Jeremy Hunt’s puppets’ useless response to hospital cuts financial case for change questions

fish for jenny(2)_namedToday Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group – last summer accused by the Chair of Calderdale Council Adults Health & Social Care Scrutiny Panel of swimming around in their own little goldfish bowl instead of openly discussing issues with the public – sent me a singularly useless and uninformative response to questions I sent in for their 20th Jan 2016  meeting, held to rubber stamp their decision to “consult” the public on their hospital cuts plans. Continue reading

Who’s holding the smoking gun? Questions about A&E and hospital cuts for 20th Jan public meeting

The public can ask questions at the Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups Governing Bodies meeting at 1.30pm, Wednesday 20th January at Briar Court Hotel, Halifax Road, Huddersfield HD3.

My question is about whether the decision to make Calderdale Royal Hospital the acute/ A&E hospital is down to the need for the hospitals Trust to maximise the value of the CRH PFI contract. Continue reading

Covering #Calderdale Royal Hospital PFI contract costs could force shrinkage of #Huddersfield Royal Infirmary

At the 21 October Joint Health Scrutiny Committee meeting, Councillors tried to find out what the NHS competition enforcer, Monitor, actually meant by stating that the hospitals Trust needs to:

“maximise the value of the Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) PFI contract”.

As a result of the government trying to force hospitals into making massive “efficiency” cuts, that were impossible to carry out because this would have endangered patient safety, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) is one of scores of Trusts across the country that are now in deficit and under Monitor’s special measures.

Calderdale Councillor Martin Burton asked how the Trust could maximise the value of the CRH PFI contract. It was like trying to get blood from a stone. Continue reading

Calderdale Royal Hospital’s future as small planned care clinic plus Care Home and Hospice

The hospitals Trust has finally made public their Outline Business Case (OBC) for the shake up of hospital and community NHS services in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield.

The OBC comes down on the side of making Calderdale Royal Hospital the small planned care hospital, carrying out planned treatments like hip or knee operations, with only 85 of its current 350 beds in use and no A&E, just a Minor Injuries Unit that would see around 22,500 patients a year.

24/7 acute and emergency care would be at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. This would include trauma, major surgery, crticial care, acute & specialist medicine, inpatient paediatric services and complex maternity services.

In addition to minor injuries units, the OBC says both hospitals would provide outpatient care for children and adults, midwifery-led maternity units and specialist psychiatric liaison services.

The OBC sees a possible future for the “redundant” space in the rest of CRH as a care home and hospice, and says

“There is potential to link up with other Care Home or Hospice providers” (p141)

Continue reading

Excellent public support for striking #NHS staff in #Calderdale and #Huddersfield

The entrances to Calderdale Royal Hospital were picketed by striking NHS staff this morning between 7-11am, with many passing cars honking their horns in support.

Members of Unison, Unite, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives stood in the rain handing out leaflets, to explain that years of frozen pay and deteriorating working conditions are making it impossible to retain staff and to care properly for patients. Continue reading

Global company buys out #Calderdale Royal Hospital PFI company, to profit from  “facilities management” contract

“Facilities management” at Calderdale Royal Hospital is part of the Private Finance Initiative contract. This means that the hospitals Trust has to use the PFI Facilities Management company for all the buildings and grounds maintenance.

The Trust also has to pay the PFI non-clinical services company for services such as cleaning, catering, laundry and linen, car parking, security, switchboard services and portering.

Until July this year, Lendlease Facilities Management (aka Vita Lendlease) held the CRH PFI Facilities Management Contract. But then Cofely-GDF Suez bought Lendlease Facilities Management. (Update: IN 2016, Cofely-GDF Suez became Engie.)

The hospitals Trust had no say over this buy-out, or which company holds the CRH PFI contract for facilities management (FM).

Continue reading

Walk for the NHS on August 22nd and 23rd – Used by us, Owned by us, Loved by us. Now the NHS can only be saved by us.

Only Clowns Would Close Our A&Es, is the message from members of the public who are Walking for the NHS from Calderdale Royal Hospital to Pinderfields Hospital, via Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Dewsbury District Hospital on 22nd and 23rd August.

The aim of Walk for the NHS is to make all 3 NHS Trust Chiefs aware that the public will not accept any downgrading of services, loss of services or back door privatisation of our NHS.

Let alone their intention of preventing any public consultation on plans to shake up the NHS in Calderdale.

Walk for the NHS will join up with the national Call 999 for the NHS People’s March when both groups arrive at Pinderfields hospital at 3.30pm on Saturday 23rd August.

Everyone is welcome to join some or all of the Walk for the NHS feeder march on any of the stages. Continue reading

999 Call for the NHS practice walk from Huddersfield to Dewsbury Sunday 1st June

If anyone fancies some practice to test out the route and timing for the Save Calderdale and Huddersfield A&Es side march to the main Call 999 for the NHS Jarrow – London march, you’re welcome to join Katherine Horner and her mum who will be walking the route from Huddersfield to Dewsbury on Sunday 1st June, starting from Huddersfield bus station at 11am.

Unfortunately Katherine has had to cancel the 27th May practice walk  from Calderdale Royal Hospital to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Katherine is organising the side march, to take place on 23rd and 24th August. It will start at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax and go past Huddersfield and Dewsbury Hospitals to the outskirts of Wakefield, where the march will join the main 999 Call for the NHS Jarrow to London march. Continue reading

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group appears committed to closing an A&E department and reducing hospital beds

Despite Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s public statements that it has not yet made any decision about the closure of either Calderdale or Huddersfield A&E department, and won’t do so until after a public consultation in the summer of 2014, this claim appears downright shaky. Think about these facts:

  • Most of the proposed division between the two hospitals into an unplanned/routine care hospital and an acute care hospital has already happened, with unplanned care in Calderdale Royal Hospital and acute care in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
  • The hospitals Trust has set up a joint venture property development company with Henry Boot Development and this company is already expanding Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
  • Calderdale Council and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group are ready to set up the low-cost community care system that’s designed to reduce A&E visits and hospital admissions. They will do this through implementing their Better Care Fund plan this year.
  • Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s 5 Year Strategic Plan states that it is the CCG’s contribution to delivering the Strategic Review. This is the document that outlines the preferred option for closing Calderdale A&E, moving acute care and A&E to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and cutting 100 hospital beds.

Continue reading

Keeping Calderdale A&E open is a fight we can win

This was the message from Save our A&E campaigners this morning, as they walked with Labour Parliamentary candidate Josh Fenton Glynn from Todmorden to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

The walk is to bring home the distances people will need to travel if the proposed closure of Calderdale A&E goes ahead. Continue reading