So many revolving doors – was Bootham Park Hospital closed in the interests of patients or profits?

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Bootham Park Hospital was closed at the end of September 2015 on the sudden instruction of the Care Quality Commission, following their unannounced inspection five days before the contract for running the hospital was due to be taken up by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys mental health trust.

The inspection was apparently triggered by whistle-blowing from a ward manager who used to work for the Care Quality Commission.

Despite massive public opposition to the hurried closure – and an assurance to the Care Quality Commission from the head of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys mental health trust that they had £2m earmarked for fixing the maintenance problems that were the reason for closing Bootham Park Hospital – the Care Quality Commission refused to budge.

None of this story makes any obvious sense. So what’s been going on?

Do fast-revolving doors between key public organisations and private health sector companies create a shadow NHS, where decisions are made in the interests of profit not patients? Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

New-build mental hospital for York – the murky workings of a post-democratic, privatising NHS

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The sudden closure of Bootham Park Hospital in York at the end of September 2015 with just five days warning –  followed sixteen months later by the proposal for a replacement new build mental health hospital in York, provides a case study in the murky workings of a fast-privatising NHS that lacks democratic accountability

Revolving doors between the NHS and private companies mean that conflicts of interest are rife – but barely examined.

Bootham Park’s closure, on the order of the Care Quality Commission following an unannounced inspection, forced the immediate discharge or relocation of 30 inpatients  and affected 400 outpatients.

It was met by public outrage and opposition as the mental health hospital – the only one in York and the surrounding area – had been vital to the wellbeing and survival of many patients. Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Secretive Sustainability and Transformation Plans are likely to have cost NHS over £16 million in management consultancy fees

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Underfunded NHS clinical commissioning groups could be spending over £16 million between them, for advice from management consultants on the secretive shake-up of health and social care in England.

Unite, with 100,000 members in the NHS, said that health secretary Jeremy Hunt needs to come clean on the spending on management consultants in relation to the 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) for England.

Unite calculated that £15 million is the likely cost, after the media revealed that NHS chiefs in Coventry and Warwickshire had forked out £343,000 to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for advice on saving money in their local STP plan.

However this may well be a significant underestimate. The British Medical Association has just reported that health leaders drawing up the North Central London STP have paid £2.3m to eight different companies – including accountants Deloitte and management consultants McKinsey – for services stretching from ‘administrative support’ and ‘financial modelling’ to ‘communications support’.

Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker reported in October last year that the 11 West Yorkshire and Harrogate Clinical Commissioning Groups had between them paid £378K to management consultancy company Attain  to set up and run the West Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan Programme Management Office. Continue reading

We want an NHS which is comprehensive. That means it doesn’t target people’s lifestyles and blame them for their illnesses.

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This is Deborah Harrington’s speech to the Fighting for Hartlepool Hospital rally on Saturday 15th October, as read by Steven Carne from 999 Call for the NHS

First of all I would like to say how sorry I am not to be here today.

I wanted to start by telling you about something I witnessed at a major London hospital recently after a physiotherapy appointment. I was at the bus stop, waiting for my bus home, when two security guards came out of A&E pushing a wheelchair. In it was a man who looked semi-comatose. At the bus stop one security guard tipped the wheelchair, while the other helped the man out. He couldn’t stand. They laid him down on the ground and left him there. It was a cold, wet day. His shirt and jacket were twisted up and I could see his back. It was covered in what looked like fresh burns. I called out to the security guards. They replied that he didn’t need emergency treatment so had no business being there. He was ‘just a drunk’. Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Does Calderdale Health & Wellbeing Board know what it’s doing with NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans?

On 25 August, Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board meeting discussed 3 documents about Sustainability and Transformation Plans, in order to decide whether to accept the following recommendations that the Health and Wellbeing Board had previously made at a private, un-minuted meeting with Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group on 11th August – that the Health and Wellbeing should:

  • “own” Calderdale’s contribution to the West Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan
  • agree a Calderdale Plan at a future meeting
  • establish a Calderdale Transformation Board to oversee the work on the development of a Calderdale Plan and report to the Health and Wellbeing Board.

Six weeks after the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting – and only two weeks before the 21st October deadline for submitting the final version of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan to NHS England – Cllr Tim Swift sent answers to 15 of the 38 questions about these three documents, that I had emailed to the Health and Wellbeing Board just before its meeting. Continue reading

Discretionary Housing Payment is available if you’re struggling to pay rent

Calderdale residents may be eligible for financial support if they are struggling to keep up with payments of rent.

You can apply online for DHP at www.calderdale.gov.uk/benefits or drop in at any Customer First office for an application form.

The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme is an emergency fund which provides financial assistance whilst allowing people time to find alternative solutions. This is an additional payment on top of any housing benefit already received. 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

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans – the great NHS sell off by digitech woo merchants Stevens & Swindells

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Digitech is central to NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans, says ex-Cerner Vice President turned NHS England Director.

What fresh revolving door horror is this?

Before he started his job at NHS England – pushing digitech as key to Sustainability and Transformation Plans –  Matthew Swindells was Senior Vice President  at the US health digitech company Cerner.
Continue reading

Protest secret plans to cut and further privatise NHS – Halifax Town Hall, Thursday 25 August, 9.30am.

A secret process to cut and further privatise NHS services is charging ahead across England. It goes under the name of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).

England has been divided into 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plan ‘footprints’ which must make huge spending and service cuts and increase NHS privatisation in order to access “transformation” funds.

STPs are being drawn up in conditions of secrecy imposed by NHS England. Their North Midlands Director of Commissioning Operations, Wendy Saviour, told a recent meeting of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group:

“STPs are not meant to be published at all. They should not go to Board meetings. Some of them contain very radical things… These are highly political and highly contentious…
Once they’re washed off and the national messages are gathered together, they will be published.”

Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

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

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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

Posted from London, England, United Kingdom.