NHS Commissioners still sitting on travel impact analysis of proposed A&E closure

At the shambolic Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee (JHSC) meeting on 29th January, the Chair Cllr Elizabeth Smaje said that p255 of the Pre Consultation Business Case refers to a journey time assessment study and the JHSC will have a meeting about that and would like that study to be made available asap to JHSC.

This study is the Clinical Commissioning Groups’ travel impact analysis of their proposal to close one of our A&Es.

Since 4th February, I have repeatedly asked Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group for this document – so far to no avail. Update 26.2.16 – the CCGs have now made public their travel impact analysis.

But at the JHSC meeting, Matt Walsh told Cllr Smaje that it’s already in the public domain.

Jen Mulcahy, the Right Care Right Place Right Time Programme Officer, corrected him. She said that the study should already be on the CCG website except the file is so big the website crashes and she is asking the company that produced it to make the file smaller so it can be uploaded. Duh? This isn’t exactly rocket science.

Now the Clinical Commissioning Group is saying the “Right Care…” team is still checking that the travel analysis doc is “ready for sign off”

With the reconvened Joint Health Scrutiny Committee meeting set for Monday 22nd February, in response to public complaints that the Kirklees Scrutiny Officer described as “overwhelming”,  it would be hoped that the Commissioners’ travel analysis would be available for scrutiny.

After a comedy of errors  – including sending me a link to the wrong document, a long silence, followed by another silence after an email got stuck in someone’s outbox – the latest Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group promise is that they should send me the right document  on Monday 22nd February.

But this depends on the Right Care Right Time Right Place programme team having checked that the travel analysis report is ready for sign off, according to an email from a Calderdale CCG communication officer. This contradicts Jen Mulcahy’s statement to the 29th Jan Joint Health Scrutiny Committee meeting that the problem with not publishing it was the size of the file.

Oh what a tangled web…

So it’s not just the public who can’t access this vital document. As of a couple of days ago, one of the Councillors on the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee told me that the Clinical Commissioning Groups hadn’t sent the JHSC members the travel analysis study. He seemed unconcerned. I’m not.

How can the JHSC decide if the proposals are ready for consultation if they haven’t scrutinised all the relevant documents?

The summary of the travel analysis is on p76 of the Pre Consultation Business Case, but it’s so general it’s not much use.

At the 29th January Joint Health Scrutiny Committee meeting, Kirklees Councillor Marchington asked if the travel analysis includes information that relates travel times to clinical outcomes.

Matt Walsh said no, they will draw on other info to identify that.

Cllr Marchington asked:

“Will that be available?”

Matt Walsh said yes.

But he didn’t say when. And no one asked.

CCGs: 1, Councillors 0.

The saga of the elusive travel analysis

This is what you’re up against when trying to get information from the Clinical Commissioning Groups – even info that’s meant to be in the public domain.

My first email was sent on 4th February:

Email 1 4 Feb _CCGs travel analysis

Email 2

Long email silence followed.

Then I caught up with Steve at the 11 Feb Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body meeting. We had a pleasant chat and he said he’d send me this elusive CCG travel analysis.

On Weds 16th Feb this email arrived:

Email 3

email 4

email 5

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