and Seaton hospital closures

Owl says: This is the sort of Press Release the CCG excels at. Telling us what the situation is at present but giving no guarantees that there will not be future cuts to current services (some of which, such as dermatology in Seaton, have already been closed.

Owl would also like to know how many of the extra 20,000 deaths noted in the first quarter of this year were in East Devon.

From EDA DCC Councillor Martin Shaw:

“NEW Devon CCG have issued the attached statement criticising ‘inaccurate information’ about Honiton and Seaton hospitals, after Dr Simon Kerr, Chair of the CCG’s Eastern Locality, was credibly reported as saying that these two hsopitals are ‘at risk’ in their Local Estates Strategy due this summer.

I welcome the CCG’s statement that it has no plans to close either hospital. However it has not denied that Dr Kerr said that they were at risk.

The CCG could end this controversy today if it gave an unequivocal assurance that both hospitals will continue for the foreseeable future with the present or enhanced levels of service. People in Honiton and Seaton were badly let down by the CCG over hospital beds and they won’t trust them now without a clear statement that our hospitals are safe in the coming Local Estates Strategy.”

The statement from the CCG reads:

“There have been reports today that the future of Honiton and Seaton Hospitals is under question.

NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group wishes to make clear that there are no plans to close Honiton and Seaton hospitals.

In March 2017, the Governing Body of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning voted to implement a number of changes following a 13 week public consultation. This included the decision to close inpatient beds at both Honiton and Seaton hospitals.

Beds were closed in both hospitals in August 2017 as more care was introduced to look after people at home. Both hospitals are still open, thriving buildings providing more than 50 day services and clinics combined.”

Claire Wright responds on threat to close Honiton and Seaton hospital day services

“Seaton and Honiton Hospitals may be at risk, local GP and chair of the NEW Devon CCG’s Eastern Locality, Dr Simon Kerr reportedly revealed at a meeting with health campaigners last month.

Dr Kerr was apparently speaking of the long-awaited Estates Strategy, which will list all the assets held by the local NHS and what it plans to do with them.

NEW Devon CCG is in considerable financial difficulty. Devon is one of three most financially challenged health trusts in the country.

The background is that 12 community hospitals across Eastern Devon were acquired by the private company (wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Health) NHS Property Services, last year.

As yet, we haven’t heard about the fate of the remaining 10 community hospitals now in the ownership of NHS Property Services. This of course, includes our beloved Ottery Hospital, as well as Exmouth, Sidmouth, Whipton, Okehampton and Crediton.

Many of these hospitals, including Seaton, Honiton, Ottery St Mary and Okehampton and Whipton, have sadly now been stripped of their beds in cost cutting measures. But they still are home to a range of services and clinics that are very much needed locally.

Up until now, NHS England has been picking up the tab for the extortionate rents charged by NHS PS, of well over £3m a year, across the area.

A stupid stupid system, set up to fail. All over the country health trusts are being forced to sell off estate because it can’t afford the ridiculous rents charged by NHS PS for a building that used to be in NHS ownership.

Honiton Hospital has a treatment centre and is home to East Devon’s out of hours GP service.

The idea that the building could be lost and with it the treatment centre and out of hours service is totally ludicrous and appalling. The RD&E’s A&E department is full to capacity much of the time and staff are struggling to manage the volume of patients.

It means someone unwell living in the far east of the area – Axminster, for example, would have to travel around an hour to Exeter, to be seen by a GP if they were unwell out of working hours. It is quite unacceptable.

The amazing maternity unit which has been ‘temporarily’ closed for the best part of a year, was also based at Honiton Hospital.

There are so many cuts to the health service now it is difficult to keep up with them, let alone fight them.

Cllr Shaw has written to the CCG chair, Dr Tim Burke demanding assurances that the buildings remain open.

I have asked for an urgent item on the next Health and Adult Scrutiny Committee agenda, which is held on Thursday 7 June.

I will keep you posted.

Here’s Cllr Shaw’s blog – https://seatonmatters.org/2018/05/14/ccg-chair-says-seaton-and-honiton-hospitals-at-risk-of-closure-in-local-estates-strategy/

http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/seaton_and_honiton_hospitals_at_risk

East Devon Alliance DCC Martin Shaw responds to threat of full closure of Seaton Hospital

“Martin​ Shaw
County Councillor for Seaton and Colyton​

LETTER TO THE CHAIR OF NEW DEVON CCG

Dear Dr Burke,

We have seen draft notes prepared by 38 Degrees of your meeting with them on April 5th. According to these, Simon Kerr said (before your own arrival) that Seaton and Honiton hospitals were ‘at risk’ in the coming Estates Strategy. These remarks, written down at the time, have been confirmed to us by several participants. While we appreciate that no formal decision may have been taken, there seems little reason not to take them as a clear indication of CCG thinking.

As the two elected local politicians on the organising group of Seaton Health Matters, the community conversation launched together together with the CCG and RD&E, we hosted Dr Kerr at the launch meeting on 23rd March, which also heard Em Wilkinson-Bryce (copied in) appeal to the audience to trust in the ‘good intentions’ of the speakers from the NHS organisations. We have no reason at all to doubt her sincerity, but it is difficult for us to believe in the good faith of Dr Kerr and the CCG, as (unless he had only just picked up the names of the ‘at risk’ hospitals) it seems to us that you may have helped launched us into a discussion of local health needs knowing that you may be moving to deprive us of our major health resource, Seaton Hospital.

Our initial Health Matters discussion broached many areas of constructive cooperation between the local community and the NHS, which we are keen to pursue. However it also left no doubt of the need to maintain the 50+ outpatient services currently based in the Hospital, the desirability of bringing in additional services if place-based care is to be meaningful, and the needs of an elderly community (with significant pockets of deprivation and poor public transport) for as many clinics, etc., as possible on the doorstep rather than in other towns. We are ready to explore the possibility of a combined health hub for the Axe Valley, but on the basis that services would be more or less equally shared across the two hospitals and there would be no reduction in the overall level of services in each. The other thing that was clear from our discussion was that the community considers the Hospital a community resource since its building was half-funded by local donations and it has been maintained by local contributions ever since. I am sure that people in Axminster and Honiton feel the same about theirs.

You should not underestimate the local anger, only just subsiding, over the removal of beds from Seaton Hospital. It bears repeating that this was widely regarded, including outside Seaton, as an unjust choice based on a misuse of the JSNA data and misleading assumptions about the relative agedness of the populations of Seaton and Sidmouth (their age structure is in fact almost identical and the comparison did not justify a choice of Sidmouth over Seaton). It was also based on false claims that the Sidmouth option would involve a better geographical spread: a glance at the map would have shown that, on the contrary, it left the remaining community beds concentrated in the southwestern corner of East Devon with none in the Axe Valley. There is similar feeling in Honiton because the Your Future Care consultation did not even include an option which would have retained their hospital’s beds.

We mention this history not to try to reverse the beds decisions (although the shortage of beds in the recent winter should lead to it being looked at again) but because the treatment of Seaton and Honiton in those decisions should be a reason for generosity in the distribution of outpatient services and in the Estates Strategy. It is adding insult to injury to place Seaton and Honiton on a shortlist of potential closures. Having switched your decision last time against Seaton, you should now reconsider again in Seaton’s favour. This is not, of course, to suggest that any other hospital should be closed instead. On the contrary, all East Devon towns have community hospitals which reflect real local needs and you should be devising a system of health hubs which enables all communities to have a solid base for place-based care.

The next meeting of Seaton Health Matters is scheduled for 24th May. We do not wish it to be dominated by the fallout from Dr Kerr’s remarks but without an unequivocal assurance that Seaton Hospital will remain open, it is unavoidable that this will be the main topic of discussion.

We look forward to hearing from you at the earliest opportunity. We have also copied this to Sonja Manton since we discussed the Health Matters process with Em and her before it began. We should like to meet with you about this, but before the 24th any meeting would have to be late that afternoon or on the 23rd, as one of us is away until the morning of the 22nd.

Regards,

Martin Shaw
County Councillor for Seaton & Colyton

Jack Rowland
Seaton Town Council”

Seaton and Honiton hospitals “at risk ” of full closure says CCG

“CCG chair says Seaton and Honiton hospitals ‘at risk’ of closure in Local Estates Strategy”

POSTED ON MAY 14, 2018 by Councillor Martin Shaw

It has been revealed that Dr Simon Kerr, Chair of NEW Devon CCG’s Eastern Locality, told a meeting with representatives of 38 Degrees on 5th April that Seaton and Honiton hospitals were ‘at risk’ in the CCG’s Local Estates Strategy due in July. His remarks were taken down by the 38 Degrees member who produced draft notes of the meeting, and have been confirmed by other participants, but have not yet been confirmed by the CCG.

Although the hospitals both lost their inpatient beds last summer, Seaton Hospital currently hosts over 50 outpatient services (and there are probably at least as many in Honiton). Both are vital community health resources, created with decades of financial and practical support from people all around the Seaton and Honiton areas.

As part of a move to promote ‘place-based care’, the CCG and RD&E are currently taking part in two ‘community health conversations’, Honiton’s Health Matters and Seaton and Area’s Health Matters, which local voluntary groups, town and parish councils etc. are involved in. However if place-based care means anything, it should mean that communities should keep their local hospitals as health hubs, with more rather than fewer services.

Together with Cllr Jack Rowland, who stood down as mayor of Seaton last week but remains the town council’s representative on the Health Matters organising group, have written to Dr Tim Burke, Chair of the CCG, to ask for an unequivocal assurance that the hospitals will remain open.

I am hoping to shortly announce a meeting of the hospital campaign group.”

https://seatonmatters.org/