Monday, October 31, 2011

The time has finally come

It has been a while since I have posted here, mainly due to Hinchingbrooke NHS being
still run as well as ever by the current efficient board and staff members.

However, things have moved on for the NHS, with the Secretary of State, Mr Lansley froma neighbouring constituency pushing to part privatise the system,well he claims different but we all know that is far from the truth.

He and his rotten politics want to allow "Any Willing Provider" to be able to do NHS work.

We all know Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust...OUR...Local hospital, many of us marched to keep open in October 2006, has been gifted by the Stakeholder panel of 40, no member properly representing the public and any public events being held at awkward times so non one attended as well as NO public consultation.

Mr Lansley, yes the Secretary of State for Health was a panel member when Circle Health were chosen to manage Hinchingbrooke in November 2010. As yet, this contract has not been signed and Mr Lansley has now distanced himself from the process, even though he was part of the selection process. I believe he should have restarted the process as soon as he was placed in office as Secretary of State for Health as being part of the selection process makes it a conflict of interest.

Needless to say, the Contract for the so called "Franchise" is signed on 1st November as a Transition period takes place until Circle Health get their grubby, parasitic hands on OUR hospital on January 1st 2012

Circle Health claim to be a Social Enterprise, when in fact they are a Hedge fund bankrolled, for profit, offshore company which in fact is a totally different definition and they have mislead the public and been economical with the truth
Circle Heath are also £38m in debt and so far for 2011 they are £9m in debt...for me not a good basis for someone to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

One bonus with this "deal" is that Hinchingbrooke will be afforded some protection, protection from A&E closure and Maternity Closure as well as keeping the Hospital fully functional.

During the next couple of years Andrew Lansley is making ALL NHS Trusts into Foundation Trusts or close, Hinchingbrooke is exempt from that process due to the Circle Health "franchise".
My other concern, although not as large for this area as others in the UK is GP commissioning, for us and our 30 year of Healthcare rationing we will see little change yet for those areas who have been afforded 100% funding, unlike our 50% funding they will find rationing of care difficult to deal with.

I have been informed that there are proposals for each GP to only refer 4 patients per week to secondary care (Hospital) which is outrageous and should be stopped.
The largest issue, and this has been ongoing again for 30 years, is social care.
Social Care budgets are provided at Local Council level and they then place the care to the elderly population that is in need.

In recent years the Primary Care Trust, as it has been, and the County Council have merged 2 budgets to get a fund that is somewhere near the bottom of the need requirement for Cambridgeshire. This fund really needs to be 200% larger today and rising 10% each year to cope with the elderly population alone.

Currently we hear horror stories that the NHS Nurses in hospital are not caring for our parents and grandparents properly. In reality the Council & PCT are not doing their jobs due to funding and the NHS is picking up the pieces.

Community Care as outlined in the PCT's Hinchingbrooke plan and agreed by the now Commisioning groups Chair Maureen Donnelly has failed and failed miserably as I predicted in 2007. The 25% less activity for Hinchingbrooke, also part of the plan has failed and failed miserably due to patient choice and of course Fuel costs and the awful A14.

As I write this, Addenbrookes, the Rosie and Hinchingbrooke are at full capacity and winter is not yet upon us. I for see that we will be having to make do or haul up to the struggling Peterborough City Hospital.

Cambridge & Peterborough Mental Health Trust are also in huge financial trouble, recently the excellent Acer ward at Hinchingbrooke has been closed to a huge outcry. The Mental Health Trust has recently become a satellite employer where in the main their services are provided a more expensive way by other organisations and charities. If you feel you are able please take part in their consultation

I can see a reasonably "settled" future for Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust as Circle Health will have to maintain services there and we really should not see too much difference to healthcare and staff. Staff are still NHS employees but will be seconded to Circle during the "franchise" period, however long this ends up being.
Current projections are that Circle Health will not make any profit from the Hinchingbrooke management "deal" and will end up funding the payments themselves to reduce the Hinchingbrooke historic government induced debt. Again this will not be good for Circle Health as they have also recently lost 2 big NHS contracts worth £54m.
I predict this "franchise" will last a maximum of 2 years, the timescale for all NHS Hospitals to become Foundation Trusts, then the Government will fund Hinchingrooke to Comply with this system upon Circle's exit from the contract.

My prediction is based upon the lack of profits to be made by Circle and the poor option for Hospital expansion as well as the PFI Treatment centre and the need to meet the repayments for that building.

I will be posting more frequently from now on, keeping you up to speed with what is happening at Hinchingbrooke, in fact I am there tomorrow too....

There is another plan afoot as I raised in 2007, this pertaining to the Blood test service. GP's currently have blood tests done at a local hospital and Huntingdonshire GP's are afforded the excellent 24hr blood test turnaround by Hinchingbrooke.

In fact all the days bloods from all the surgeries are processed by 20:30 each day and are available by GP's the following start of the day.

This is now in crisis as the stupid Strategic Health Authority, once East of England and now Its MidlandsEast, have decided that a "Hub" & "Spoke" system is way to go.

The Hub is a central lab and each hospital has a "hot" lab on site to process Hospital bloods. GP bloods will go to the Hub and be processed over 3 days...not within the 24 hrs they currently enjoy....

The A14 and Fuel costs won't help the scheme and the proposed PFI/NHS funded building is proposed on the Addenbrookes site, what a surprise.

Rearing it's head too is the Horse Blood lab again as it is rumoured that they will be running and taking over the spoke within 2 years and taking the service out of the NHS....for good.
Something for us to monitor and put to media.