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 single “Emergency Care Centre” for both Calderdale and Kirklees – Not Safe, Not Fair

This is the 7th Plain Speaker report on the hospital cuts plans that are scheduled for public consultation, starting at the end of February.

It looks at proposals for expanding Calderdale Royal Hospital into a 615 bed acute and emergency hospital – the only one in Calderdale and Kirklees.

The “Right Care Right Time Right Place” Pre Consultation Business Case could well be called “Less Care, Whenever and Wherever You Can Find It”

The basic plan is to

  • Knock down HRI, and sell off the site for development.
  • Build a 119 bed planned care clinic plus outpatients and and urgent care centre on Acre Mill – leaving Kirklees without an A&E.
  • Take services out of the hospital and put them in the community (so-called Care Closer to Home).
  • Expand CRH from 400-ish beds to 615 and make it the unplanned (acute) care hospital and “emergency care centre” for both Kirklees and Calderdale, plus an urgent care centre
  • Cut 755 staff and around 77 hospital beds,
  • Set up an urgent care centre  in Todmorden. (The urgent care centres would befor minor ailments and accidents. The independent clinical senate review worries that the urgent care centre staffing proposals are inadequate: they don’t guarantee a doctor would be present and they would rely on skyping colleagues in the Emergency Care Centre for advice) Update 5 March: The Clinical Commissioning Group has abandoned the proposal for a Tod urgent care centre.
  • Take extra A&E patients to CRH, as a result of the closure of Dewsbury A&E and its replacement with an urgent care centre

Continue reading

Care Closer to Home – “Patients Will Suffer”

Kirklees and Calderdale people are very upset about the proposed hospital cuts and changes and A&E closure – but related  proposals to move hospital services into the “community” are equally devastating. Continue reading

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

Clinical Commissioners’ monkey business stymies public scrutiny of key consultation documents

At the Kafka-esque Scrutiny meeting on 29th January, the Clinical Commissioning Groups’ monkey business meant that there was no consultation document on the hospital cuts for Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee (JHSC) members to scrutinise.

Today (4th February), the CCGs have sent JHSC members the full consultation documents, with a message that the documents are going to be signed off tomorrow and Councillors need to send any comments today! Continue reading

Huddersfield and Calderdale hospitals on black alert again due to shortage of beds and staff

On Wednesday 27 January, both Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) told staff they were  on “black alert” – not for the first time this year.

At the 12th January Junior Doctors Strike picket, a junior doctor said that CRH had been on black alert for most of the previous week.

Black alert is when the hospital can’t take any more patients because it hasn’t got beds for them. This means patients who come to A&E may spend time on trolleys in corridors before they can be admitted as inpatients. Continue reading

Wakefield and Dewsbury hospitals groaning under pressures from same “clinical model” now proposed for Huddersfield and Calderdale

Patients and NHS staff in North Kirklees and Wakefield are feeling the pressure of hospital cuts and changes that are about to be replicated in Kirklees and Calderdale, if NHS Commissioners have their way.

This is against the wishes of both Calderdale and Kirklees Councils, who have both unanimously passed motions rejecting the plans, and of scores of thousands of members of the public, who have joined various “2 Towns 1 Fight – keep both A&Es open” campaign groups.

This report looks at some the of the effects already apparent in North Kirklees and Wakefield, on patients, their families and friends, and NHS staff. Continue reading

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

Politicians should have a “duty of candour” about the NHS too

This article is republished from the Open Democracy website under their Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence.

Jenny Shepherd 28 March 2014

Jeremy Hunt insists the NHS should be more open when things go wrong. Laudable – but why does the same openness not apply to decisions to close A&Es and outsource ambulances, being made in the shadows? Continue reading