Social prescribing – the good, the bad and the destruction of jobs and the local economy

Social prescribing is part of a process of destroying jobs and the local economy, although  you would never have guessed this at the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body meeting on Thursday 10th August.

The meeting started as usual with a “patient story” that allows the Clinical Commissioning Group to reassure themselves that they have a reason to get out of bed in the morning (a phrase that Clinical Commissioning Group officials used more than once in discussing this patient story).

This time the patient story was a video of patient testimonies to the Staying Well social prescribing scheme to tackle loneliness, which was rolled out in the Upper Calder Valley a few years ago. Continue reading

NHS commissioners must back off from supporting the flawed hospital cuts Full Business Case

On October 12th Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body will meet at Shay Stadium in Halifax, to consider the recommendation that they tell the NHS England quango that they support Calderdale and Huddersfield hospital trust’s Full Business Case.

The recommendations in a paper to the Governing Body say that the Full Business Case is in line with the clinical model that was consulted on; is affordable; and provides a sustainable plan not only for the Trust but the wider Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield System of care.

NHS protectors challenge this perception. They point out that Calderdale and Kirklees Councillors’ Joint Health Scrutiny Committee have referred the hospital cuts and changes plans to the Secretary of State for Health as unfit for the people of both areas, unfit for the local NHS and lacking in the consultation department. Continue reading

A month on, still waiting for Calderdale Health & Wellbeing Board answers to Sustainability and Transformation Plan questions

There were 15 minutes for public questions at the 25th August Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board meeting, which discussed recommendations about the Calderdale Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), from a private meeting on 11th August between the Health and Wellbeing Board and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group.

That meant only a handful of questions could be asked. The rest were meant to be answered in writing. A month on, no written answers have appeared. Continue reading

Secret, outlaw NHS “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” underway in West Yorkshire

A secret process to cut NHS spending and services is galloping ahead across England.

If you think this is all a VERY BAD IDEA, please tell your MP and Councillors. And get in touch with Calderdale & Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS (CK999) or one of the other organisations in the CK999 network and help us campaign to stop and reverse NHS Cuts and sell offs.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are the enforcement mechanism to make NHS commissioners, hospitals and GPs carry out, at speed, the NHS spending cuts and increased NHS privatisation that are required by NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, 2015- 2020. Continue reading

Two Towns, One Fight – why we have to keep both A&Es open 24/7

This is the first Plain Speaker report on the hospital cuts plans that are scheduled for public consultation, starting at the end of February.

In it you can find out about:

  • Key elements of the plan – called Right Care Right Time Right Place
  • Why we need the NHS Reinstatement Bill
  • Why we need to keep both A&Es open
  • Lack of evidence that the proposals will deliver health care to the required standards
  • How successive governments have prioritised bailing out the bankers above properly funding public services for their own people
  • How Monitor (the NHS “market competition” regulator) and management consultancy company Ernst and Young (with a vested interest in NHS privatisation) are behind the CCGs’ proposal
  • A pattern of sacrificing publicly owned hospitals to protect PFI bankers’ profits

Continue reading

Monitor has hospital in stranglehold – hospital cuts and changes consultation on hold

As expected, both Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield NHS commissioners today agreed to postpone the public consultation on proposed hospital cuts and changes. The consultation had been scheduled to start this month.

One burning issue for the public is what NHS bosses want to do to our A&Es. A slide presented at the meeting showed we could end up without a full A&E at either hospital. The slide said that one emergency centre or specialist emergency centre is planned – but draft specifications from NHS England say that only specialist emergency centres provide full A&E care.

The delay to the public consultation is because the Clinical Commissioning Groups don’t know if the hospitals Trust will be financially viable in five years time and are waiting for it to produce a Five Year Financial Plan.

The Trust – along with half the Foundation Trusts in the country – is in deficit. It is under special measures from Monitor, the NHS competition enforcer and financial regulator. Monitor is telling it to make big spending cuts, since Foundation Trusts are not allowed to operate at a loss. Continue reading

Campaigners to question Calderdale & Greater Huddersfield NHS bosses about hospital cuts consultation at 24th September meeting

Calderdale & Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS campaigners have questions for Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups’ Governing Bodies’ meeting. This starts at 12.15pm at Briar Court Hotel in Huddersfield on Thursday 24th September and is open to the public. Continue reading

Confusion over planned bed cuts for Calderdale mental health rehabilitation and recovery patients

Three NHS and social care organisations are planning the future of Calderdale’s mental health rehabilitation and recovery services.

Only two of them have explained their proposals to Councillors on Calderdale Council’s Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel. They want to cut beds and put patients into their own homes with unclear “support” in the community.

If you are affected by these proposals, please contact Plain Speaker.

Research shows that cutting mental health beds puts patients at increased risk of suicide. Continue reading

Privatised wheelchair service complaint still unresolved after 5 months

Fern Bast has good reason to celebrate and praise the NHS in Calderdale. She recently had an amazing, successful operation to repair her damaged, degenerating spine and it is now repairing itself.

However, her experience with Opcare, the company that runs the recently privatised Wheelchair Service, has been less happy – to the extent that in March this year she made a formal complaint to Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) about the completely inappropriate conditions she found, when she attended the Opcare outreach clinic at Beechwood Medical Centre in Halifax, for a fitting for a powered chair.

5 months on, Calderdale CCG has still not got to the bottom of the problem. Continue reading

NHS bosses’ listening event that wasn’t – oh, and there are “no proposals” for NHS cuts and changes

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”

I gained entry to Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s 20th August Stakeholder Engagement Event only after picketing it, along with other members of the general public.

A Councillor Councillor recently told NHS bosses they “should seek a wider basis of opinion about their plans” – instead of confining their “engagement” to “people inside the goldfish bowl.”

So there we were, offering a wider basis of opinion. But would the people inside the goldfish bowl be able to hear us? Continue reading