A question after the Public board meeting of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust today revealed that McKinsey, the management consultants, are paying for Dr Tracey Batten, the CEO, to take a one-week trip to Boston and the US east coast starting this Saturday to learn about the US version of "integrated care". This comes as the Trust is on a knife-edge with clinical performance indicators getting worse, e.g. A&E 4 hours-waiting times for October way below the target (80% instead of 95%), and the accounts only balancing once payments for research in the Diamond project (with UCL and Guys & St Thomas) are booked, an outcome which is still in doubt.
Board papers said: "North West London CCG are organising an international integrated care study tour from 29th November to 6th December to the US which will be attended by the CEO. Visits in Boston, New York, Baltimore and Richmond will be to innovative organisations who are renowned for excellent community care, integrated care and partnership models. Invitees to the tour include chief executives from acute and community providers and commissioners in the North West London sector."
The identity of the donor is a scandal.
Ross Lydall’s article (24 Nov 2014) on Charing Cross hospital provides more evidence of how little those responsible for the changes to health provision in NW London actually know about their own proposals!
Imperial Health Trust say they will sell 55% of the land, but can’t say which 55% - and who is it the property developers are talking to? Imperial deny discussion with developers. Who is Dr Spencer talking to, and on whose authority?
Dr Spencer and Imperial are still not clear just what hospital provision will be at Charing Cross or Ealing, or how these will be staffed. And they haven’t a clue what the ‘emergency services’ at those hospitals will be.
There is no evidence that so-called Out of Hospital services will reduce the present need for blue light A&E services and acute inpatient beds. And hospitals in NW London are already breaching ambulance target times at an unprecedented rate, falling significantly compared to other N HS areas – all since the closure of 2 small A&Es in the area in September.
Save Our Hospitals (www.saveourhospitals.net) has been asking for details of what our health services will be for over 2 years. Neither the CCG nor Imperial Health Trust can give us answers.
We are now demanding a moratorium on further closures/reorganisations and demanding a new consultation on real proposals rather than Dr Spencer’s ‘pie-in-the-sky we’ll know some day’ proposals for local health care.
Chair, Save Our Hospital: Hammersmith and Charing Cross
In response to the Evening Standard article published on 24 November 2014 regarding the development of Charing Cross Hospital, an Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust spokesperson said:
“We are still some way off clarifying what our new models of care should look like in practice on the Charing Cross site in order to meet changing needs. That has to be the priority before we begin to consider in detail, the design of the proposed new facilities and the sale of surplus land. And we have committed to involving patients, local communities and other stakeholders in that process too.
“As such, we can confirm that we are not in any discussions about the disposal of land at Charing Cross Hospital or about alternative uses for the tower block. We can also confirm that no decisions have been made about the future of A&E services at Charing Cross - we are still awaiting the outcome of the England-wide review of urgent and emergency care by Sir Bruce Keogh and Professor Keith Willett to inform our proposals for the future. Again, we are committed to involving local stakeholders in helping to shape these proposals.”
A developer has approached GPs considering how to downsize Charing Cross hospital to suggest converting its 16-storey tower block into homes rather than having it demolished.
The details emerged as it was confirmed that the A&Es departments at Charing Cross and Ealing are to be replaced with “emergency centres” run by GPs and specialist nurses.
These will not have surgeons or intensive care units and will be unable to receive “blue light” — full emergency— ambulances. The Department of Health insists that the hospitals will continue to provide “A&E services” but campaigners believe the units are being downgraded.
Dr Mark Spencer, clinical lead for the Shaping A Healthier Future programme that is centralising major emergency care at five west London hospitals, said there were a number of options for Charing Cross. He told the Standard: “One option is you could use the rest of the site [for housing] and maintain the tower block. Other options are that the tower block could be turned into residential housing and other parts of the site could be used.
“We’ve had people come and say: ‘Why knock it down? We could convert it.’ If you go to the top floor and have a view across London, it’s quite nice. But those are all in discussion. No decision has been made.”
Imperial College NHS Trust, which runs Charing Cross, has already agreed to sell off more than half the site, in Fulham Palace Road, and axe all but 24 of the hospital’s 360 inpatient beds.
Dr Spencer said the hospital was likely to specialise in urology — prostate and bladder disease — and retain its chemotherapy services.
He said Ealing’s maternity department would close next year, with its 12-bed inpatient paediatric ward “likely” to close soon after. Breast cancer surgery was also “likely”expected to be axed. The hospital was “likely” to specialise in orthopaedic day surgery, with surgeons visiting from Northwick Park and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
Ealing’s new “emergency centre” would be part of an “emergency network”, with consultants at the five “specialist emergency centres” — St Mary’s, Northwick Park, Chelsea and Westminster, Hillingdon and West Middlesex — available on the phone or via “teleconferencing”. It is likely to open in three years.
Most patients using Ealing were likely to be elderly, suffering confusion or urinary tract infections. Children with minor illnesses could also be seen.
He said the changes at Ealing and Charing Cross would fit into the England-wide plan for emergency care being finalised by Sir Bruce Kehoe and Professor Keith Willett, which is due to be published within two months.