Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy New Year

Wishing all our Supporters, Media and Hinchingbrooke Hospital( staff, patients and management) 
a Happy New Year and a better 2007

Full dialogue consultation

More transparency

Less "Computer glitches"

Less misleading figures

Less of the trying to justify CUTS




Mike Gough


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Doors close on birthing centres

The new birth centre at Ashurst will be midwife-led

Two birthing centres in Hampshire are closing their doors to mothers after months of protests to keep them open.

The Lymington and Romsey centres have shut ahead of the opening of a combined birthing unit, Snowdon House, Ashurst.

The Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust has said a third centre in Hythe will close once the new facility is up and running.

Staff were informed last week of the closing date, Wednesday, and midwives are available for the community.

Helen Dennett of the Lymington Birth Centre Support Group, said that any mothers who had given birth at the centre were low risk and could go home within a couple of hours.

She said women going into the centre in the last two days were warned about the situation.

Christmas birth

Plans to close the centres were announced by the Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust (SUHT) months ago, due to the centres operating below full capacity.

Mark Hackett, the trust's chief executive, said: "Rather than having several birth centres standing half empty, we will have a thriving centre of excellence offering a better service for local women as well as more job satisfaction for our staff."

The last baby born at one of the centres was born on Christmas Day.



Minister in NHS hospital protest

Cabinet minister Hazel Blears has joined a protest over plans to close part of a hospital in her constituency.

The proposals for Hope Hospital in Salford, Greater Manchester, are part of the controversial
NHS shake-up.

A spokesman for Ms Blears, the Labour Party chair, said she believed closure would be the "wrong thing to do".

BBC political correspondent Robin Brant said it was rare for a cabinet minister to come out against measures directly resulting from government policy.

The actions will be seen as an embarrassment to the Labour party, our correspondent said.

'Hot issue'

The government is determined to push ahead with a re-organisation of the NHS, which will see some closures.

It aims to consolidate but improve the services on offer at other hospitals.

Mr Blears took part in Wednesday's demonstration outside the hospital over proposals to close and relocate its maternity unit.

Health chiefs want to concentrate maternity services in the region in three centres providing high quality intensive care for babies.

The final decision on moving the unit is not due for several months.

Ms Blears' spokesman told the BBC that she has had "informal contact" with the Health Secretary over the issue and plans to make formal representations.

He added: "She intends to campaign against it - it is a very hot issue locally."


Saturday, December 23, 2006

English 'now more accident prone'

One of the more unusual reasons for a visit to hospital

40,000 more people were admitted to hospital following an accident in England in 2005-06 than in the previous year, figures show.

The Information Centre for health and social care recorded just over 593,000 admissions during the year.

Explosions, bites and falls were all on the rise.

There were two cases where people were bitten or struck by crocodiles or alligators and five
cases involving venomous spiders.

Non-poisonous insect bites were responsible for over 2,000 admissions, a number which has doubled over the last five years.

Of all venomous creatures, by far the single most common culprit was the hornet, with 627 occurrences.

Playground injuries

The figures show that getting into scrapes is no longer simply a predicament for the young.

Playground hi-jinks among the over 60s resulted in 53 hospital admissions in NHS hospitals last year, an increase from the 45 injured on the swings and roundabouts in 2004-2005.
Fifty people were treated for lightning burns

The number of older adults falling from trees also rose by 46% to 60 admissions.

As Christmas shopping hits its peak this weekend, it is worth remembering that 116 people were classified as being "crushed, pushed or stepped on by a crowd or human stampede".

Extreme temperatures proved hazardous, as the number of people who were brought into
hospital due to the hot weather nearly doubled from 46 to 86.

Fifty people were classed as being struck by lightning, while people were nearly three times
more likely to be a victim of a volcanic eruption than avalanche with figures of 38 and 13 respectively.

There were also 61 cases that could only be categorised as "exposure to other and unspecified forces of nature."

Two people went into hospital after a "prolonged stay in a weightless environment".

While it is not clear what has prompted the classification, past mishaps have involved trainee astronauts and riders of roller coasters.

Accidents involving the discharging of fireworks amounted to 166 hospital admissions last year, with the majority of victims being young men.


Friday, December 22, 2006


The first fund raising merchandise has arrived and will be avaliable from
 2nd January 2007 , unless you catch me before then, we have Pens (which take Parker refills) nd wristbands in adult  & child sizes these will be followed soon by other products including Hi Viz safety waistcoats
Have a safe, happy and wonderful Christmas , may your God be with you and a Happy New Year

Health PCT agrees to close beds

A primary care trust (PCT) which covers Suffolk and Norfolk has approved the temporary closure of in-patient beds in a bid to save up to £100,000.

The board of Great Yarmouth and Waveney unanimously decided to close 12 beds at Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth.

The beds will be closed on 8 January, next year, but members agreed to reopen them as soon as possible after the new financial year begins in April 2007.
the decision was made at a board meeting in Beccles on Wednesday.
Mike Stonard, PCT chief executive, said: "There is no intention as part of this temporary measure to close any of the three community hospitals sites and other clinical services will be maintained."
The PCT has to make £7.7m of savings by 31 March next year.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bosses warned over road crashes
More than one in four of road deaths in Britain last year involved an at-work driver, official figures show.

Department for Transport data issued by road safety charity Brake indicate 850 people died and 6,012 were seriously injured as a result of the crashes.

The statistics are being made available for the first time following changes in the way police record accidents.

Brake, which has produced a free DVD for company drivers, is urging firms to improve risk management practices.

Busy Enough to Kill?, which is part-funded by the DfT, includes interviews with families bereaved by road crashes involving at-work drivers

The PCT,SHA & Government need to heed this report before forcing NHS workers and Patients to accept community visits, another risk factor to be considered along with environmental, traffic and staff safety issues as well as the increased costs involved.

Monday, December 18, 2006

SAY NO......

Patient veto for e-care records

There are fears the system will not be secure

The government is pushing ahead with the controversial electronic care records system -
but has agreed to give patients a veto.

Ministers said the system, part of a 10-year, £6bn upgrade of NHS IT, was about improving

It will mean doctors across England will be able to access records containing data on medication, allergies and adverse drug reactions.

But patients will be allowed to veto their records being shared nationally.

Doctors and patients have expressed fears a compulsory electronic record system could damage the GP/patient relationship, and compromise confidentiality.

Mr Pattison

Well you all have wondered what he is doing since "resigning" as Chief Executive  of Hinchingbrooke Hospital.................

Well he had secured a nice little job on a steering group before he left and this steering group is called Care Closer To Home, yes the same initiative that is trying to take work from hospitals and putting this treatment in the community

So the former Chief executive is now trying to ruin the NHS further than what has already been done by working on this steering group, the group is to look at the pilot schemes that are running in various UK locations and the evaluate and report to the DOH in January

NOW what will not be taken into consideration is the RISKS, not just for patients but for staff members who will be administering treatment in your home, thats bad enough, but how much in transport costs will the NHS incur, how many treatments will be delayed due to traffic issues, how many staff will be attacked for the drugs and supplies they will have in their vehicles and how many patients will die as a consequence of the above and the  fact they are not being monitored in a hospital bed?


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hundreds of thousands of people have been wrongly told they have a tax records gap that may cut their pension.

The error was caused by a glitch in the Revenue and Customs' tax system used by the UK's largest employers.
A Revenue spokesman said it did not know how many of the 4.7m notices suggesting people pay £371 had been sent out in error.
Payroll expert Karen Thomson says the total affected could be 700,000, including many teachers and nurses.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Money Box programme she said: "On average the Revenue produces four million of these notices a year.
"They have confirmed to us that this year 4.7m will go out to the end of January, so the difference, 700,000 notices, could be incorrect."


Out of hours care

New Which? research highlights consumer confusion and poor awareness over what healthcare services are available outside GP opening hours, and how to access them.

A new report from Which? about out of hours healthcare in England paints a picture of inconsistent and patchy services, which can fail to meet consumers’ needs adequately.

In the last year, around 14.5 millions adults in England sought medical treatment outside of
normal GP surgery hours. But our research shows that consumers are confused about what services are available and how to access them. Some also face long delays and significant
difficulties in getting appropriate care out of hours
, and this can have serious consequences for patients and result in overburdened Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.

Almost a third of people (32 per cent) who needed out of hours care in the last year went to A&E, even though they might well have received care better suited to their needs elsewhere.

Awareness of services that can ease the burden on A&E is low. Only 39 per cent of consumers know about NHS Walk-in Centres and only 21 per cent know that about Minor Injury Units.
And these services are not available in all areas.

NHS Direct, the telephone helpline for consumers, was also found wanting in our report. Inconsistencies in the quality of service, response times and advice, and consumer confusion over its purpose risk NHS Direct being seen as an obstacle on the path to care.



Friday, December 15, 2006

Drive to improve patient safety

Nearly one million lapses in patient safety were recorded in 2004-5

The government has announced a shake-up of systems to improve patient safety as a study finds current safeguards are failing.

NHS staff should ensure incidents involving serious patient harm are reported within 36 hours, says the chief medical officer's (CMO) report.

It calls for a blame-free culture where staff feel confident to report, plus quicker and simpler reporting systems.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Government losing the NHS argument

In PMQ's yesyerday David Cameron clashed with Tony Blair over many issues...........

And, in a tactic that has surprised many with its apparent success, he turned to the NHS, once seen as unassailable Labour territory.

He seized on a new report from the Labour-dominated Commons health select committee saying problems in the service were the result of failures "at the centre".

And what and who, he demanded, were at the centre - the government and the prime minister himself.

There followed another of those now routine who-damaged-the-NHS-most clashes that establish few unchallengeable facts but perhaps help contribute to a general impression of who is most trusted on the issue.

The bad news for the prime minister seems to be that he is no longer the automatic favourite. Mr Cameron seems to be making advances in this area - and that is hugely dangerous for Labour.

The only thing is the direction the Conservatives will take is not dissimilar to the Labour party as confirmed by James Paice at a recent Lobby of Parliament on the 1st November 2006

In essence it will be different parties, same agenda but it will be a different delivery pattern, so voters, beware and choose wisely............

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Enough Said...............
From the BBC website and something we already knew, it's just Polititians
needed to make it public

'NHS-wide faults' led to deficits

Staff pay is one of the factors which has led to the NHS' deficit

Mismanagement at all levels of the NHS in England has led to the current multimillion pound deficit, a committee of MPs has found.

The Commons health select committee said existing deficits were made worse by the cost of new staff pay deals and the expense of meeting NHS targets.

But it added local financial mismanagement was also a factor. Last year's NHS deficit was £547m.

The government said it had increased NHS spending since it came to power.

Shifting targets

The committee said historic deficits, long hidden, were revealed when the government changed the rules so trusts could not underspend their capital budget to subsidise current spending.

But it said the government fuelled the problem by agreeing to new pay deals for doctors and nurses using estimates of the cost which were "hopelessly unrealistic".

And far more staff have come in to the NHS than were proposed by the government.

In addition, meeting national targets such as the requirement that no patient should wait more than four hours in A&E had been costly.

Changing targets at short notice also placed unnecessary financial costs on trusts, the report said.

It attacked short-term measures being used by the government to address deficits.

And it said raiding staff training budgets was "unacceptable", and warned such cuts were affecting staff morale and could damage the quality of the workforce.

Trusts criticised

MPs also warned other "soft targets" such as mental and public health service budgets should not be raided to ease trusts' deficits.

And they said the creation of a new contingency fund to help out failing trusts and top-slicing primary care trusts' (PCTs) budgets should only be temporary measures.

However, the committee also said trusts should shoulder some of the blame for the current situation.

It cited one hospital trust which recruited staff without knowing if it could afford to pay them, and a primary care trust which had failed to recruit key finance staff.

The report said: "The most basic errors have been made; there are too many examples of poor financial information, inadequate monitoring and an absence of financial control."

It said the NHS may well be in balance as a whole by the end of this financial year, but warned trusts with the highest deficits were unlikely to be in the black within the next five years.

The MPs say the government should change the NHS's accounting system, which both reduces a trust's income by the amount of its deficit while also asking it to repay the sum owed.

More funding

Kevin Barron, chairman of the committee, said: "I hope the rush for balancing all NHS budgets does not mean further top-slicing next year, particularly in areas of high health inequalities."

Both the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing condemned the decision to raid training budgets.

And Professor Stephen West, who is on the Council of Deans and Heads of UK Health and Nursing Professions, said: "The universities and statutory bodies were advised that this was a one-year blip where they needed to make some significant reductions.

"Unfortunately it would appear that this was not, and that in order to balance the books there is going to have to be a two or three-year period of reductions in education and training."

However Dr Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation which represents managers, said: "It is a shame that the health select committee has taken the easy route of blaming NHS managers for all the financial problems in the NHS."

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said the NHS budget had doubled since 1997 and would almost triple by 2008, when UK healthcare spending would reach the European average.

"As a result of this investment, backed by reform, the NHS has cut waiting times, built new hospitals and surgeries, paid for more doctors and nurses to work and train, and improved access to healthcare for millions of people.

But she said a small number of trusts had built up deficits "due to overspending and inefficient use of their funding".

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley warned financial problems were leading to cutbacks when reform should have led to service improvements.

Sandra Gidley, Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman, said targeting "soft targets" such as staff training and mental health services was a "false economy", the effects of which would be felt for years to come.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hands For Hinchingbrooke, this is the logo and the first batches of merchandise will be
arriving next week and we will be launching it to the public soon after
We are hoping to raise funds for our superb hospital and hope that all will wear and own
our merchandise in support of Hinchingbrooke

Watch this space

Barry Everall

Barry Everall has pledged his support and offered his help 
 for the Campaign, he is feeling better
now and he says he owes his life to Hinchingbrooke hospital
and wants to help the campaign to
keep services, especially A&E at Hinchingbrooke

It is broke, so fix it


Tuesday December 12, 2006

The Guardian

It was hoped that tough accounting rules might do for the health service what being tied to the mast did for Odysseus. Just as he was protected against the lure of the sirens, so the health service would be protected against the temptation to which it has traditionally fallen prey: to solve every problem with a cash bail-out. But yesterday, along with optimistic plans to move the NHS as a whole into surplus, came the admission that the financial binds being imposed were "unsustainable" for many individual trusts - these are rules that cannot and will not be kept. Having acknowledged that the system was broken, however, there was no move by the government to fix it.

We reported yesterday that at least 13 NHS trusts (which run hospitals) faced a financial position that was irrecoverable. The government has not disputed this analysis. Such problems arise because the rules bite excessively hard on NHS trusts that began with weak finances. An overdraft in one year leads not only to a requirement to repay, but also to a reduction in income, creating a double penalty. In theory, this should eventually even out but, in practice, a mismatch in timing means a double hit applies. Debts can multiply, leaving managers with no freedom of manoeuvre and a situation that drags them down.

This is like punishing errant motorists by forcing them to drive with a steering lock on - regardless of the obstacles in their way. Without a bail-out or a change in the rules, hospitals up and down the country would have to close, not as part of a planned rationalisation, but in an arbitrary and indefensible manner. This will not happen: no government which has invested so much politically and financially in getting the NHS right could allow it. Sticking with doomed rules, as the government is still doing for now, will no more achieve credibility than did promises to cling to an overvalued pound in the run-up to Black Wednesday.

Acknowledging problems, the government looked to the Audit Commission to suggest changes, so why will it not now implement its proposals? Yesterday ministers pleaded lack of funds, but this is hardly plausible since there is no choice but to find the cash. Perhaps the real thinking is that by waiting for cries of help to become desperate, Whitehall retains a card that will give it ongoing control. That would make sense, but is hardly in keeping with welcome noises yesterday about greater delegation to the front line. And the dire straits in the worst-hit trusts leave the promise to make every hospital a foundation looking more distant than ever. So, if for no other reason than to fulfil its own policies, the government must now fix the problem it has at last acknowledged.

NHS chief admits flawed accounting behind deficits

· Trusts forced into red by 'unsustainable' system

· Department cannot afford £600m to repair damage

John Carvel, social affairs editor

Tuesday December 12, 2006

The Guardian

The head of the NHS in England admitted yesterday that its accounting system was "unsustainable and inconsistent", forcing the weakest hospital trusts into a vicious cycle of spiralling deficits.

David Nicholson, the NHS chief executive, did not dispute reports in the Guardian that used data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act to show how at least a dozen trusts were in an irrecoverable financial predicament. He said the accounting system had to change, but the Department of Health could not afford the £600m cost of repairing the damage the system had already caused. It might have the resources to do so in 2007-08 if the NHS managed to break even at the end of the current financial year. He said he was "absolutely confident" it would avoid another deficit.

His comments came as the Heart of England foundation trust, with hospitals in east Birmingham and Solihull, prepared to announce plans today to take over the financially troubled Good Hope hospital in Sutton Coldfield. The merger would create one of the biggest hospital trusts in England and is seen as a model for rescuing other hospitals from a cycle of deficits.

Mr Nicholson published the priorities, targets and rules that will govern all NHS organisations for the 12 months from April. They include plans to achieve a £250m surplus by March 2008, while increasing hospital activity to make a dramatic reduction in waiting times. He said: "There will be no let-up in the pace ... and I make no apologies for being ambitious on behalf of patients and taxpayers."

But the fragility of the NHS's finances was highlighted by his admission that the health service cannot operate well under the system of resource accounting and budgeting (Rab) imposed on it in 2001. He said: "The way in which Rab is applied to NHS trusts, although providing a strong disincentive to overspend, will become increasingly unsustainable as we move forward with the programme of reform."

Under the Rab rules, a hospital trust making a deficit in one financial year has the amount deducted from its income in the following year. But it is also under a statutory obligation to make a surplus to compensate for the deficit. Mr Nicholson said this double penalty was "inconsistent" with the principles of the government's strategy for paying hospitals a fair price for the number of patients they treated. He accepted the logic of recommendations from the Audit Commission to exempt trusts from the Rab regime, but said it would cost £600m to pay off the trusts' Rab debts. This would have to come out of the department's budget for treating patients and could only be afforded after NHS trusts proved they had financial discipline.

Mr Nicholson did not dispute the assertion in yesterday's Guardian that the Rab rules have forced 13 trusts into an irrecoverable financial position. But he said it was wrong to describe them as "technically bankrupt" because they were public sector organisations.

Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents the trusts, said: "We are very disappointed the department has not taken the opportunity to revise the NHS accounting rules." Niall Dickson, chief executive of the King's Fund, a health research institute, said: "The quest for financial balance must not come at the expense of patient care."

Doctors and nurses' leaders said the plan to achieve a £250m surplus in 2007-08 implied cuts in jobs and services.

Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, said: "Operations are being delayed, jobs are being frozen and trained doctors and other healthcare staff are struggling to find jobs, while the NHS attempts to get its finances sorted.

"Meanwhile, NHS money is being siphoned into the private sector through generous, guaranteed contracts to provide care for NHS patients."

Patient Choice - What is it? 

Q: What is Patient Choice?

The NHS is changing to give you more choice about where and when you are treated and a greater say in how you are treated. When you have decided with your GP that you are going to see a specialist for further treatment you will be offered treatment from a list of at least four local hospitals or clinics.

Why would I want to choose which hospital treats me?

If you choose which hospital you are treated in, you can make sure that you go to the place that will best suit your needs.

Q: What if I don’t want to go to a different hospital?

You don't have to. If you would rather visit the hospital that you usually go to, then you can make that choice

Then you get a letter to say CHOOSE & BOOK

Choose and Book Appointments Line

This is a 'phone line where call-centre staff can give you information about your list of hospitals or clinics. They may also be able to tell you what dates and times are free for an appointment with a specialist. This will depend on which hospitals you are considering.

When you call the Appointments Line you will be asked to give your password and appointment reference number, which will be on your appointment request letter. If your appointment reference number is not available, the Choose and Book Appointments Line staff may still be able to help if you confirm your personal details, such as your name, address and date of birth. You will still need to give your password.
Calls to the Appointments Line on 0845 608 8888 are charged at the local rate.
The Appointments Line is open every day from 7am to 10pm.
If you do not speak English, translation services are available.
If you cannot use a phone, textphone services are available on 0845 8 50 22 50.

Remember, in some cases you can only check the availability of appointment slots or book your appointment by calling the hospital or clinic directly. This will in no way affect the quality of care you receive.

But if you go on my experience of the 11th December 2006, you will still be waiting for an appointment and you will be out of pocket as you have to use an 0845 number.........The excuse was the computer system was down and could I call back in 48 hours !!
Also I asked about the 3 choices I had been given and the order in which they were listed, they were not listed in Geographical distances from my postcode nor in alphabetical order, I had 3 choices 1, Peterborough, 2 Hinchingbrooke & 3 Addenbrookes, when asked the operator did not know how these choices were arrived at and to how they are determined in list/choice order..............mmmmm yeah right.
I also said who in their right mind would travel to Hospitals 20 plus miles from their home and she replied ""well I wouldn't, not with the cost of transport and the state of the roads, enough said....................


PPI is dead

The Department of Health published A stronger local voice in July which set out five key elements to enable us to create a stronger voice for local people in influencing the health and social care services in their area. These plans included proposals to establish Local Involvement Networks (LINks), which will gather the views and experiences of people on their health and social care services, as well as plans to update the requirements of NHS bodies to involve and consult patients and the public.

A stronger local voice posed five questions, and sought comments from stakeholders about how these plans could best be implemented. I am delighted that we received almost 500 responses, demonstrating the commitment and engagement of people working in this field. We greatly value this input, especially the views of people currently working within the PPI system, as their input will be vital to successfully establishing Local Involvement Networks. Amongst the responses there were many practical suggestions relating to the five questions posed. In addition, stakeholders raised other questions, and asked for further information on how LINks, for example, will operate.

The responses we have received have been vital to us in the development of our proposals. The attached document seeks to address the comments and questions we have received, and demonstrate how we have used these to develop and improve the system of patient and public involvement. I believe that our proposals represent several key improvements to the
involvement system which will deliver a more powerful voice to local people.
One of the most significant changes is that the structure of LINks will allow a far greater number of people to become involved in shaping their health and social care services. This is vital in ensuring that providers, commissioners, Overview
and Scrutiny Committees, and the regulators take real account of LINks’ views.

The Public Patient Involvement Forums were created in 2003 for Patients and Public to have a voice , as good as they have been they have had little impact in guiding the decision making of the NHS and it's allied bodies, looking through this proposal it appears that there is some substance behind this and it could provide the public with more of a say and the NHS Chief Executives much accountablilty of which the system is currently lacking, there would have to be an end to the short term  contract, big salaried "Troubleshooters" who currently burden the NHS with their quick fix methods and huge wage packets.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Patricia Hewitt  commenting on the NHS 
"bankrupt trusts "on BBC TV and Radio 5 Live
 - 11th December 2006

Ms Hewitt, said that these NHS trusts would get more time to sort out their
finances rather
than the end of the financial year and she also claimed they could help their financial positions
if they did more Day Case work, Well, how about that then.................

We have a DAY CASE TREATMENT CENTRE for which work was promised
and then it never materialised so SHA & Cambs PCT, listen to the
Department of Health and MS Hewitt


It's a shame it contradicts both the PCT and SHA agenda, but at least it supports the
peoples agenda.
'Alice in Wonderland' rules leave hospitals facing £1.6bn deficit

John Carvel, social affairs editor

Monday December 11, 2006

The Guardian

At least a dozen NHS hospital trusts are technically bankrupt, with no chance of meeting a legal obligation to balance their books, a Guardian investigation has revealed.

Data provided by the Department of Health under the Freedom of Information Act showed 103 hospital trusts across England expect to end the year with accumulated deficits of £1.6bn, caused by overspending since 2001.

Many are taking corrective action, including laying off staff, closing wards and reducing the time patients spend in hospital. But the Guardian has identified a group of trusts that have passed the point of no return.

Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, is expected to announce changes in the NHS's accounting rules today. If they do not address the problem of accumulating deficits, the trusts will ruin her chances of restoring financial equilibrium.

The group in greatest difficulty includes Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich, south-east
London, which is on course to overspend by £37.1m this year after racking up deficits totalling £28.3m over the previous two years. This would bring its cumulative deficit by the end of
March to £65.3m, equivalent to 56.9% of its turnover.

Like every other hospital and mental health trust, the Queen Elizabeth has a legal obligation to balance the books over three years, stretching in exceptional circumstances to five. But to do so it would have to generate surpluses of £65.3m. Its senior executives have convinced the DoH that they have absolutely no chance of doing so.

Other trusts with irrecoverable positions include Surrey and Sussex Healthcare, Hinchingbrooke
in Huntingdonshire, Ipswich, North West London and West Hertfordshire. Their financial difficulties became impossible to manage due to a mistake made by the DoH and the Treasury
in 2001, when they put NHS trusts under a financial regime known as Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB). The Guardian's analysis used information from thousands of spreadsheets supplied under the Freedom of Information Act.

The new system was designed to regulate spending by Whitehall departments, but had a devastating effect when it was applied to overspending hospital trusts. If a trust spent £105m, but had an income of only £100m, it would end the year with a deficit of £5m. The new rules sliced £5m from its income in the following year and obliged it to make a £5m surplus. That required the trust to cut its spending from £105m to £90m. Trusts faced with this triple whammy could not achieve the target without damaging patient care and so their deficits escalated.

The rules were described last night by one NHS finance director as "a nightmare from Alice in Wonderland". Ms Hewitt asked the Audit Commission to investigate the problem. It told her in July: "We consider the RAB regime should not be applied to NHS trusts."

She is expected to change the accounting rules today when she announces the financial objectives for the NHS in 2007/8.

Her officials debated with the Treasury last week how to eliminate the worst features of the system without giving the impression that the government has gone soft on NHS deficits.

Ms Hewitt has been under strong pressure from trusts to scrap the accounting rules. Nigel Edwards, policy director of the NHS Confederation, said the trusts identified by the Guardian as being under extreme financial pressure were being pushed by the accounting system "into a position where recovery looks extremely difficult, if not impossible".

He added: "Financial recovery would imply such damage to patients that no sensible person would go for it. They would not compromise the survival of the people they serve."

from theBBC website this morning

NHS 'must make surplus next year'

The NHS's first target is to balance the books this year

The government is to tell the NHS in England it must achieve a £250m surplus next year.

The service ended the last financial year £512m in deficit, but Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has pledged to balance the books this year.

However, the latest predictions are that there will be a £94m shortfall.

The government will also set out new targets for tackling hospital infection and on meeting the 18-week target for waits from GP appointment to operation.

In November, Ms Hewitt told the Health Select Committee she would take "personal responsibility" for bringing the NHS out of deficit.

However hospitals and primary care trusts - in charge of community services such as GPs - in particular have already been found to be building up big debts.

There are concerns from health unions that the need to drive down deficit levels, rather than a desire to improve services, are fuelling some of the service re-organisations which are currently being planned, such as closing or downgrading some A&E units.

Cases increasing

Professor Chris Ham, a health policy expert at the Health Services Management Centre in Birmingham, said the £250m surplus target was "very ambitious".


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wars costing UK £3.8m a day

The cost of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will be £1.4bn this year - more than £3.8m a day - a breakdown of Ministry of Defence figures reveals.

The war in Iraq is taking up £2.36m a day, or £860m a year, while that in Afghanistan is costing £1.48m a day, coming to £540m during 2006.

The figures do not include salaries, which would be paid to soldiers anyway.

AND the TOTAL overspend of the NHS for 2006/07 is £500m, where is the justice in that..................?

‘Saving’ hospitals costs lives

05 December 2006

Campaigns to save services currently provided in district general hospitals could lead to more than 1,000 unnecessary deaths each year, according to new analysis from the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr), published later this month.

New techniques to treat heart attacks are significantly safer, according to research published in The Lancet. ippr’s analysis calculates that if heart attack care was reconfigured to enable universal access to these new treatments, around 500 extra lives could be saved every year. There could also be around 1,000 fewer repeat heart attacks and 250 fewer strokes.

At the moment, most of the 61,000 emergency heart attack patients treated each year by the NHS are taken to their local hospital. But last year, only 1,600 received the latest treatment in a specialist hospital unit. Research shows that patients will often be safer if they travel further for specialist treatment, rather than being treated at their local hospital.

The analysis also looks at people who have suffered severe injury and concludes that they are more likely to survive if they are treated in specialist centres rather than local hospitals. International evidence from countries with regionalised trauma systems shows that treating people in specialist centres is safer, and that taking people with severe injuries past their local hospital direct to a specialist centre means they are more likely to survive. The Royal College of Surgeons and British Orthopaedic Association estimate that universal access to specialist trauma centres could save around 770 extra lives every year.

But the research shows that these life saving treatments are more complex and can only be provided at a smaller number of specialist hospitals, with the right equipment and expert staff. Specialist units also need to see enough patients to maintain staff skills. So even if cash resources were unlimited, there would be patient safety reasons for centralising these services.


Let us se this analysis that suggests that 1,000 lives COULD be at risk, it doesn't say ARE or WILL just COULD or should it be MAYBE or POSSIBLY, sounds like an Astrology Star Sign forecast to me, with no firm basis


  • Treat more patients at home, says NHS report. Some patients with life-threatening conditions, including ectopic pregnancies and blood clots on the lung, should normally be cared for at home by GPs and visiting nurses instead of being admitted to hospital, according to a draft NHS report. The recommendations were greeted with dismay yesterday by many doctors, who fear the drive to get patients treated in the community is accelerating in an effort to close down district general hospitals. The draft report, from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, lists a range of conditions regularly seen in A& E departments and which can lead to hospital admissions. While many doctors agree with the general principle of treating more patients in the community, there are concerns that a rapid deterioration in the health of some patients may not be spotted in time. One emergency consultant and former clinical director said it was not safe to classify most patients with pulmonary embolism - a blood clot in the lung - as low risk and suitable for care at home. The report says up to 90% do not need admission, but, he said, it would take an experienced doctor to pick the right ones to send home every time. Dr Chaand Nagpaul from the British Medical Association said many doctors would support the principle of caring for more patients outside of hospital, but there were "numerous unanswered questions" that needed to be addressed. The Department of Health said yesterday the report was still being consulted on.

    http:/ / medicine/ story/ 0,,1965989,00.html
Our Health, Our Care, Our Say

This is the title of the Government's Whitepaper on Health care.
The paper want's the NHS to be transformed into a Community based service for many patients, however as the the title implies, it is OUR HEALTH, OUR CARE and WE WILL HAVE OUR SAY, make no mistake about it Mr Blair.
The idea of putting more treatments into the community is not a new one and it will be a shift away from Hospitals BUT where are these Community Surgeries? Where are the WORKING models?
Can the improvements be shown? What about patient safety?

At the PCT meeting on Wednesday it was recognised that there is a reluctance of Patients to take up treatment elsewhere other than their LOCAL HOSPITAL.

So we need to be motivated especially after the SHA's latest announcement regarding throughput to Hospitals and this is connected with the whitepaper.
In the A & E figures for Hinchingbrooke they are 6,000 patients less than HInchingbrooke said at the recent Public events and the 40% activity is yet to be proved, looks like some misleading numbers are being banded about to "persuade" the public that CLOSING the SERVICES at their LOCAL HOSPITAL is the "right thing to do" and "the best for all"...................EErr, don't think so............. because it's

Our Health, Our Care, Our Say

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Say NO

People of Cambridgeshire and Hinchingbrooke Hospital Supporters, say NO to a "tick box" consultation, don't let them fob us off with a question sheet with "tick box" options, refuse to fill them in and request a FULL face to face PUBLIC CONSULTATION, this will be the focus of the next march - NO to tick box whitewash and YES TO FULL, OPEN CONSULTATION
On the ropes over hospital reform?

By Nick Triggle

Health reporter, BBC News

The great persuader, Tony Blair, entered the debate about the planned shake-up of hospitals.

He told sceptics it was about improving care not cutting services. But why does the public not believe him?

Anger over proposals to strip hospitals of key services can be traced back to 1998.

It is now eight years ago since campaigners in Kidderminster started mobilising themselves to fight cuts to their local hospital.

The fight resulted in one of the most remarkable upsets on election night in 2001 when retired physician Dr Richard Taylor took the Wyre Forest seat from Labour.

What was happening to Kidderminster Hospital in the late 1990s is now being mirrored
across the country.

NHS bosses are carrying out a series of reviews which could result in A&E and other acute
services such as cardiology and trauma care being taken away from hospitals and centralised in "super regional centres".

The moves have prompted thousands of people to take to the streets in signs of what could be the most prolonged unrest since the poll tax revolt in 1990.


Protesters remain convinced that the changes are being introduced to save money - the NHS finished last year over £500m in deficits, forcing a wave of job cuts.

But this is despite the fact that most experts agree there is some sense in centralising expert care to ensure quality services.
Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, said: "The government should have been tackling this a few years ago, but were scared off by the 'Richard Taylor-effect'.

"They realised they could lose out at the polls if they tackled this so have avoided it ever since.

"It means, now that their hand is forced, they are doing it at a time when money is short so it is getting linked to that."

"What they don't want to see - and what happened at Kidderminster and is now in danger of being repeated - is a wholesale scrapping of all acute services such as A&E. It is really down to the government's approach."

But others believe the government's problem has been caused by a lack of presentation, rather than a fault with policy.
"In the public mind a hospital is a hospital. They do not understand why they need to be driven past the local hospital in an ambulance.

"Politicians and doctors have not explained what they want to do, so it is not surprising the public feel it is important to have access to care locally."
The government has, until this week, kept to the line that it is up to local NHS managers to decide on reconfiguration.

And this is despite the fact that officials close to Ms Hewitt briefed journalists over the summer about the impending reforms.

But Wednesday marked the start of a charm offensive in a bid to convince the pubic the merits of the reforms.

Senior doctors were wheeled out to press the case, and Tony Blair intervened, using his legendary powers of persuasion to try to swing the debate in the government's favour.

It was noticeable that both ministers and their advisers spent the day saying doctors had to get involved in the debate, with emergency care tsar Sir George Alberti admitting politicians were not trusted enough.

But when asked why the government has entered the fray so late, health minister Andy Burnham could only deny the accusation, although he conceded others may judge otherwise.

None of this, however, can disguise the fact that the government has spurned a number of opportunities to open the debate - the 10-year NHS Plan was published in 2000 followed by a series of key reforms that many predicted were leading towards a major shake up.

Roy Lilley, a former NHS trust chairman who now writes and broadcasts on health issues, said: "The government lacked the political courage to kick start the debate.

"This is long overdue, it makes both financial and clinical sense. But the problem is that
the debate is out of government hands now and they are going to struggle to get control of it."

PCT - The evil within?

I attended the Cambridgeshire PCT Board meeting on the 6th December 2006, I found it very enlightening.

The PCT are the driving force behind the Hinchingbrooke Hospital review, yes more than the SHA. The PCT also have a huge mountain to climb and Hinchingbrooke are caught up in this, it appears that the 2 are supposed to be different issues but in effect they both are linked.

It is a shame that Hinchingbrooke is going to have to suffer because of the Government's obsession with changing the NHS around and also because the PCT is suffering a huge burden of debt.

It is a shame that Hinchingbrooke and the good people of Huntingdonshire are to be penalised due to financial mismanagement of the other former PCT's in the county of Cambridgeshire. Huntingdonshire PCT were financially sound and “in the black” but that was due to the fact they had a deal for healthcare with the superb Hinchingbrooke Hospital, unfortunately this deal has not passed over to the new PCT and this has had a huge impact on Hinchingbrooke Hospital as a whole. If the hospital had been paid at the full tariff for the episodes of treatment then it would be financially stable but still under threat from this year on from the new PCT.

I feel as a NHS patient, member of the public and an NHS shareholder that I have been let down badly, not by one but by many agencies.

It is time matters were put into perspective, transparency and full dialogue with the public made a major priority.

Naturally the public are protective of their health care and are reluctant to change especially as this new way forward for the NHS has not been “sold” properly.

I hate using buzz words and jargon but the PCT. SHA, Government and to some extent Hinchingbrooke are at fault here.

It has not been communicated properly to the public and the recent piece meal “Engagement events” were an utter sham, they need to be done again with proper road show type events.

As tax payers, users of the NHS and local residents we need to be ready to be motivated should a “tick box” consultation paper be issued, I have told the PCT that to use a “tick box” method is inappropriate in this circumstance and they should be having proper forums with real people. If they go ahead with this type of consultation then we will have to get on the streets again and ensure that no one completes and returns this kind of consultation paper at all.

Communication is a wonderful thing if it is done correctly, if the PCT had guided the public as to how healthcare is to be provided in the future and the reasons why as well as been able to have in place one or more working examples of the “new wave” of community based healthcare then that would have been more acceptable. The main communication issue is that the Interim Chief Executive has been banding about Care in the Community as his banner but in effect his arrogance has backfired on him. The public per sieve that Care in the community is when you are in a home or bed ridden in you own home, there has been much confusion as to the labels Care and Treatment in the community.

One issue with Treatment in the community is the risks involved and the lack of community provision, and with Patient choice who in their right mind will opt to have a minor procedure done at their G.P when they have traditionally and will feel safer, having that treatment at their local hospital.

At the meeting yesterday it was acknowledged that local patients do not use Private health providers as much as the PCT would like but then they probably won't even more under the Patient choice scheme.

The new 18 week referral to treatment was also raised yesterday and it is understood that in the first 2 years of the adoption of the 18 week scheme that “activity” will rise, yet in the Hinchingbrooke Hospital review activity is an area for which the PCT want to reduce, contradiction or what?

Another area of concern that has been highlighted is the cost of Prescription drugs and the use of generic drugs rather that brand names is being looked into, however it is well known that the drugs industry is a cartel and the Government should be taking this into account.

The PCT have a Turnaround plan and they are expecting a forecast of £33m overspend but it has been agreed by the SHA that a £17m is an agreeable overspend so in effect there have to be savings of £15m of which £6.9m of savings have been identified. There are 40 areas of work that have been identified by the SHA for possible savings and the PCT are looking to see what else they can do over and above what they are currently doing to save cash.

It was decided that there should be a strategic plan for the population of Cambridgeshire and they decided that they must get this across via public engagement, however they are not in practice and there is a great deal of work to do , they have to empathise, come down from the ivory towers, stop the jargon and tell the truth, be humble not arrogant.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Selection of comments regarding Hospital closures/services from the BBC website

I have been a staunch supporter of Tony Blair on almost every subject since 1997, however in this case he has at best got it wrong.
Many people will no doubt accuse the government of cost cutting and I'm afraid that is exactly how I see it.
In my region, Ayrshire and Arran the Health Board had a flawed "public consultation". People are going to die because of these decisions and I'm glad that my conscious is clear, decisions should be taken on issues other than costs. (geography/transport etc)

john h, ayr

The Health Service is a wonderful thing, but many of the recent NHS reforms have cost a lot of money and the benefits don't seem to have materialised for patients. Too much emphasis is made about change but doctors, nurses and the general public seem happy to keep the smaller units so why alter what works. Please listen to what local communities say.

Mrs Garner, South Cave

All the goverment is intersted in is cutting costs. Pure and simple
Another part of Tonys legacy.

Richard barton, London

if regional centres are so good put them in place first. then try to close local a/e centres. this could be done by useing the extra money we are paying. rather than for computers and managers, that do not perform.

bryan rogers, chertsey

If the NHS was up to scratch then Tony Blair would have been treated for his arrogance.

They don't treat this in private care.

The Handy Tool, Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom

I fell off my bike a few weeks ago. I went to my GP surgery and was told in no uncertain terms that they were 'not a walk-in clinic'; I was taken to Royal Berks A&E where I was seen quite quickly. I am very grateful for A&E.

Can we be assured that somebody is looking at the 'big picture' & that we are going to aim towards a proper functioning health service.

Colin Barbasiewicz, Wokingham, United Kingdom

I am a Practice Nurse,working in a local GP surgery & our nearest A&E is 22 miles away, now, via country roads.The Air Ambulance is constantly being used,so what will happen to patients if the A&E is even further away? There is certainly a case here for a local hospital where the majority of casualties can be dealt with but plans for a local hospital have been shelved & it does not seem to be a reality in the near future

Sue, Essex

They do not say how many lives will be lost because these specialist centres are further away than many A&E departments. Every second counts and with road congestion as it is many will die taking the longer journey. Unless Blair is providing a few thousand helicoptors to replace ambulances.

[Emulated], Bournemouth, United Kingdom

So this government clogs up the roads, then recommends travelling 100 miles to the nearest A&E?

What surprises me most it that my fellow citizens have yet to rise in revolution against this clearly insane administration.

Tax us to death - we do nothing.
Deny us a parliament - nothing.
Control our movements - nothing.
Curtail our freedoms - nothing.
Teach 2nd rate stuff at state schools - nothing
Take away our hospitals - we do nothing.



BBC Poll update taken from the site at 7.00 Wednesday 6th Dec 06

How should A&E treatment be provided?
At local hospitals
In regional centres
Don't know

Can these voters be wrong?

Wake up Mr Blair and your Accountants, your voters are speaking to you but
when will you hear them?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

From the BBC website after todays outrageous presentation by the P.M

NHS changes 'about saving money'
The government has launched a charm offensive to convince critics that hospital reconfigurations are not just about cutting costs.

But many remain unconvinced.

NHS rally
Protesters believe changes are being motivated by cash shortages

Huntingdon, Worthing, Epsom and Redditch are hardly known for their militancy.

But like many other towns across the country, they have seen demonstrations on a previously unheralded scale.

The protesters, who include residents, NHS staff and MPs, are united in their concerns over their local health services.

They fear the proposed cuts to A&E departments and other key hospital services which are being put forward by local health chiefs are being driven by money.

The NHS racked up a deficit of over £500m last year and is predicting another one this year.

The financial advantage in closing A&E, maternity or trauma departments is obvious.

Karen Jennings, head of health at Unison, said: "The climate of debt in the NHS puts the development
of new policy under suspicion.

"We are extremely concerned that these policies may be being driven by deficits, not what is best for
patient care.

"The key to developing new policy in the NHS must be asking the experts - the staff who work in it - and the announcements have been made without any prior consultation.

"If we move towards more specialist units we still need to ensure that patients have access to really
good local A&E departments.

Should A&E departments close?

Poll results from the BBC after 2 hours of running

How should A&E treatment be provided?
At local hospitals
In regional centres
Don't know

Should tell the powers that be something

Heart tsar's case for NHS change

Professor Boyle said services were out-dated

Professor Roger Boyle, the national director for coronary heart disease, is in favour of a radical restructuring of NHS services.

He would like to see specialised services centralised in regional centres of excellence, alongside a range of tailored services to offer patients where possible care at home.

"I think the local hospitals are quite safe, and the range of services they
provide is also quite safe.

"It is just that there will be streaming of patients of particularly high risk diagnosis to
other strategies. Heart attack and stroke happen to be two of the main ones that fall into that strategy.

Radical reform

"These changes can be quite radical once the whole system is in place.

"For example, it is a disgrace if an older person is admitted to hospital merely because she
can't get to the toilet in the middle of the night. That is what happens with patients who are vulnerable.

"We need ways of supporting people in their own homes, and providing what the public wants, which is care at home.

The public I speak to don't want care at home as it does not exist and we should not confuse care at home with TREATMENT at home which is the arrogant approach being sought by Cambridgshire PCT, blood on their hands....................................Send your litigation claims to them at Fulbourn and oh the Interin Chief Executive is washing his hands of us all after causing trouble he walks away at  the end of December to leave the mess to another unfortunate individual to sort out.................Short sighted, misguided and misleading...................

A&E campaigns 'will cost lives'

Many people have protested against NHS cuts

Campaigns to save local A&E departments from closure could lead to more than 1,000 unnecessary deaths each year, a report has warned.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said specialist units were better placed than local hospitals to deal with high-risk patients.

The report comes as Tony Blair is due to urge managers to make the case for reorganising NHS services in England.

There was an interview on Radio 5 in  support of this BUT there was an admission that the
"new wave" of A&E services in G.P's and the community, obviously the responsibility of
the PCT's have not been set up yet and there are no funds to do so, so where do you go for
your A&E treatment.....................Your Local Hospital................where else is there?
Mother leads NHS campaign group

Vanessa Carey said her life was saved at the George Eliot Hospital

A NHS campaigner has called on local groups across the country to join in a co-ordinated protest about reforms.

Vanessa Carey set up People United Saving Hospitals (PUSH) because of plans to downgrade services at her local hospital in Warwickshire.

Now 100 local NHS campaign groups are planning a series of marches across England to demonstrate against cuts and increased private money in the NHS.

The first of the co-ordinated marches is planned for 15 December.

Ms Carey, from Nuneaton, said: "Myself and my daughter, who is 15, we wouldn't be
alive if it wasn't for the George Eliot Hospital.

"They are planning to take away the exact services that we used - ie maternity
and paediatrics."

Groups from around the country plan to join PUSH to try to protest at a local and
national level.

"We believe that we do need to continue having local demonstrations and local groups
but now we also feel the time is here for people to come together," said Ms Carey.

The marches follow numerous local protests across England and Wales against changes to hospital services.

We will be joing this group for a national march and protest - watch this space

People Power does work - let's all continue to pull together to save our hospital services!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Turbulent times for emergency care

By Adam Brimelow

BBC News, health correspondent

The Conservatives have demanded a fresh start in the process of reforming emergency services in England.

In a letter to the health service's chief executive, Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, has questioned the evidence for the proposed changes.

They would see services concentrated in big regional centres, while local A&E units are downgraded or closed.

He has identified 29 A&E units which are under threat.

Mr Lansley said the exercise was being driven by the need to save money. But the government said it will make services safer and more up-to-date.

Can these changes can ever be delivered without provoking local fury?

It is more than five years since Richard Taylor shook the political establishment by leading a revolt in Kidderminster over the closure of hospital services, including the A&E.

His election showed just how politically sensitive these decisions can be.

Now emergency services across England are being overhauled. Richard Taylor is worried that important lessons have been forgotten.

He said: "Everybody will travel for high-powered difficult surgery, difficult cancer-care, major trauma.

"But they want on their doorstep facilities to see a doctor who can cope with the bread and butter, run of the mill emergencies, which are usually medical things.

"The heart attacks, the strokes the pneumonias, which come out of the blue without any warning."

Hands Around Competition Winners

Well done to all who took part in the Colouring competition at the recent Hands 
Around Event

The entries were judged last night by the Chairman of Hands For
 Hinchingbrooke, Robert Faunt.

The winners were - in the 2 to 6 age group
1st, Lucy McGregor of Godmanchester, 2nd Joshua Adams of Upwood and 3rd Bethan McGregor also of Godmanchester.
In the 7 to 11 age group there were on 2 entries
1st, Eden Ward of Stilton and 2nd, Rachel Gough of Huntingdon

The prizes were £15 Argos Gift card for 1st, £10 for 2nd & £5 for 3rd

Thanks again for your hard work

The Hands For Hinchingbrooke merchandise will be here before Christmas, so hopefully we will be able to start selling as soon as we recieve the goods