acute

  • Councils and residents close ranks to fight 'new ploy' to close Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals

     

     

    Four hundred people came to Hammersmith Town Hall on a cold Tuesday night (29th November) to hear about the fight against NHS proposals which will force the closure of Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals.

    Health services in the north west of London are already stretched after "Shaping a Healthier Future" (SaHF) plans (2012) resulted in the closure of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals’ A&E departments in September 2014. Ealing lost its maternity unit in 2015 and its children's ward last June.

    In June 2016 local authorities in England were being asked to sign up to Sustainability and Transformation Plans ("STPs") but Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham Councils have refused to do so, saying that this would see the end of their hospitals as major providers of vitally needed blue-light A&Es and acute beds.

    The meeting was chaired by Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Vivienne Lukey, cabinet member for health and adult social care.

  • Response by Dr Christopher Wood to article by Prof Chris Ham The King's Fund 12th Sept 2016

     

    Christopher Wood

    Consultant HIV Physician

    North Middlesex University Hospital

    19 Sep 2016

     

    Professor Ham, thank you for your detailed, but much understated piece - notwithstanding the statement about STPs that..... 'they are attempting to undertake synchronised swimming against a rip tide'!

    The reality is that the current plans and timescales being imposed on STPs are reckless and dangerous. There should be an IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM called on STPs and other similar major re-organisations of the NHS that are in the pipeline.

    STPs may well be fine in theory - and that is debatable - but as you clearly state they are not a short-term answer to austerity and quickly delivered savings. In their current incarnation - with the expectation of immediate savings and transformation occurring in a fraction of a financial year they are a reckless and dangerous absurdity. The only sane solution is a moratorium. The NHS and its funding need a proper overall review with some bridging funding made available to meet the immediate needs of the NHS deficit and a proper cross-party/stakeholder consultation to decide its future.

    The need for the Acute sector cannot be 'wished away' as you make clear in your piece. I suspect that a lot of recent health policy has been made by fantasists in denial that acute illness really exists. The acute sector has been mistakenly marginalized since - at least - the introduction of the fatal Lansley 'Health and Social Care Act' and the Darzi report.

    It will take years of coordinated planning and investment to get prevention and social care to the point where they can make a real impact on hospital activity and the more acute and severe manifestations of ill-health. This certainly will not happen while the current mania for major uncoordinated and unfunded interventions is indulged by the detached and unaccountable elites currently making health policy.

    The leadership and vision that the NHS needs is completely lacking from the Secretary of State for Health, the DoH and NHS England - otherwise why would any serious health policy makers be endorsing the unsightly haste with which STPs are being pushed forward? It is a dangerous collective delusion in the context of an engineered funding crisis, collapse of workforce morale, years of austerity cuts and an arrogant policy-making elite who have no interest or respect for 'evidence', 'piloting' or consultation. I have to try and hope that many of them are likely to be well meaning, but many others seem to have serious problems with the original 'mission' and aims of the NHS and are impatient and opportunist in their desire to re-fashion it into something that I believe the great majority of the population that the NHS serves would find very disturbing.

    In summary, I believe that there needs to be an immediate moratorium on STPs and other major NHS re-organization, including the increasing role of the private sector. Bridging funds need to be made available to consolidate safe healthcare in the short-term while these issues are being sorted out to mitigate the impact of the current chaos.

    The debate will need to start with a public debate about the amount spent on health in the UK as a proportion of GDP, in order to ensure that 'affordability' for the NHS is decided by the population at large with a clear view of the wider political and other factors and choices that help to define 'affordability' and the 'limited' funding for the NHS.

    The King's Fund and the Nuffield Trust have already provided sufficient dispassionate and well-researched data and analysis to inform many of these issues and help start the process. However, unless the brakes are put on the current inchoate jumble of proposals and policies, the impact on the NHS and the nation's health will take years to unravel and will be the cause of much unnecessary human suffering.

    Sincerely yours,

    Dr Christopher Wood (with over 30 years service in the NHS, nearly 20 of those as a Hospital Consultant)

     

     

     

     

  • NHS to use private firms to beat the winter crisis

  • NHS hospitals suffer from chronic bed shortage, surgeons say

    Royal College of Surgeons calls for rethink after figures show 89% of beds are full overnight for fourth quarter in a row

    The Royal College of Surgeons has warned of a chronic shortage of NHS hospital beds in England, after occupancy rates for overnight stays topped 89% for a fourth successive quarter.

    The maximum occupancy rate for ensuring patients are well looked after and not exposed to health risks is considered to be 85%, a figure that has not been achieved since NHS England began publishing statistics in 2010.

    From July to September this year the percentage of beds occupied in wards open overnight was 89.1%, compared with 87% in the same period last year. That was the last time it was below 89%.

    The RCS said the figures, published on Thursday, made for alarming reading and indicated a failure to cope with the increasing number of older patients in hospital.

  • Mansfield Report Meeting 23rd February 2016 at Hammersmith Town Hall

    The public packed into Hammersmith Town Hall on Tuesday evening to discuss the findings and ramifications of the Independent Healthcare Commission's report. They heard proposals to challenge the vague and uncosted NHS plans to cut A&Es and acute hospitals in NW London. This meeting was the follow-up to the publication of the Mansfield Commission's findings on 2nd December 2015.

    The Leader of the Council, Stephen Cowan, told the meeting that he had started the ball rolling to halt the controversial plans by legal means.

  • Mansfield Report Meeting - 23rd February 2016 at Hammersmith Town Hall 7.30pm