Impartial doctors can’t tell if unclear plan for Huddersfield hospital cuts & changes will provide required standard of care

This is the second Plain Speaker report on the proposed hospital cuts that are scheduled for public consultation, starting at the end of February. If you’d like to find links to several other reports on different aspects of the proposals, they’re at the end of this report.

Here you can find out about:

  • Lack of evidence that these proposed changes will deliver the required standard of care
  • The danger of mixing up aspirational goals with political goals
  • An outline of proposed cuts and changes to hospital services
  • The loss of around 77 hospital beds
  • More detail about the proposal to knock down Huddersfield Royal Infirmary , sell the land and build a new 119 bed planned care clinic
  • The Equality Impact Assessment conclusion that making all Calderdale & Kirklees people go to Huddersfield for planned care could “cause a negative impact”
  • What planned care services everyone would have to travel to Huddersfield for
  • Services that would be available at both hospitals
  • Kirklees patients needing A&E would be sent to other “emergency care centres” – not necessarily Calderdale Royal Infirmary
  • The Huddersfield urgent care centre (and other urgent care centres at Halifax and Todmorden) may not even be staffed by a doctor
  • The Huddersfield planned care clinic/hospital would cut costs, through more day case and outpatients’ planned care, and shorter stay for inpatients
  • Moving whole swathes of planned care services out of hospital
  • Lack of information about the “financial case” for the hospital cuts and changes

Independent clinicians “in the dark” about standard of care if these cuts and changes happen

Lack of clarity in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield NHS Commissioners’ Pre Consultation Business Case proposals for cutting and changing hospital services has left Clinical Senate doctors in the dark about the standard of care that would be available if these changes were to go ahead.

NHS Commissioners asked the Clinical Senate to review their proposals, specifically to

“answer questions regarding the ability of this model to deliver the standards proposed.”

But the doctors’ review says it can’t answer these questions, because

“The standards are…drawn from national documents but they are therefore very generic.”

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

Ending the PFI hospitals rip-off

Quite a few people, rightly outraged by Calderdale Royal Hospital’s rip-off PFI debt, are calling for Calderdale Council to lend the hospitals Trust the money to buy out the debt, along the lines of the Council-financed Hexham Hospital buy out of its PFI debt in 2014.

The Hexham PFI contract allowed an early exit, the CRH one doesn’t

The Council’s PFI debt buy-out was possible at Hexham Hospital because of PFI contract conditions that don’t apply at Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH). As the Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare (the Trust that runs Hexham hospital) told the Financial Times:

Northumbria benefited from a rare clause that allowed an early exit, which many PFI agreements do not include.

Continue reading