Monitor boss threatens deficit-ridden NHS hospitals with cuts to services and takeover into hospital chains

The NHS competition enforcer David Bennett has told NHS Foundation Trusts that if they don’t bring down their deficits, they will lose their freedom to decide their own strategy and the way they run their services. This includes the power to retain their surpluses and borrow to invest in services for patients.

The 152 foundation trusts together face a £1bn deficit this year, but the government has decided this is “unaffordable”.

Austerity punishing poor for mistakes of rich

David Bennett, the Monitor boss, told NHS finance directors they have to bring this deficit down by speeding up productivity improvements and working in new ways. Continue reading

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Hospital cuts and review of whole local NHS as “perfect storm” of increasing financial pressures batters our hospitals

Staff from Monitor (the NHS competition enforcer) were at the Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee (JHSC) meeting on 25 March to explain what Monitor is doing about our Hospitals Trust deficit.

In 2015/16 and 2016/17 the short term plan comes down to making cuts (aka “efficiency savings”), as recommended by Price Waterhouse Cooper accountancy company, and also using all the Trust’s cash reserves to pay off the deficit. CHFT will present this short term plan in  May 2015.

In a Groundhog Day moment, the JHSC heard that CHFT’s longer term strategic financial plan for a cost-saving “reconfiguration” of the hospitals is likely to include proposals for putting all acute and emergency services on one site. And there will also be a review of the whole “local health economy”, to be carried out by all the area’s NHS organisations and both Local Authorities. Continue reading

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NHS privatisation quango tells #Calderdale and #Huddersfield hospitals trust to cut services fast

As Plain Speaker reported in early October, Monitor is to investigate the reasons why our Hospitals Trust is facing a deficit at the end of this financial year.

Monitor is the quango set up under the 2012 Health & Social Care Act, in order to open up the NHS to EU competition law as a way of speeding up the pace of NHS privatisation.

Moves by Paul Chandler, Regional Director at Monitor, to blame the Trust’s management for the deficit does not distract from the self-evident fact that the looming deficit is the result of central government tightening the funding screws on the NHS. Continue reading

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NHS privatisation quango’s secret meeting about recommissioning NHS community care contracts worth £hundreds of millions

The Board of  Monitor (the Ofgem of the NHS, ie the quango that promotes “competition” in the NHS “market”) met on 29th October to deliberate in secret about re-commissioning NHS community services like Locala’s in Kirklees.

Agenda item 7 asked the Monitor Board to note, in secret, “significant developments with regard to the work of the Co-operation and Competition directorate.”

They say if the public knew what the directorate had found, this would “inhibit the free frank disclosure of information.” Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

#Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals at risk – fight for them before it’s too late

Huddersfield Keep Our NHS Public and Save Calderdale Royal Hospital campaigners want NHS chiefs and Calderdale Councillors to come clean about the damage that funding cuts and privatisation are inflicting on our NHS.

Paul Cooney, a member of Huddersfield KONP, said,

“The Trust’s September newsletter really obscures the truth about the Trust’s worsening financial situation. I have previously called for candour and transparency in their public statements. It is time for the Trust bosses to stop pretending everything’s going to be ok and admit that things can’t go on as they are.”

Continue reading

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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.

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

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NHS financial regulator calls for accelerated NHS “reconfiguration” changes

Monitor has just told Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts to “turbo charge” NHS reconfiguration programmes, such as the Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Strategic Review.

Monitor is the NHS financial regulator responsible for making sure that Clinical Commissioning Groups and other organisations follow Health and Social Care Act 2012 competition regulations – ie put NHS services out to private tender. Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.