Standing room only as Town Council questions Hebden Bridge Group Practice about public concerns


Members of the public crowded into Hebden Royd Town Council chamber on September 25th, to hear Dr Nigel Taylor address widespread public concerns about patient safety and restricted access to appointments with Hebden Bridge Group practice doctors.

He was there at the invitation of Hebden Royd Town Council, which had asked the Practice to explain what was going on.

The meeting followed at least two years of public anxiety about lack of access to adequate health care, after the Practice decided to send all patients needing urgent appointments to a morning walk-in clinic in Mytholmroyd.

Dr Taylor said that the Practice is “desperate to recruit more GPs” and has been advertising continuously since five of the 12 GPs left in 2018 for personal reasons. It now only has 9.25 Full Time Equivalent GPs and GP equivalents (Advanced Practice Nurses and Pharmacy Practitioners), for 18,000 patients.

In response to Councillors’ questions, Dr Taylor told the meeting that the Practice would reconsider the possibility of holding the walk in clinic in Hebden Bridge as well as Mytholmroyd, on alternate fixed days.

They will also think about what to do about patients queuing outside the walk in clinic, but the problem with opening the building before 8am is that it would need staffing.

Councillor Scott Patient questions Dr Nigel Taylor

He added that, for patients who are physically unfit to attend the walk-in, or can’t get there between 8am-10am,

“When something comes in that doesn’t fit in the box, we try and accommodate it.”

The Mayor, Cllr Carol Stowe, said the Town Council had heard from many members of the public about problems with the Practice.

Cllr Carol Stowe introduces Dr Nigel Taylor at Hebden Royd Town Council meeting 25.9.19

As well as problems with the walk-in clinic, issues include:

  • appointments cancelled at the last minute and then another 4 or even 6 week wait,
  • automatic prescription of painkillers rather than discussing a patient’s request for physiotherapy,
  • repeat prescriptions being incorrectly issued,
  • admin errors with medical consequences – eg carrying out the wrong blood tests and scan referrals not sent, and
  • having to disclose health problems to the receptionist.

Dr Nigel Taylor told the meeting that in line with government plans, the Practice had trained receptionists as “Care Navigators”. They are now responsible for identifying patients’ needs and where they should go for consultation.

Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker finds it hard to see how this is going to help, when Dr Taylor said the Practice had tried non-clinical triage before and it didn’t work – which was why they set up the walk-in clinic instead.

Dr Nigel Taylor told the meeting that part of the reason for the increased ‘demand’ for GP appointments, that the Practice is unable to meet, is that GPs are already delivering services previously provided in hospital.

What is going to happen if and when the Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals cuts and centralisation plan goes ahead and the new Primary Care Networks have to deliver even more hospital services?

After the meeting, Rosemary Hedges, a member of the Patient Representation Group, said,

“Dr Nigel Taylor gave Councillors the bare bones of the practice arrangements and current issues with funding shortfalls and staff shortages.

“But his answers to Councillors’ questions didn’t fully address people’s concerns. They also raised a number of other questions, that the public now needs answers to.”

Our hospitals’ Healthcare Information Director jumps ship to American-owned healthcare data company

Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals Trust Director of Informatics, John Rayner, recently announced he’s resigning and will leave his job at the end of January 2015.

He is jumping ship to work for the Healthcare Informatics & Management Systems Society (HIMSS)-UK, a subsidiary of the US-based company HIMSS.

HIMSS got its UK foothold by buying the Harrogate events management company Citadel in 2012.

It now appears to be well in with NHS England, as HIMSS is a co-sponsor with NHS England of UK e-Health Week 2015, a two day event at the National Hall in Olympia on March 3rd and 4th. Continue reading

Posted from here.

Let the people set the agenda for the remaining NHS debates by Calder Valley parliamentary politicians

The first NHS debate between Calder Valley parliamentary hopefuls and the current MP Craig Whitaker ran along familiar lines.  The politicians repeated what they have already said several times in other situations.

There were only two unexpected comments.

  • Craig Whitaker MP accused Labour Parliamentary Candidate Josh Fenton Glynn of “schoolboy politics”, instead of repeating his earlier slur that Josh was a “stick of celery”.
  • The LibDem Parliamentary Candidate, Alisdair McGregor, said that in the next Coalition Government, which he seemed confident would happen, LibDems would push for the widespread roll out of Personal Health Budgets (despite the fact that the Dutch experience of Personal Health Budgets has been that they led to escalating costs and widespread abuse, with the result that the Dutch have radically reduced their availability – which Mr McGregor didn’t mention.)

Continue reading

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Labour Conference disallows resolution to restore the NHS

On Sunday 21st September, Save Calderdale Hospital and Huddersfield Keep Our NHS Public campaigners went to lobby the Labour Party Conference to adopt a resolution to restore the NHS.

But the Labour Conference Arrangements Committee ruled the resolution out of order and refused to allow it to be put to the Conference. Continue reading

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Yorkshire Ambulance Service boss says work has stalled on implications of proposed A&E closure

Andrew Simpson, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) Trust’s Head of A&E Operations for Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees, told a Calderdale Council “People’s Commission” meeting yesterday that Calderdale Royal Hospital is the destination of 95% of ambulance trips in Calderdale.

But in response to a question from a member of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS campaign, he could not say if information had been collected about the extra number of ambulances and staff that would be needed if Halifax A&E closed – creating longer traveling times – and how much that would cost.

NHS Commissioners’ plans to make changes to community health and social care without public consultation have put both the Ambulance and the Hospitals Trusts on the back foot. Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Calderdale NHS Bosses’ AGM whitewash

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group – the organisation that decides what NHS services people in Calderdale have access to, and which organisations provide them – gave a highly selective version of events at its first AGM, held at the Threeways centre in Ovenden yesterday.

The Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt has told NHS clinical staff that they owe a duty of candour to their patients and must tell them the truth.

Surely this duty applies to NHS commissioners as well?

Calderdale CCG failed this test at its AGM.

Airbrushed out – massive public opposition to planned hospital cuts never happened Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Public will have no say in #Calderdale NHS and social care shake up, if NHS chiefs get their way

In a dramatic move, Calderdale’s NHS Commissioners have decided to shelve public consultation on the proposed NHS shake up.

At a meeting on 14th August, they batted aside a letter from Councillor Malcolm James, Chair of Calderdale Council’s Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel, that asked Calderdale’s NHS Commissioners not to make any decisions about community health services that have not been subject to sufficient consultation with the public, or that lead to significant service variations and changes.

Now both Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS Commissioners intend to go ahead with all the community care service changes proposed in the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS  shake-up plans, without any public consultation. Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

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

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(Non) answers to public questions to #Calderdale NHS commissioners Governing Body meeting 14th August

These are Plain Speaker’s and Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group’s questions to the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body meeting on 14th August – updated with the answers. Continue reading

Posted from here.

I’ve asked #Calderdale Council health and social care scrutiny panel to ignore Scrutiny Officer’s advice to refuse to act on Save our A&Es petition

Here is my email, please consider sending one of your own before the Scrutiny Panel meeting at 6pm today, Halifax Town Hall. If you can join our lobby at 5.30pm that would be brilliant too.

(You will see two SP members have gone and new ones come in, as a result of the recent Tory/LibDem Council coup. It is now entirely blokes.) Continue reading

Posted from here.