Saturday, October 28, 2006
The Payment by Results tariff has created perverse incentives for NHS trusts
to manipulate demand above levels warranted by clinical need, research concludes.
The study by the York Centre for Health Economics found hospitals may encourage unnecessary referrals or follow-up procedures and expand medical staffing into
sub-specialty areas in order to maximise their income. A consequence of the tactics
could be to stop co-operation between providers and hinder growth of primary care
as an alternative to hospital care. The research concluded: 'The Payment by Results
policy may make it difficult to attain major shifts in provision from the acute to
community sector.' It added: 'The collective impact of many of the potential actions
and behaviours induced by Payment by Restults will increase radically the degree of
financial risk and potential instability in the health care system.'
Troubleshooter is given job of quelling hospital revolts.
The health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has called in a powerful troubleshooter
to quell a public rebellion against NHS hospital closures. Sir Ian Carruthers,
who was until recently acting head of the NHS, will conduct a six-month review
of all plans around the country to cut services or close units, to see if more can
be done to win public support for change. He is expected to deliver a blunt message
to local NHS chiefs that there is no point in announcing closures without first winning the backing of hospital consultants and GPs.
But Hewitt has insisted the review should not delay reforms that are expected
to include the downgrading of many A& E departments and maternity departments.
Public concern about local closures has contributed to the government's dismal showing
in a Guardian/ ICM poll, which identified health as an electoral problem for Labour.
Only 14% of voters think the trebling of the NHS budget since 1997 has been money
well spent. The Department of Health said Hewitt's response will be to redouble her
efforts to persuade patients and voters that hospital reorganisations are designed to
improve services, not cut them. Sir Ian faces a formidable groundswell of suspicion.
This month 7,000 marched through Haywards Heath to defend the A& E department
at Princess Royal hospital. 5,000 formed a human "circle of defiance" around Worthing
and Southlands hospital to protest at cuts they fear will result from the health authority's "reconfiguration" of services. They are two of the 50 most active local campaigns which show how the NHS reform programme is causing political fall-out in every corner of England.
Sir Ian's review would not override the normal rules for consultation with the public, and local authority scrutiny committees would retain the right to object. The government will produce further guidance shortly on how NHS organisations can consult most effectively.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Told you years ago that PFI was wrong
It's a shame that M.P's have just seen
this is from the BBC news 27/10/06
hospitals worth only £8bn, the Conservatives have revealed.
The figures emerged in a response to a Parliamentary Question tabled
by Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
Under PFI, a private company builds a hospital and then collects "rent" from
the NHS for around 30 years.
The government said the comparison was misleading, as the total cost
includes cleaning and buildings maintenance.
It says the flagship PFI policy means the private sector bears the risk
and cost of building new hospitals.
But unions said PFI schemes were "expensive, inflexible and adding to
There are 58 NHS PFI schemes already open with another 30 under construction.
Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Six years ago, Labour
promised the biggest ever hospital building programme in the history of the NHS.
"Now, they say they do not want care to be provided in hospitals after all.
"It is perverse that, with hospitals around the country now suffering cutbacks
and closures, over 80 NHS organisations are locked into long-term contracts
for the building of large hospitals that we have no idea whether the NHS will
He added: "Every hospital I talk to wants the freedom to structure its borrowing
projects as they wish. For all too many, PFI has turned into a straitjacket."
Hinchingbrooke can vouch for the PFI burden with the state
Of the Art Treatment Centre, which is a wonderful facility but
the promised work that would have made it a viable proposition
has not materialised, maybe it's time to use it as a specialist
treatment centre for a clinical need that is not catered for in the
East of England rather than wasting it's potential
NHS staff from across Cambridgeshire will be joining hundreds of health service
workers from across the country for a lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 1 November.
Staff from Hinchingbrooke hospital will be meeting MPs at Westminster at the lobby,
which is being organised by NHS Together, a new alliance of all the unions and organisations representing NHS staff.
The message that Hinchingbrooke Hospital staff will be taking to local MPs is two fold.
First that more should be done to recognise the many improvements in the NHS in recent
years brought about by both increased government investment and the commitment of NHS staff. But secondly that progress in the NHS is now under threat for three reasons:
Sudden budget cuts in some NHS Trusts like Hinchingbrooke Hospital are threatening
jobs and patients.
- There is now too much top down and untested change that has failed to involve or win the support of staff.
The fragmentation of the NHS is hindering the ability of health professional at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to provide the best possible patient care locally.
Commenting on the lobby, Mike Gough of Save Hinchingbrooke said:
“NHS staff are proud of the real improvements in the health service in recent years,
but we are increasingly worried that progress is now under threat. That is why
all NHS staff – doctors, nurses, clinical, technical, administrative and support staff
– are joining together to ring the alarm when we meet local MPs.
“Staff morale is at an all time low. We support changes that improve patient care,
but there is too much top down change that has not won the support or involvement
of the staff who have to implement it. The slow down in spending is being handled badly,
with real cuts on the ground. And we are very worried that the NHS is being fragmented
with a rapid dash to the private sector and the introduction of competition. The government should do more to recognise the progress made by their extra money and our hard work,
and should make sure that change and reform involves the staff who will have to deliver it.”
Media contact details:
For further information please call 07984 413839
NOTES TO EDITORS:
More information about the lobby of parliament and NHS together is available at www.nhstogether.org.uk
Membership of NHS Together consists of Amicus; British Dietetic Association; British Orthoptic Society; British Medical Association; Community and District Nursing Association; Chartered Society of Physiotherapy; GMB; Hospital Consultants' and Specialists' Association; Managers in Partnership; Royal College of Midwives; Royal College of Nursing; The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists; Society of Radiographers; Transport and General Workers Union; TUC; Unison
Thursday, October 26, 2006
As can be seen in this weeks Hunts Post
the local Political Heavyweight Sir John Major
is ouspoken in support for Hinchingbrooke
Hospital, this can be found at
he says in the article
"Hinchingbrooke is at the very heart of our local community.
We must protect it, improve it, and secure its - and our own - long-term future"
of the Campaign is 19th November 2006
This will be the Hands around Hinchingbrooke
event, watch this space for as it happens
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
It's Wednesday 25th October 2006, I met with the
Interim Chief Executive of Hinchingbrooke Hospital
yesterday. It was a productive meeting and we discussed
all the issues surrounding the hospital including the
I did praise the staff for what they have done for my
mother but it beggared belief to hear that as the staff
had given mother 3 proceedures on one day that the
trust would only be paid for 1 of them, that is outrageous
and so you see that an efficient trust who have patients
interests at the forefront and by completing more than
just 1 proceedure at each hospital visit, so as to reduce
the trauma to the patient are blantantly penalised
That is the perverse way the hospitals are funded
At the meeting we discussed the PCT and its money
issues, they are losing £70,000 per day, obscene and
unexcusable but not the fault of the PCT just the
structure of the system of funding the NHS
Monday, October 23, 2006
and I have some personal thanks to convey to the
wonderful staff of the PCT & especially Hinchingbrooke
As you are I have been under the hospital for my arthritis
for a number of years now and this has helped a great deal.
But the subject for my thanks is for my Mother.
She found a lump and went to the GP on Friday 13th and was
seen by Hinchingbrooke on the 20th, but this went the
extra mile and 3 tests were done on one visit, therefore
making savings to the Patient and the Trust.
Mother has another appointment booked for the 27th and
will probably be having surgery next week.
Well done to all concerned and it is a testiment to the
quality of staff, cost effective thinking and quality service
from this wonderful Hospital.
It seems stupid to cut vital services from this geographically
well placed hospital, the centre of Cambridgeshire & the hub
of the A1/A14 links, but obviously cash is more important than
Patient Choice - Quality Service - Locally Avaliable
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
interesting to say the least.
Many eye opening documents were made avaliable and the meeting was
attended by Jane Herbert the interim Chief Exec of Hinchingbrooke,
Dr Paul Watson who is the Director of Commissioning for the East
Anglia Strategic Health Authority and Chris Town who is the
Interim Chief Exec of the new Cambridgeshire PCT.
To me having 2 interim Chief Execs doesn't promote any
confidence but then only time will tell.
I have the documents saved to a .pdf Acrobat file so if anyone
wishes to view them then e-mail me so I can forward them on to
have been busy, very busy.
I am attending the Overview and Scruitiny Commitee, publc
meeting, today 18th October 2006.
There are now 3 options to be worked around and thanks to
you all the public will be involved.
below is an extract from the press release that outlines the 3
options that will be discussed
The three options will be centred around:-
A Minimum change to the range of services provided but with smaller caseloads;
B Remodelling of the current services, also with smaller caseloads, with services provided differently in terms of care in or out of hospital;
C Re-provision of a significant level of services to other NHS organisations
I will update after I have attended the meeting later this morning
Friday, October 13, 2006
for Hinchingbrooke Hospital, I welcome his support for
the Campaign and the Community in his efforts to
save this vauable asset
Thursday 12 October 2006
Speaking yesterday on the Conservative organised debate on the NHS,
led by Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley MP,
Mr Djanogly said:
"As my hon. Friend knows, hundreds of jobs have gone at
Hinchingbrooke hospital, with hundreds more likely to go,
and the hospital is now subject to a closure threat.
It seems to me that the strategic health authority's review
is in fact cover for a slash-and-burn policy conducted by
this Government. What does my hon.
Friend have to say about that?"
After the debate Mr Djanogly said
"I remain very concerned that the strategic health authority
is confusing short term cost cutting measures with long term
need to strategically review the future of the medical requirements
of people of Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire."
In addition, Mr Djanogly and Shailesh Vara,
the MP for the neighbouring Cambridgeshire constituency
have today launched an Early Day Motion in Parliament
in support of the Hinchingbrooke hospital.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Jonathan Djanogly has tabled a motion
to Parliament concerning Hinchingbrooke
Hospital, this is supported by Sheilesh Vara
and Andrew Lansley(shadow health minister)
Andrew is in Huntingdon on Saturday 14th October,
please go and meet him.
The latest Health Commission report is again damning
for many Trusts and only the "Free from financial restraint"
Foundation Hospitals seemed to have come off well,
Hinchingbrooke was Fair & Weak
and this is better than many other Trusts performances.
It is now time to stop changing goal posts, stop the stupid
league tables and the way that they are scored and just get
on with the job in hand, providing Local Hospitals that are
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
said about Saturday's March many folk who didn't come
on the march due to other commitments
or who sat back to see if it would work,
have said "when's the next one?"
Well if I have some help ,quite soon but the Weather could be against us
The "Hands around" idea could work well and be achieved quickly but
there are meetings to attend and also there is the NHS lobby of Parliament on
the 1st November 2006
I do feel that we have made ourselves noticed and raised the plight of
Hinchingbrooke to the forefront in the mind of the Community.
I personally would like the outcome of the SHA review to be realistic and
supported by the Local Community, so that Patient Choice and
Local Hospital services be provided in a cost effective and efficient way but
without bureaucracy getting in the way
just plain and simple service provision without league tables and the like
but with a responsible and accountable management team in place.
I have 2 ideas for the Campaign to move forward
One is Hands aorund Hinchingbrooke, this is where the community
create a symbolic ring around all or part of the Hospital.
This will obviously need the blessing of the Hospital management to
work but combined with a Community fun day it could work and If
the hospital can show a way of joining in then it would be good for all.
If you are able to assist please get in touch especially if you
hire Bouncy Castles or are a Childrens entertainer.
The second is another March on a huge scale which will need to
planned in accordance to regulations as road closures will be
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Here you will find all the information regarding the
Save Hinchingbrooke Hospital Campaign
Having just been completed in a 3 week timescale, the recent March to the
Hospital in the 7th October was a Great success, on the back of this other events
are already being organised.
As I write this on Tuesday 10th October the A14 is shut once again, the radio report says closed
at M11/A14 Girton interchange so westbound travel
to Huntingdon unavaliable by the A14 route and
there are diversions at Dry Drayton
as you cannot get onto the M11 directly
Well this should tell the SHA that the A & E service is essential
not a prospect to cut it out to save money and Air Ambulances
as suggested by Patricia Hewitt are financial suicide and as
much of a burden as PFI buildings for which Hinchingbrooke
can vouch for
Anyway the site will be updated, probably daily , so please come back to see how we are doing
If you want to help out, please get in touch