Thursday, November 30, 2006

World Aids Day

Please support the Aids charities who provide support and raise money to fund research into HIV and Aids

 St Andrews Day

Today is St Andrews Day and lets celebrate this day, celebrate Andrew one of Jesus's disciples a fisherman. He witnessed Jesus and the miracles that were performed, the
 lame walking, the blind seeing, lets hope that the SHA & PCT listen to us but HEAR what we are saying and act 
upon this

Thought for the day for the PCT -
                    Arrogance will bring your downfall
                    but if you are humble, you will be respected
                                                                           Proverbs 29,23

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Patient Engagement Event 4

Well this was the last planned event, however I am led to believe that there
 maybe another or more, watch this space
But the overview is

There were many same faces again, it seems that many folks find the 7-9pm timing too restrictive or Emmerdale is more fun, but then they will moan when the Hospital services for East Anglia are in Norwich or Birmingham and the like.
The 40% activity figures were again disputed but a perspective was introduced by a surgeon, who suggested that the activity rates could be artificially high as the majority of these non elective cases are conditions requiring surgery after referral, so therefore the figures could be skewed upwards on that basis, so that a day case becomes another elective case so duplicate recording of activity.

The Consultant presented the Cancer model currently in place but refused ,and she publicly announced this, that she was asked to present a couple of future options for the cancer unit, she indicated that there was NO room for any change as it was running above targets and providing the best care for the local people.
Dr Brendan Boyle, backed up this case model and also indicated to the audience that almost daily, Addenbrookes and Peterborough hospital were e-mailing G.P's with their alert status's. It is now in place that Addenbrookes have a Black alert for critical times and this means that patients are queued up in corridors etc.. waiting for treatment, this is now common practice. It was admitted that both Addenbrookes and Peterborough Cancer units were at full capacity and this is like most of the other service areas the PCT wish to cut from Hinchingbrooke, both hospitals cannot cope with the work from Hinchingbrooke.

The ONLY answer is to keep Hinchingbrooke open, Fully funded, proper workloads and upgraded.

The carbon bills and transport issues were highlighted and recognised, at last, as being a major factor to keep services at Hinchingbrooke.
I asked the question regarding community & G.P work, it was for an opinion on G.P's pay under their new contracts, it was reported yesterday that G.P average pay was £106,000 and their salary had taken a 30% plus rise in the last year, it appears that G.P's have paid themselves more rather than spending this extra money on their practice services, Mr Town of the PCT thought is was good that G.P's were being paid for what they do, but agreed the G.P's should do more and provide more. He also said that the PCT has the headache of funding G.P's

The ultimate word is CHOICE, everyone has one including G.P's as most of those choose to operate as they have for years and _not_ provide minor procedures in their surgeries the PCT want them to do, the public have a Choice to CHOOSE HINCHINGBROOKE as their hospital for their treatment and the PCT has the Choice to take services from hospitals and try to place them in the community.

However, this is a no win situation for the PCT and they need to be persuaded that their vision will not work in Cambridgeshire as we are too rural and most people are very reluctant to trust the PCT


Monday, November 27, 2006

Patient Engagement Evening 3

I attended the meeting at Buckden and the main topic was A&E.
The meeting was well attended, however the 40% figure raised it's head yet again and yet
again Mr Town continued to point the finger at the Government.
The main issue issue raised was the continued emphasis on G.P's performing simple surgery
and it was recognised that there would have to be expenditure in the infrastructure of G.P
surgeries for this to be viable and Mr Town attacked G.P's regarding the issue of what they
are spending their income on.
Dr Cracknell, in the audience, spoke of how it was in the past and indicated the dangers of
G.P cover for A&E and said that G.P's cannot provide 27/7 cover and that the public
"Needed and Demanded A&E cover in a local hospital environment"
It was also acknowledged that in the main G.P's now have reduced avaliablity to the public and
patients travel passed their G.P's Out of hours to go straight to A&E instead.
It also was highlighted that G.P's surgeries are no set up for minor surgical proceedures and
these proceedures should only be carried out if it is safe and appropriate to do so
and Patient choice was banded about yet again, most want a Local Hospital.
G.P's are noted to have implied that they are unable to cope and are opposed to expanded
The new documents from this evening meeting are attached along with the table that are supposed to show the 40% extra activity, it is just number without sunstance as to how the
figures were arrived at................

The web address is:-

For the latest paperwork from the meeting

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hands For Trust 

I have now set up a Trust to raise funds for Hinchingbrooke Hospital. we have many ideas and merchandise is already ordered.
I also have a "brand" name for a future clothing range that launches for 2007/08
Hands For Hinchingbrooke Trust is an on going concern that will raise funds to be allocated to wherever is necessary  at Hinchingbooke hospital on any particular year, for example the Special Care 
Baby Unit may need some machines this year but the X-Ray department may need
something next year.

We are not focusing on any one area in the hospital just the hospital in general.

Look out for more news as it happens................................................

Friday, November 24, 2006

Public Engagement Event - Obstetrics

I went to the meeting and we were treated to the same patter from the PCT , but 2 things were raised and it appears there are some issues with the figures quoted. At last nights meeting it was shown on a slide that the total budget for the PCT is £602m, however a member of the audience raised the issue that the figure previously quoted by Chris Town ( Interim Chief Executive) was £48m more and how can we lose this amount in 2 days?
Also raised was the quoted 40% extra activity rates for Hinchingbrooke, again quoted by Chris Town on Tuesday, and the document suggesting this over activity was only just avaliable on the internet a couple of hours before the meeting, even though Mr Town claimed this document would be avaliable on Wednesday.
The document contains a few tables with various figures but also claims "There is a number of
caveats around the data (and therefore the analysis) and the data should be sense checked locally as an urgent next step", Does this mean that the accuracy of some of the figures quoted are not as accurate as implied?
It appears that some issues as to how the HES data has been collected and a suggestion that Hinchingbrooke has been unfairly measured in this instance.

We await accurate figures from the PCT and ones that can be fully trusted and adhered to as part of this process

The documents from last night have been collated by me and are avaliable at the following address -

I did ask as part of the process to the evening 2 questions in respect of the Options for the Maternity side, 4 were indicated as possible outcomes.
I asked if any of the 4 Options announced had yet been costed and also asked if the costing for the Ambulance transport had been costed so that option could be considered/eliminated.

The answer was it is currently being worked on..................................

Not impressed, it appears that these current meetings are wasting the publics time as there are no accurate financial figures that can be relied upon for our minds to consider the best options that can be recommended for the decision makers to consider

Thursday, November 23, 2006

2nd Public Engagement Event

Tonight is the second of these events and hopefully it will be better attended than the last one at St Barnabas Church.
I will upload the documents that are from the meeting and out the link here so that all can download them.
I am in the Process of obtaining Merchandise and setting up a Non profit making company to raise funds for Hinchingbrooke and this will then lead to the company having Charitable status when the necessary red tape has been applied.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Patient Engagement Event - General Surgery  

I went to this meeting and the above title is  how it's known, a little unfortunate to use geek speak when addressing the public and that was just the title.
It was a "different" kind of meeting and only 18 members of the public attended with a similar number of NHS staff of one kind or another,
The main focus of the meeting was the PCT budget and then onto changes or other possible changes in connection with General Surgery.
The meeting is recorded so that quesion asked can be answered, even after the meeting.
The main concerns of the meeting, posed in questions at the end were, the 40% figure that was quoted by Chris Town of the PCT, in respect of the referrals to Hinchingbrooke,2, the figures quoted and  the future projections for the Population in the area, 3, the Road links to other hospitals, 4, Provision in the community for some minor proceedures ( There is currently little provision for this nationally as well as locally & some G.P's have reluctance to adopt this policy and some have not the expertise either) - this is a snapshot of the questions but it seemed to be a general theme.

One item that was highlighted was that if there is no General Surgery then there is no A&E..........

Can I urge you all to come along so that all points of view can be heard and be part of this process, if you dont have your say then you cannot have any issues with the outcome of the review if it is  unfavourable.
If you absolutly cannot attend any of these events, please please go to the following webpage and have your say, if you have no Computer or Internet access then use your library to register your say - the web address is - -

The Agenda and paper copies of the Powerpoint slides from the first meeting are avaliable in Acrobat format from the following web address -----
NHS deficits my problem - Hewitt

The NHS is currently forecasting a deficit

Ms Hewitt told MPs that the NHS would return to balance by the end of the financial year.

She made the promise during an appearance before the Health Select Committee despite half-year forecasts showing the NHS was facing a deficit.

Figures released last month showed a £94m deficit was being predicted after a small surplus was forecast in June.
I have said that we will return the NHS as a whole to financial balance by the end of March next year and I take personal responsibility
Patricia Hewitt, health secretary

During questioning, Liberal Democrat Sandra Gidley asked if the health secretary's job was "on the line" if the NHS did not break even.

Patricia Hewitt replied: "I have said that we will return the NHS as a whole to financial balance by the end of March next year and I take personal responsibility."

However, she pointed out that did not mean every organisation would achieve balance - many hospitals and other health trusts are on course for large deficits, while other parts of the NHS are running up a surplus.

The situation is causing hospitals to close posts, shut wards and delay operations in a bid to balance the books.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Combined Petitions of over 55,000 signatures were delivered yesterday to No 10 Downing Street, I had the honour to be invited by the 2 local M.P's to be with them when they were delivered to the Prime ministers residence.
There was some good media coverage and I was pleased to hear that the Chief executive has told the media that the Hospital will not close, however some reconfiguration will be necessary to enable it to continue.
The first of the four public meetings is taking place tonight at St Barnabas Church hall, in Huntingdon at 7 p.m, I will obviously be there and I would urge you all to try and attend or at least make a comment on the website.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Payment by results tariff set to squeeze the NHS.

Experts predicted another tough financial year for the NHS in England after the Department of Health published the payment by results tariff increases for 2007/ 08. The 2007/ 08 tariff will rise by 2.5% but NHS organisations will have to find another 2.5% through efficiency savings. In a letter to the service, NHS chief executive David Nicholson said the increase balanced financial risk between providers and commissioners. The Department is keen on 'unbundling' tariffs so some elements of patients' care, such as diagnosis or rehabilitation, can be provided outside hospitals. It has published some indicative unbundled tariffs and backed local agreements on unbundling. 

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hands Around Hinchingbrooke

It was another success but with the lateness of the event and with Christmas fairs and shopping on many peoples agenda and with the cold weather then numbers are expected to be diminished, however it still attracted well over 200 people including the Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley M.P with his family

A big thank you to all that came along and all who assisted to make it a success
No 10

On Monday 20th November, I am meeting with the 2 local M.P's and we are going to 10
Downing Street to present the Petitions, The conservatives had their own and I felt that the
ones I did should be attache to theirs to add more weight to the campaign.

I have been asked what my opinion is of the Jane Herbert revelations that were in the
Cambridge Evening News, well I have no strict view other than, if it was true that the Chair & others who appointed her were unaware of the Waiting lists issue then perhaps the she should consider her position at Hinchingbrooke on the basis that, if someone with a record of allowing false adjustments for waiting lists etc. should be working in a Hospital with a recently hiddden set of accounts, I would hope past discrepancies would not interfere with the job in hand.

I was alerted that Mrs Herbert does not work for the NHS but is a Consultant, this
does beg the question of course of "How much is this costing Hinchingbrooke?"
I hope it's money well spent.

I am going to attend the public meetings so that I can be more in touch with the process
currently taking place, there is much resentment from Staff members as the Communications
"within the walls" from the managment to staff is poor to non existant.
I have been asked as to how I get my information, well I won't give names as to who
contact me but I will say it doesn't come from the Unions ( my wife is Branch secretary of
one of those) as I know things before they do and in some cases days ahead.
Some information I get seems like ugly rumours, but after checking all that I publish and pass on is 100% correct, this week there was an issue with Larch Ward and I knew ahead of the Staff and the Unions
A cleverly scripted Press Release was issued to suggest that the ward closure was for operational purposes and the re-engineering of patient pathways will be cited as the main reason, make of that what you will, but it was a knee jerk reaction to the fact that he Larch ward issue got to the media, however with a proper Communications Officer at the Hospital with a transparent outlook with full inclusion is needed to qwell the fears of the public, this would be beneficial and that the changes needed at the hospital would be of a lesser impact and cause much less grief for the hospital management.
In the press release it claims that patients are being moved closer to the Treatment Centre as
it is under used rather than saying the G.P referrals to Hinchingbrooke have deminished through new referral patterns from G.P's.
I have been told that the workload at Addenbrookes has gone up significantly in the last few of weeks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I bet this will be on the A14
Not only will you have to Travel to Addenbrookes for your treatment, you will also be out of pocket doing so................

Road tolls plan to cut congestion

Traffic jam
Congestion is predicted to rise by 25% by 2015
The government will press ahead with plans to introduce trial road-pricing schemes across England, in an effort to cut congestion.

The draft Road Transport Bill gives councils more freedom to bring in their own schemes in busy areas and will look at the scope for a national road toll.

It also gives councils a bigger say in improving local bus services.

Ministers predict that, if no action is taken, congestion could rise 25% by 2015 - mostly in big towns and cities.

They intend to tackle the problem through road tolls, building or widening roads where necessary, and better management of existing roads.

Nine areas have been earmarked for road pricing trials by the end of 2009; Norfolk, the East Midlands, part of the Thames Valley including Reading, Cambridgeshire, Durham, Greater Manchester, Shrewsbury and Shropshire, Tyne and Wear, and the West Midlands.

This link was e-mailed to me, it is one among many I get daily and it is a great site to look around, a little sparse but packed full of treats, so to speak.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Only minority get hospital choice

Patients were asked if they could choose where they had their operation

The government's high-profile patient choice scheme is only being offered to three in 10 people, a survey for the Department of Health shows.

Since January 1, NHS patients have been allowed to choose between at least four local hospitals for an operation. Private clinics are also now available.

It's alright having Choice, but if your Treatment is only avaliable in 1 hospital local to you, where is the choice?

Treatment in the Community is a widely muted new wave of NHS service, but they are not set up yet, no working models and also go back to the small hospital scenario as in the 1960's which was before the DGH model which the Government are trying to destroy.
With these service currently unavaliable the DGH is the majority of Voters, ONLY Local and PREFERRED choice.

With the Hewitt Superhospital plan, how will there be Patient Choice & Local Hospitals?
Severe Cuts

It's here and now

It's begun, the severe cuts

The word from an informer inside of Hinchingbrooke called me last evening and I was told the following:-

The informer believes that this applies to the Treatment Centre, the very millstone that is dragging Hinchingbrooke down.

1. 10 Operating Lists per week have been cancelled until further notice

2. Unless you have been on the waiting list for more than 5 months then you will not be considered for your operation

3. The reason given is that the PCT have no money...........................

Monday, November 13, 2006

Have Your Say

There is a Bulletin Board now set up, go and have your say, tell them what YOU want to see for your LOCAL Heath care service

Don't let them get away with fleecing you and your right to healthcare, you the tax payer are the Shareholders in the service and the only bonuses & dividends we want is a fully and equal funded healthcare provison, nothing more

Debt hit-squads in 25% of trusts
By Nick Triggle
Health reporter, BBC News

Campaigners have accused the government of wasting money after it
emerged one in four NHS trusts has had financial hit-squads sent in to
rectify debts.

Ministers first announced consultants would be going into 18 of the worst-hit NHS trusts in

England in January.

But that figure has risen to 143 as the NHS struggles with deficits - trusts predict debts of o

ver £1bn this year.

The government said the "turnaround" teams were offering varying levels of support and

oing an important job.

External consultants

It is not known how much the teams are costing, because most of the funding is

coming from individual trusts or strategic health authorities - regional bodies

which oversee NHS trusts.

However, the NHS in England is set to spend £172m this year on external management

consultants - a rise of 83% in two years, according to figures obtained by the


Not all the teams involve external consultants as some trusts are using in-house NHS teams

and the help on offer varies from consultants having positions on the board to financial

experts acting in an advisory role.

Shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien said: "The impact of Labour's financial mismanagement

of our NHS is exposed through the vast increase in the number of turnaround teams.

"As they are Labour's solution to Labour's problem it is no surprise that the

cost they incur is vast.

"Labour can no longer be trusted to run our NHS. By sending in these hit-squads

it is clear that they no longer even trust themselves."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

 East Anglian Daily Times

Tory leader visits region's hospitals.
Conservative leader David Cameron yesterday laid the blame for the financial crisis facing hospital and NHS trusts in East Anglia firmly at the door of the Government. He said clinicians and managers were doing their best to get trusts out of deficit, but were being hit by constant ministerial meddling in the way the health service was organised. Mr Cameron began a two day tour of England's hospitals at Ipswich, which is axing 350 posts and reorganising services in a bid to wipe out a £24m deficit. "This hospital is having to make substantial cuts and there are real worries about the effect they will have," said Mr Cameron. "I have been to the medical assessment unit where, because the GP out-of-hours service is not functioning in the way it used to and because community hospitals are closing, there are 20% more patients being seen. The hospital is facing cuts at a time when it is having to do more work. Ipswich Hospital is working hard to reduce its deficit. The staff want to do the job they are employed to do - to treat patients. But all the changes introduced by the Government, the cuts that are being made, and the financial pressures, are getting in the way. Let's stop all the reorganisations. There have been nine in the past nine years. There must be less political interference and more trust in our health professionals. We must stop the top-down targets which are being imposed on the NHS by the Government."

http:/ /

 Eastern Daily Press
Hospitals may get lifeline on debt. Battle plans are being drawn up to fight for more time to be given to Norfolk's cash-strapped health authority to pay off its £50m debt. Former home secretary Charles Clarke is to investigate the chances of giving Norfolk Primary Care Trust an extra 12 months until March 2009 to clear its deficit, a move which could also reduce the severity of cuts to patient services. However, health chiefs have warned that an extension of the deadline would also mean a delay in developing new health services as that will not happen until the debt is cleared. Over the past few days, a number of Norfolk MPs have been involved in secret talks with PCT chief executive Hilary Daniels and chairman Sheila Childerhouse over the financial crisis. Patient services are being cut back with the PCT currently required to balance its books by the end of March 2008. But with debts soaring to £50m, MPs fear that is an increasingly tall order. Already, community hospitals and beds are under threat of closure. While concern was expressed over the threat to community hospitals, MPs also heard that the government's funding formula leaves the PCT under-funded by around £30m a year.

http:/ /

So what about doing the same for Hinchingbrooke or is their one rule for Labour and another for the rest?

Hospital staff rally against cuts

BBC South Yorkshire

Tony Blair has said "necessary" changes are taking place

Hundreds of hospital workers have marched through Leeds city centre to protest against NHS cuts.

Nurses, cleaners, porters and clinical staff took part in the rally to protest against the impact of cuts on hospitals across the region.

Andy Freeman, Unison regional officer, said NHS staff in Leeds and surrounding areas were facing a "bleak future".

Prime Minister Tony Blair has defended the government's record on reforming the NHS and cutting waiting times.

But hospital staff have been outraged at plans by the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust to cut £84m over the next three years.

Unison said it wanted the rally to provide a focal point for patients and members of the public across the region concerned about the future of NHS services in their area.

Mr Freeman said: "Ward closures, bed reductions and staff redundancies are already taking place and staff are extremely concerned about the impact on patient care.

"Cuts in the NHS in Leeds of this magnitude will impact directly on patients in the area and any denials to the contrary are just a smoke and mirrors exercise."

The march through Leeds city centre culminated in a rally, with speakers including Bobbie Chadwick, deputy president of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Speaking at the rally, Kevin Austerberry, RCN regional director told the BBC: "I think we have got to the stage now where people want to take to the streets to really express how frustrated and concerned they feel.

"We are losing jobs in a serious way at the moment, we need more nursing jobs, not fewer nursing jobs."

'Necessary' change

Earlier this month, health workers from across England rallied outside Parliament over NHS cuts and privatisation.

After being challenged by Tory leader David Cameron about the protest, Mr Blair said "necessary" changes were taking place.

He said: "Of course, there are changes taking place, rightly because there are more cases being done on a day case basis, new technology is shortening waiting times and specialist care is being developed.

"All of this is part of necessary change.

"The only way the NHS is going to improve is keep the money coming in, not cut it back, which is your policy, and make sure we make the reforms, which add value for money."

Deep sense of mistrust over NHS cuts

By Adam Brimelow

BBC News, Health correspondent

Many people have protested against cuts

Thousands of people have taken to take to the streets of Leeds to protest over NHS cuts.

Demonstrations like this have drawn enormous support at events across England, prompted by concerns over job losses and possible cuts in services.

Many politicians and activists are scornful of the public consultations over these changes.

Just why is there such deep public mistrust?

Last month thousands of demonstrators packed the centre of Guildford. There have been similar protests in Hayward's Heath and Worthing.

There is another coming up in Epsom - all about saving local hospitals.

Rumours are rife about cuts in services. There is going to be a consultation, but protestors were wary of a stitch-up.

"I'm hoping this rally will do something," said one, "but I don't think that it will have much effect because I think it may be a fait accompli."

Another said: "I don't trust them. I think it's all done and dusted. I think it's all about money."

Big deficit

Surrey has five major hospitals. It is easy to see why campaigners fear the worst.

The local NHS region is heading for a deficit of more than £90million. Yet services have to be financially sustainable.

Candy Morris, chief executive of the South East Coast Regional Health Authority, said it was vital that these concerns are not ignored.

"I think it's fantastic that local people care so much about the health service. I'm not surprised.

"We all care about our NHS. And I think what's really important is that we have this process of building up trust so that at least people will feel that they're listened to."

The process is called "co-design".

At a hotel in Guildford last week about 30 people, including health managers, clinicians and activists, met to exchange ideas and information, ahead of the formal consultation.

It is one of a series of discussion seminars devised by Bob Sang, professor of patient and public involvement at London's South Bank University.

Natural justice

He said: "It is quite clear to me that unless we follow clear principles of natural justice that there is a blank sheet of paper to work with, to start off with, then they won't trust the process.

"However, that also applies to the campaigners. They must also go into this with a spirit that there shall be no preferred options."

Local activists spelt out their fears.

And health managers put their case for changing services, bringing more care out of hospital into community settings.

They say this means adapting to the needs of an ageing population, treating more patients with chronic disease, exploiting medical advances and coping with cuts in doctors working hours.

Kay Mackay, from Surrey Primary Care Trust, said the changes should deliver improvements.

She said: "Hospital buildings are, if you like the front face of the NHS.

"And people get very frightened if they think that something might happen to their hospital.

"I think where we haven't done well at getting our messages out yet is that this is about doing things very differently.

"It is about developing services really close to home."

Prepared to listen

Betty Ames, a long-time local campaigner with Age Concern, is satisfied that at long last, health officials are prepared to listen, and adapt their plans to meet public concerns.

"I think they're trying. I don't think it's just a softening-up exercise but the proof will be in the eating".

But the local Conservative MP, Anne Milton, a former NHS district nurse, remains deeply sceptical.

"This pre-consultation I feel is a way of softening up the public.

"Sucking us in, if you like, so that we see it in the terms that they'd like us to see it."

She said independent of the consultation, the key decisions are being made by local and regional health officials, and ultimately, the secretary of state.

Flawed process

A colleague of Anne Milton on the health select committee, the independent MP Richard Taylor, said the government set up the machinery to take the politics out of these consultations - with an independent reconfiguration panel to help with tough decisions - but then neglected to use it.

He said: "Consultation has been a mockery and is thought of as a mockery."

He believes that concerns over closures, coupled with what he sees as the privatisation of the NHS, may lead many more clinicians to follow his example, by standing for parliament.

"People's only ultimate weapon against authority is the ballot box. And it is a very powerful weapon."

Treatment Centre

Well, I have done some digging and I have found the company behind the Treatment centre, they are called Health Care Projects Ltd and here is their website -

These are the people behind the PFI project, that through one reason or another has become the biggest factor behind the financial mess Hinchingbrooke finds itself in.
One the website you will find much interesting information about this company and it's partners, it also uses the name Prospect Healthcare.
So take a look at the company that has your local hospital completly stiched up in a contract that it really has no hope of getting out of without the devine intervension of the Government.
This intervension has really no hope in materialising unless it will be for the benefit of the Department of Health big wigs.
Obviously the Commissioners are just as guilty here for the financial woes of Hinchingbrooke but it goes without saying if they had not given the project it's full backing and the indiction that it would be provided with sufficent throughput of work, then I am sure this Treatment Centre would never have been built.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Being recognised

I am now being contacted by local people via this blog and also when I am seen in the street as people recognise me and are behind what I stand for, that being Keeping Our Local Hospital Open and providing the excellent services it always has done without any financial burdens or underfunding.

Many people have said I should run as a local politician but I have reservations with that

1, would I be accepted as an Independent

2, Are the local politics stuck in a rut

3, Would I be able to do the job right and really make a difference

4, if I did stand would I be able to get the 60% plus non voters to the ballot box?

Well for now the answer is NO I won't be standing
When I meet with the local people they are in full support of their Hospital and they all have their story to tell , some are from their own experiences and some are from a relatives but I do get the same message from all, even the ones who have had a bad experience, that is the people in the Community see Hinchingbrooke as a valuable asset to the community and many feel as I do.
We in Huntingdon are at the centre of the county, why oh why are not more services here, not just Hospital but Local Authority and other headquarters. It make so much sense as we are on the A1/A14 cross roads and have good links north, south, west and on the A141 to Fenland, our only bug bare is the A14 east/west to and from Cambridge.

As I have said in another post why should we be forced, through no fault of our own, to travel long distances and contribute to emissions which are directly connected to global warming, to get certain Hospital treatments?

It does make sense for some, maybe, to be established as specialist centres for certain illnesses but in the main the majority of services should be provided locally.
The "Masterplan" of the Department Of Heath and their super hospital scenario reminds me of a speech by a certain Norman Tebbit where he told everyone to "get on their bikes and ride to find work", many did and this is the main catalyst that has caused todays traffic mayhem throughout the UK and this binding love affair with the car and with deregulated public transport, what other way is there to travel reliably?

Many people have got into this behaviour pattern of car travel and accept long journeys to work etc.

With that ethos in mind then the super hospital plan could work but to the detriment of the environment and the carbon emissions plans that are being tabled at present as well as a poorer service to patients.

Many families would not visit their relative if he or she was 20 to 30 miles away, or maybe not quite so often, this in turn has a knock on effect with the patient, who through this process of recieving fewer visitors is likely to require longer hospital stays and mentally would be lesser prepared to want to venture home.

As for Community Treatment, all sounds good on paper, but before we hype it up as one of the possible new ideas for the NHS lets fund it properly, set it up and lets us the shareholders, yes you and I who contribute towards it, see the Community service set up and fully functioning before we believe in this new and probably unecessary restructure of the NHS, like the PCT's before it.

Enough of that for now but I have had some more news which a member of the public intimated to me in the High Street.
It appears that the Sterile services at Hinchingbrooke are now under threat, to be centralised.
I am led to believe that it is proposed that the service would be in one building in another location not in another county and the Sterilisation work would be completed there and then shipped out to the Hospitals that require their surgery items and sterile instruments.

Now while some of you might think it makes sense, it puts patients at risk and more pollution on the roads and how are the stock levels going to be properly monitored?
I was also told that there had been funds allocated to Hinchingbrooke a several years ago to upgrade the current unit to the newer standards but it had been spent elsewhere in the hospital at that time but the funding has since had to be found to update the facility at an large additional cost.
Now it needs to be upgraded further to meet European standards, oh how shortsighted are we you in the Finance department, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Where are these finance people?

Who are they?

Why do they take no responsibility for their inadequate working practices?

The previous Finance Director of Hinchingbrooke did resign to be fair but only because he already had another position with the Strategic Health Authority, the very body that wants to run down or close Hinchingbrooke, not because he felt he had a duty to.

A similar thing happened to the last Cheif Executive, he exited by the rear door only to walk into another position at a nearby PCT, How do these people manage to do it, ruin one formidable hospital and then go on to ruin it once again from a distance?

Absolute scandal and abuse of public funds

Lets have More Transparency, Honesty, Equal Funding for all Hospitals & Public Involvement

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rememberance Sunday

With The Going Down Of The Sun, We Will Remember Them
Calls for carbon emissions action
A regional assembly is calling for government support to help reduce carbon emissions.

The East of England Regional Assembly said the area produced a significant amount of carbon emissions and needed to act to tackle climate change.

If we have to travel to the ends of the county for hospital treatment , how can we meet this kind of target?

David Cameron

David Cameron , The Leader of the Conservatives came to Huntingdon yesterday, 9th November and I was there along with the media and some Hinchingbrooke staff members
Mr Cameron listened to the Staff members concerns and indicated his areas of concern too.
However even though he said the right things and what everyone wants to hear, one wonders if there is any substance there at all.
I am independent of any politics and would like to think some of Mr Cameron's ideas could be implemented and to bring pressure to bear on the present government to change it's funding system for the NHS and to give patients a real choice, not an enforced choice because that service is no longer avaliable at their LOCAL hospital.
Patricia Hewitt said that there should be patient choice and local hospitals, well all I can say to her is we are the Patients who have the Choice and Have a Local Hospital which we want properly funded and a full range of services and with its great geographical position in the centre of the county, to be Upgraded to save patients very long and tedious, pollution making trips to large uncaring institutions which are located on the edges of Cambridgeshire

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I have have been contacted by some concerned staff at Hinchingbrooke, maybe it's just the rumour mill but then probably not
It appears from these staff members, who are in some of what could be called theperiferal areas of the hospital, that it is very quiet.

It seems that Patient numbers going through the hospital appears to have dropped and it looks like my post from the other day is somewhere near correct and GP's are being instructed to guide their patients to other hospitals.

This was publicly denounced as an option by the SHA representative at the Overview and Scruitiny committee meeting in October, he claimed at that time that "We cannot instruct GP's as to where to guide their patients to a particular hospital for their treatment". But it seems that this is happening, or are the staff members wrong and the patient from Fenland got it wrong too?

Other staff members have told me of a rumour that is being told by a senior staff member of staff who has been implying that the hospital will not be there in the next 2 years!, this is not good for morale and this type of talk is counterproductive and should be stopped immediatly and the member of staff disiplined appropriately.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hands Around Hinchingbrooke

well its going to happen

We are having a Fun time for parents & children at Hinchingbrooke Country Park on the19thNovember 2006 , then at 2:30 we will be having a Holding of Hands around all or part of the hospital by the Children who were born at the hospital and the mums who had their children there.
The details will be in the local papers and the local radio too but I will publish on here tomorrow

And the next march is already planned for 17th February 2007 and will be bigger than the last one and will be half way through the public consultation period, so come and join us and make your voice heard

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt

Secretary of State

Department of Health

Richmond House, 79 Whitehall

London, SW1A 2NS


Patricia Hewitt is the Secretary of State for Health. You can raise your concerns about Hinchingbrooke Hospital at the above address.
Aberdeen Press and Journal
NHS surgery goes private in £15m deal. Angus councillors have stepped up demands for open discussion with health chiefs on a £15m deal which will see a private company providing medical services to north-east NHS patients. After months of secrecy and delays, Netcare Scotland was named yesterday as the private firm which will carry out surgical procedures on NHS patients from Tayside, Grampian and Fife at Stracathro Hospital at Scotland's first regional treatment centre. The announcement came just days after a plea from Arbroath councillor and former GP Dick Speirs for more openness about behind-the-scenes negotiations between the company and NHS Tayside, a call which was universally backed at a full council meeting. NHS Tayside had rejected appeals to name the private firm involved before the three-year contract was signed yesterday and the project was never debated at the Scottish Parliament, despite public funds for it being promised by Health Minister Andy Kerr last year. The scheme was also plagued by delays during negotiations, which scuppered plans to have the service up and running by March this year.

What chance that happening at Hinchingbrooke.........................?

Evens I'd say, unless the SHA,PCT and the Chief Executive can assure us publicly it wont
Thought for the day

We have a Treatment centre which is within the NHS with little work, if it became an Independent Private sector centre would it be provided with sufficient work to make it
financially sustainable, clinically viable and with good local access?

I know so and it fits with both the Governments and the Conservatives remit and make no mistake about it

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hospital Cut backs

There has been news the last couple of days regarding Hospital cuts.
There were ward closures and job cuts from Kettering General and
Job cuts at Peterborough District Hospitals.
Kettering is applying to be a foundation trust, you know the leaking bucket type
of institution that always gets topped up with cash and Peterborough is already
a Foundation trust.
Now with one trying to be a Foundation and one already a Foundation Trust, the
questions must be asked.........

Why isn't Addenbrookes in Financial trouble?

Why have they no job losses?

Are they paying their NHS dues to other hospitals locally?

Why are they having Hinchingbrooke taking on their Maternity work for
the new town of Cambourne, when that is in their catchment area?

Will they pay Hinchingbrooke for that work so that the Maternity department
will be able to be more financially sound?

I don't suppose for one minute the answers will be forthcoming but for now
I wonder why Addenbrookes is so well protected?

If there are any more Petitions please get them to me by this Thursday the
9th November 2006, this will mean we can arrange to get them delivered to
10 Downing Street.
Moving on

Things are moving on with the "Hands around Hinchingbrooke"event More will be announced later this week but I have had an e-mail sent to me and this is the body text of the e-mail, it is genuine and comes from a member of staff who will remain anonymous

It seems a patient ( a friend of a member of staff )
in the fenland needed an operation and her GP said instead
of coming here which is nearer she would have to go to Stamford
hosp because if she came here he wouldn't be paid .Not sure what
is going on but everyone is saying that the hospital is really
quiet when normally it is much busier am I paranoid or is there
a hidden agenda here

Make of it what you will but can't say I am  not surprised after 
the Overview & Scrutiny meeting and the views of the SHA and the
PCT at that time, but we were told publicly at that meeting that
GP's could not be influenced as to which hospital they are assisting
their patients to choose for their treament, is that now being
manipulated by the back door?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

NHS Together
I was invited to join the NHS staff on the 1st November in their Lobby of
It was sheduled to be a steady assembly to enter Parliament at certein times and in an
orderly fashion, however plans changed and a March took place too.
The march was a surprise to most people but it went off in an orderly fashion and
arrived at around Prime ministers question time, hence why the lobby took
place on a Wednesday as most M.P's would be in the "house".
I went with 3 members of hospital staff 2 from Hinchingbrooke and 1 from
Papworth Hospital.
I have lobbied our M.P already and he supports our cause and has raised an
EDM in support of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, the hospital members were not
sucessfull on the day to lobby face to face but managed to lobby by the
telephone, all in all a sucessfull day for all and it shows not just the strength of
feeling of the Public but also the NHS staff.

If only the powers that be could see the damage caused to the NHS by spending
huge amounts of money to the NHS for that cash not to be spent on clinical staff,
new facilities and treatment for patients but to pay for pen pushers to sit and
obtain statistics for unesessary league tables, can't they see that action speaks
louder than words?

Thought of the day..................
Hinchingbrooke has a Treatment Centre, the work for this was promised but that
work has never materialised, so consider this, how about using this super facility
to provide a specialised service that is required in the East of England, perhaps a unit
for Cardiac use in conjunction with Papworth or maybe another specialism
that needs premises but can't afford to build it , that could then reduce the burden
of the centre from the finances of Hinchingbrooke.
Surely this is better than for a Trust with a need for a well equiped building having
to put up with Portacabins to be able to provide a service for their patients

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Private healthcare sector's performance no better than NHS.
Paying for private medical treatment does not guarantee a safer or better quality of care than using the NHS, the health inspectorate said yesterday in its first analysis of the performance
of the independent sector. The Healthcare commission found only 50% of the private hospitals and clinics in England and Wales met all the required minimum standards when they were inspected in the 2005-06 period, compared with 49% of NHS trusts. About 15% of the independent providers failed on at least three tests of quality and safety. NHS trusts had to comply with more standards and their comparable failure rate was 19%.The most frequent lapses in both sectors included lack of systematic monitoring of treatment provided, poor standards of staff training and inadequate procedures to minimise risk of infection. Anna Walker, the commission's chief executive, said standards in the independent sector were
"pretty much the same" as in the NHS. It was hard to make direct comparisons and the commission wanted a change in the law to put all establishments on the same footing. But
it was fair to say private and voluntary hospitals were no better or worse than the NHS. Ms Walker said the private sector has been inspected against the standards since 2000 and might have been expected to secure a better pass rate than the NHS, where the standards were introduced for the first time this year. About 2,000 independent hospitals and clinics in
England and Wales charged about £10.3bn in 2005-06 for services ranging from acute
surgery to tooth cleaning and tattoo removal - about 14% of total spending on health. In most cases the bill was paid by insurers or by patients, but the total also included NHS patients who had operations at independent centres funded by the taxpayer. The commission found one
Bupa hospital with inadequate infection control and two where inspectors were not satisfied about the recruitment and training of staff. The British arm of the Swedish hospital chain
Capio did not meet the infection control standard at two hospitals, the recruitment standard
at three and did not adequately monitor quality of treatment at four. Capio has a network
of 21 acute hospitals in England and is one of the leading suppliers of services to NHS
patients. The commission said it was concerned about mental health services in the
independent sector, where 35% of establishments failed three or more of the 32 standards
and 12% failed seven or more.

Cambridge Evening News

Addenbrooke's cashing in on parking.
Addenbrooke's Hospital raked in £1.9 from car parking charges last year, it has been revealed. The hospital was the third biggest
earner in the country in the 2005/ 06 financial year. Patient groups branded the charges a
scandal and said it was a tax on the sick, while unions warned further increases could be just around the corner. Michael Summers, of the Patients' Association, said the current situation
was a "scandal" and called on the Government to issue new guidelines on parking charges. He added: "To make it worse hospital staff are being charged to go to work."
Unions were also unhappy about the charges. Jonathan Yule, branch secretary, said
the staff parking fees hit some of the lowest paid at the hospital hardest.

NHS Rally 

From today's BBC website

Hundreds to join NHS cuts rally
Job cuts are proposed at NHS trusts across England

Hundreds of NHS staff are expected to descend on Parliament for a rally
against the state of the NHS.

NHS Together, an alliance of 16 health unions, has arranged the demonstration
against job losses in the NHS and the pace of government reforms.

The health service is facing unprecedented upheaval with increasing
private sector involvement and major hospitals under threat of cuts.

Officials from the alliance will also be lobbying MPs.

A series of speakers, including Unison general secretary Dave Prentis,
have been lined up to address the rally.

They will say that 20,000 posts are being cut - although the government
says only 900 staff will actually be made redundant with the other cuts being
made through natural wastage and voluntary redundancy.

Campaigners will also criticise the government's reform programme which they
say risks "fragmenting" the health service.

Over recent years, the government has increasingly relied on private i
nvolvement through independent sector treatment centres, which carry
out minor surgery, and PFI schemes, which use private money to build
new hospitals.

Some of the NHS's major acute hospitals are also coming under threat as local
health bosses carry out reviews of services to make the health service more efficient.

A spokeswoman for NHS Together, which includes the British Medical Association,
Royal College of Nursing and Unison, 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.

"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."


Steve Sweeney, a psychiatric nurse from Cambridge, who will be joining the
protest, said his area was facing cuts to mental health, inpatient care and
rehabilitation wards.

"I'm going to London because what's happening here is happening throughout
the country.

"The government is diverting money to private companies, who are leeching
off the NHS.

"It's important for people to stand up and show the government that they can't
do this without a fight."

The protest comes as a YouGov poll of 2,000 people showed more than half
believed the NHS had got worse in the last decade.

But Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said the government was committed to
pushing ahead with its reforms.

"If we know that change will deliver better quality care and better value
for money for taxpayers, then standing still is simply not an option.

"However, what will never change is our commitment to safeguard NHS
values," she said.