Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trust..... no Not NHS Trust .... Trust in decison makers

I tweeted on my account @notselfserving that I would be posting this on Tuesday......

I didn't as circumstances didn't all....

I have blogged and written in the local papers over the past 6 years about Hinchingbrooke Hospital and like many who expressed an interest through the "Sustainable Hospital" NHS Cambridgeshire consultation.

Subsequently.... and what I see as pay back for our protests to keep Hinchingbrooke open, that we were and have been faced with a Franchise arrangement for Hinchingbrooke's management
I was angry, yes angry, that Labour under Andy Burnham's control and criteria called Hinchingbrooke a "failing" NHS Trust.
It was I guess to be fair under the measure that was being used at the time, but it was never considered in any real context, as to how the Historic debt was acrrued in the first place.
The debt issue goes way back to the head per capita funding in the 1980's when this area was considered to be healthy and requiring less funding by the very short-sighted Thatcher government, or should I say a typical Tory government, the current one is no better.
I did write to Andy Burnham several times but all I got was rebuff after rebuff from one of his menials, if only twitter was a medium at that time.
Personally, at the time, Mr Burnham was looking at an NHS provider to manage Hinchingbrooke, but the October 4th 2006 Save Hinchingbrooke March was hijacked by SHA staff who were finding out what people think and how they feel, one in fact chatted to my mother who was on the march. I can identify him too but I won't reveal that here,save to say he was involved with the franchise.
Sadly of course, Mr Burnham's romantic notion that an NHS Trust would manage Hinchingbrooke was thwarted by McPhearson & Dunn of the SHA.
The Franchise arrangements included a Stakeholder Panel of 40 individuals.....all selectively chosen to follow the herd and the few who would prove difficult like Trade Unions would be voted against.
The main bulk of members were Tory Councillors and local MP's, many who could only be relied upon to attend should voting be required and the other 6 members were staff & trade unions.
In essence, no one was there to be the voice of the public, if you think a Tory councillor or MP will be your voice.....forget it....unless there is a few thousand votes to be grabbed
The Franchise was always considered to be a "Consultation", however it was merely a Process.
There were some Public meetings, albeit set in rural locations across Cambridgeshire and during the working day to further reduce the numbers of potential public members able to attend and voice their opinions.
Quite early in the process it was feared that this was going to be a sham deal and a set up
Addenbrookes were the sole NHS Trust interested and there was also a shared deal with Peterborough City Hospital and Serco too.
The process went quiet for around 12 months, in fact some thought it would be shelved, mergers may happen etc.
Quite soon after the Tory led Coalition got in & Stakeholder panel member, Andrew Lansley became Secretary of State for Health, the process began to move forward again at quite a pace, to begin with.
It soon became apparent that Addenbrookes had been warned off from proceeding with their bid and that all was left would be Private Sector interest.
Needless to say, I was not surprised and expressed that too, I also feel that this was the end game and punishment for keeping the hospital from closing.
4 companies came and did their presentations and PR soon became clear from the first instance and introductions that Circle were going to be gifted the franchise. They had obviously to play along with the bid submissions and other procedures but the SHA spokespeople and staff involved in the process were pushing Circle more than Ramsay/Peterboro-Serco et al.
I came as no surprise that Circle soon became the "preferred" bidder or in real speak..... the Franchise was theirs.
It soon became apparent that the Stakeholder panel was merely concealing and anterior to the process. It was merely keeping the media and public away from what was really going on. It is a shame that this has recently come to light as I know...... Unions and some councillors would never have agreed to cut staff by 340 posts, handed Circle bail outs and allow them easy get out of the contract.
With this in mind it does appear that this was a set up,sham,stinky,messy process.... I am not suggesting that incentives were used by the private sector to gain favour but they did have the potential to do so of course, you make your own mind up and form your own opinions.

We find now we have been landed with Circle Holdings, and their subsidury Circle Hinchingbrooke Ltd, managing Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust.
We also know that so far they have sacked 46 Nurses and their Cleaning Contractor Mitie, on Circle's instruction (by cutting the contract terms) has sacked half of the cleaning staff and put the remaining on reduced hours, some by one day a week & the majority by 2 days per week. I know what is next, infections will rise and we will be back to 1995 again, short sighted and stupid.
We also know from the recently leaked documents that they are to sack in total 340 staff as I previously mentioned, currently there are "Reviews" going on for all staff or in other words..... time & motion studies to see who can be sacked.
Circle have brought in an interim HR  Hit man, now they have sacked the Hinchingbrooke HR dept staff, a Mr De Gamma who has been rolled out to make comments in the Hunts Post on some issues and obviously denied the truth.
Circle have also declared that their parent company requires further share sales next year to raise further funding for that part of the business, so as it stands we have a start up company with huge Hedge funds bank rolling it and who will want their cash back. It also has run up a further debt at Hinchingbrooke even though they enjoy 10% MORE funding than the previous NHS board.

You have to ask, what if the previous NHS management had been afforded the same funding which Circle are enjoying and £8 million LESS bailout which Peterborough City Hospital have been gifted how Hinchingbrooke would be sitting now. I would argue that they would be sitting nicely.
You also have to see that with the extra funding it equates to the £38 million debt paid off PLUS £62 million in the bank so to speak. Measure that over 10 years and with the average small surplus  which Hinchingbrooke consistently made..... and you would have just needed to cruise along for 10 years easy peasy...... BUT Circle have made some impossible and bold claims.... and they will be held to book over this and it will end in tears.

Currently the local opinion is that Circle Hinchingbrooke Ltd will cease in 2014 and I have no doubt at this time that this will be the case......sadly Hinchingbrooke Hospital will have been run down, under staffed and in a poor way when these parasites slope away...

Friday, November 09, 2012

National Audit Office Report

You probably all know or have seen references on the BBC news about the report on the Franchise of Hinchingbrooke Hospital. If you have seen the BBC's News then chances are you have also seen Slick tongue work from Mr Circle himself.... Ali Parsa.

Once again he has put on the con trick PR stunt that Circle are doing fine ...blah.. blah  BUT the BBC sadly did not have anyone from the community or one of the Trade Unions to comment further on this at all, they let Mr Parsa have the soap box to push the same old tired mantra.

However..... they are NOT doing as well as they claim to be.... as we have seen, over budget... had a £4 million bail out from the NHS and have yet to sack a further 274 staff members from the Trust.

I find it unbelievable too,that the Trade Unions are sitting back and saying nothing.... weak or are they waiting for the deal to fail, which it will..... and say...Told You So... if they are, then they had better be really motivated to pick up the pieces..

 The NAO report shows that there was a lack of scrutiny of the risks and projections of the deal by independent or outside sources.It is shown that other than the Project Team and Project Board little was shared and so the risks of the deal were kept from the Public.

I really would like to know....

What level of discussions local councillors and Trade Unions were allowed be at to during the project....

 Were the Stakeholder Panel, who were part of this project.... considered to be the Project Team?...

 Were they there merely to divert away from the important matter which were really going on behind the scenes?

Were they in fact totally complicit in this rotten and shoddy deal?...

 Unless the Stakeholder members(whatever their role or capacity) come clean.... and tell us of meetings they missed or were not invited to...any of the 40 Stakeholders will not be trusted and their integrity will be reconsidered accordingly

I am happy for ANY of the 40 stakeholders to tweet me @notselfserving to let me know of their position on this franchise deal..... What they were told and what they knew....

Considering the architects of this scheme even got an award by Health Investor for it's production and setting up, you have to ask, following the NAO report ,questions regarding award presenter, Health Investor's integrity too.
It also calls into question the role of Wragge & Co's Healthcare Team in advising the SHA on the legal aspects of this projects

When you look at the "deal".... it clearly shows that Circle should be financially sound but they lost money & their Parent company is in worse dire straits than Peterborough City Hospital, they also cannot sell off land at the site without the permission of the NHS shadow board..... my message to Circle is ... get out while the going is good...

 The NAO document can be downloaded Here Please get a cup of tea and a biscuit or 3 and read it....and weep....

Consider how the Project Board at the SHA came to allow this travesty to happen and remember which Political Party began the franchise option...but more importantly....remember the Political Party who were in power and who signed off this bastard of a "deal"..... With it being so foolhardy, you then start to think if some other not so regular factor or factors forced the hand of the Project team and board members?...

 It will end in tears....

But through all this unnecessary mayhem..... the staff carry on as they have done for the past 20 years or more, through thick and thin, good times and bad.....  I cannot thank them enough for what they do for me and my family.... 

Despite the questionable Friends  & Family ratings hogwash ...... The staff are still brilliant, however the same cannot be said of the buildings and the way the social structure is being run down.....

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Did the Stakeholder Panel Members Know?.....

The question of the day is Did The Hinchingbrooke Stakeholder Panel Members Know? about the real impact and contents of the Circle franchise deal .

We NOW know that there are 320 jobs to be culled at Hinchingbrooke, with 247 still to be axed.

There was a Bailout clause in the Contract

Addenbrookes were "scared off" of making a deal

The Peterborough City Hospital/Serco deal was better for the Taxpayer

So did the invited stakeholder know this or was it all kept from them.....or were they sworn to silence?

The Stakeholder Panel was made up mainly of MP's and local politicians and a few Union reps....there really was NO ONE who was the voice of the people on the panel and now we know why....

My Message to ANY member of the Hinchingbrooke Franchise Stakeholder Panel....... Come Clean,Own up to what you actually knew...... and if you knew of what I revealed..... Why did you keep Quiet?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

7 months on

Circle now have been managing Hinchingbrooke hospital for the past 7 months, we have had a relentless amount of PR stunts by Mr Parsa,Tory ministers and Tory oropaganda "newspapers".
We have learnt just this last week that Circle have made a £4.1 million LOSS and will be getting a bailout from the soon to be defunct NHS Cambridgeshire,
You have to ask.... how and who will the £4 million bailout be paid back to, when on April 1st 2013 NHS Cambridgeshire cease to exist. No one has said that, it will be repaid or not by then or if it hasn't been repaid then the funding will be shared by the CCG's in Cambridgeshire.

We also hear that Circle plan to sell off the land and car park to the front of the hospital to fund a multi storey car park. On the issue of selling land at the site, this has been mentioned before and withdrawn, will it happen again?.... probably

We find here that the Strategic Health Authority, the Tory Health minister and others KNEW that Circle were bad for Hinchingbrooke and that aside of Bailout's for Circle built into the contract (obviously to save face) there are still another 247 staff to be culled from the workforce. We already know that cleaning contractor Mitie have axed staff and cut the remaining staff contracts by 1 or 2 day work per week, after Circle decided to limit the budget for the cleaning contract.
We also know that 46 Nurses have been culled and no doubt more are on the cards

Yet the local media FAIL to publish any suggestion that Circle are indeed...... Failing...
Failing the people of Huntingdon,Failing their Contract and Failing to run OUR hospital properly

It is suggested that Circle are spending £1 million refurbishing the corridors in Hinchingbrooke, so far on my recent visits there, the noticeboards (including Union noticeboards) have been removed for repainting etc. It does say they will be back soon.....  if they happen to remember to rehang them. Cynical me says they wont return to the walls.
Circle also HATE Trade Unions totally..... that includes the Royal Colleges.... sad but true

What is the solution?.......

1st April 2013, the Strategic Health Authority and the PCT are finished, in fact they already have no operational responsibility during the transition to CCG's etc and this began on 1st October 2012.
For me.... NO new projects should be signed off or dealt with by these 2 organisations as like the Circle deal, there is not a body to oversee the contracts. Circle have nobody to keep an eye on them after April 2013 apart from Patients and Activists as, not being a Foundation Trust, don't come under the remit of Monitor....

The only solution for Hinchingbrooke is to hand it back over to an NHS board, with the same funding that Circle have been afforded....this is set at a higher level than the outgoing NHS board were working with, yet they always made a small surplus.The finances need to be returned to January 31st 2012 level and the best investment would be is to give Hinchingbrooke the £38 million to pay off the Historic government induced debt. The naysayers claiming that can't be done, look 24 miles north at Peterborough City Hospital, already bailed out by £46 million and more will follow that.

For me.......    Give HInchingbrooke back to the People of Huntingdon and run it within the NHS.....
Circle have failed miserably already.

Their contract had sufficient funding built in to a) pay off the historic debt, b) have £62 million left to subsidise the hospital with the small surplus and all would be well after the 10 years...... WITHOUT changing anything...

The couldn't fail..... but they already are failing.....

Thursday, August 30, 2012

6 months on

Well it seems that all the warnings I gave are coming to fruition We find that after 6 months..... Circle ..... Sacking 56 Hinchingbrooke staff Sacking 40 Hinchingbrooke Nurses Have a worsening debt record than Hinchingbrooke EVER had Need a £46 million injection next year to stay in business Patients COMPLAINTS are up All this information is in the public domain and still McPhearson & Dunn think it's a good "deal" It seems to me the "deal" was done as a mere experiment due to short-sighted cheap deals done when the hospital moved from Brampton road. The Department of Health cant sell Hinchingbrooke as they do not own the land.... and it was never sold to them it like the Woodlands centre was provided by donations. What makes me cross is the Hospital...OUR hospital is being rundown by fly by night start up company run by Del Boys.... Circle Hinchingbrooke Ltd is an easily disposed of asset by Circle Holdings Ltd We will be on the streets again and I hear that Huntingdon Trades Council are ramping up the Circle Out campaign again

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Health & Social Care Bill

Well dear Friends and NHS supporters.... the Health Bill is soon to be passed.
I feel we have been betrayed by Politicians, especially the all evil Tories and their sidekick Liberal Democrats and finally the Queen.

Now Is the time to fight back and at the next election the NHS will be the main topic and voting material.
Labour, no I am not a supporter have nailed their intentions to the mast that they will repeal this rotten bill, I believe the Green Party will also support this too.

The Greens have also been full supporters of the NHS and would do the decent thing in government and tax the rich and we would not be in the austerity mess the Tories have taken us into.
The Health Bill will be very difficult to implement, you need staff on board, the will to implement and EU competition rules will make things very drawn out too, in fact it won't be implemented by the next General Election.
As Campaigners we can assist the delay by challenging local decisions, being involved in Health Watch, Patient events at G.P's and challenge CCG's
Hunts Health CCG leader says he would like the Health Bill dropped as per G.P's and the majority consensus. But will as all Health professionals try to make the best of this until the reorganisation is done again in 2-3 years time.

The biggest issue is the NHS Risk Register has not been published although it has been leaked that it contains the facts that 50 NHS Hospitals WILL close under the Tories evil plans. With an ageing population this is stupid and like the Tory PFI idea crass too.
We are "lucky" to still have Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust still with us, Stephen Dunn has brokered a "deal" with Circle for 10 years(although this could be finished at anytime) so we can I guess we are "safe". I have said in previous posts the "deal" will give Circle £100m more than Hinchingbrooke would have had over the 10 year period and Circle will get 5000 more patients too.
This shows what I said all along, the Circle "deal" is not the same as Hinchingbrooke NHS would have had and NOT the level playing field that Stephen Dunn claimed it would be, like the Government....he Lied.

The next challenge too is Acer Ward and also Hinchingbrooke's staff canteen.
Acer Ward, has a campaign on Facebook and Petition to stop this valuable ward from being closed for good. The awful run "virtual" NHS Trust, Cambridge & Peterborough Mental Health Trust, Farms out much their work rather than dealing with it in house, to charities and voluntary groups while the directors get fat and the trust loses cash and is underfunded.
If Acer Ward is allowed to close and I believe that the local MP is NOT behind the campaign then this will leave Acer Ward building to be empty.
I have information that Circle have no plans yet to use the facility, but then under rules would not be able to for at least 6 months.
It then could become a PRIVATE ward or wing....... One hopes that isn't the case.

The next issue is the Staff canteen. Since Circle started the menu has changed, the new chef serves hardly any meat dishes and usual favourites and numbers using the canteen have dropped dramatically, seriously lower numbers.
Staff now visit the front cafe or the country park for normal lunches and dinners rather than eat the new menu
I see this as being done on purpose as Circle had identified this area as a place to expand for offices.... yes offices....
It looks like Circle are gunning to move Welbeck St their HQ to Hinchingbrooke which would save a fortune....

Enough from me at this time.....BUT


Starting 10.00am in St Ives at the Oliver Cromwell Statue, Market Place, St Ives.

Members of the Save Acer Ward campaign team including campaign creator and spokesperson, Liz Stokes, will be hitting the streets, markets and pubs on Saturday 24th March to Monster the good people of St Ives, Huntingdon and St Neots into signing our petition to Save Acer Ward,

We will be available for interview and photo opportunities on Saturday 24th March - starting 10.00am in St Ives at the Oliver Cromwell Statue, Market Place, St Ives.

The Petition was started in St Ives by Save Acer ward campaigner, Anita Whateley and we will be also visiting the other market towns of St Neots and Huntingdon,

With the NHS Cambridgeshire & NHS Peterborough board meeting on Wednesday 28th March, where the ward's fate will be decided fast approaching collecting petition signatures will demonstrate the strength of public opposition to the closure of Acer ward, Huntingdonshire's only inpatient mental health facility (over 1500 signatures already collected).

Or to sign the online petition visit our website and follow the link

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Debt and more debt... Blame it on PFI

I get very cross when Peterborough City Hospital's CEO bleats about their £46m of debt.
Putting this into perspective of course, this was accrued over an 18 month period, unlike Hinchingbrooke's which was accrued over 15 YEARS

Stewart Jackson the MP for Peterborough blames PFI for the City Hospital Debt, however this PFI deal was signed when the PFI shortcomings were already on the table and exposed for all to see. The blame surely lies with the City Hospital Board and the PFI contract managers.

In my view, the City hospital should suffer the same indignity as Hinchingbrooke and be put out to tender to see if another NHS or a company like Circle would propose to manage the trust...... Oh No .... La La Lansley gives them a Bail Out, £8M more than the Hinchingbrooke Debt too....

The biggest issue for Peterborough City is the parasitic contractor Serco, who are their partners and PFI Facilities managers.
Serco were "lined" up alongside Circle to manage Hinchingbrooke and I bet they are circling to take over the Hospital.

Circle also have some issues coming up soon,with the Special Care Baby Unit and the Childrens Unit. The issue is..... they are used and run by the soon to be defunct Primary Care Trust and NOBODY yet has announced what is to happen to these units. I see an Acer Ward coming up, with out of Touch local councillors, satisfying their own needs and conning voters for the May elections, getting caught with their trousers down yet again
You see there are NO councillors who are really Health Service Aware.....
The other issues are the Transforming Pathology where the East of England SHA or rather it is now merged and called NHS MidlandsEast.... privatisation of blood services.
The Pathology Labs are seen as a prime candidate to be run by a single Trust and a centralised service. This idea is fine on a purchasing type of scenario to purchase consumables and Lab supplies..... BUT not for management.
This Centralisation is merely to process "cold" lab bloods from GP's and it was proposed in 2007.
However....the 2007 proposal was by the biggest predator in the East of England....Addenbrookes....who had done a deal with HFL labs, the Racehorse Lab to take on their allocated staff at this new unit but it was exposed and it was withdrawn at the time.
It has reared it's ugly head again of course as the great predator is pushing to be the Central Lab...and with that will go the HFL deal ,,,but it will only get in place AFTER the SHA is defunct....dodgy deal done dirt cheap....
The last issue is MHRA....they inspected Hinchingbrooke late last year and the Labs were told they needed more staff to be operating at a safe level, however the "old" management didn't commit to new staff due to the imminent Circle rip off deal. Circle now are saying NO to more staff.....BUT MHRA are coming back next will Circle get their arses bet they will

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


One has to wonder how Hinchingbrooke staff will greet patients, one tweeter has suggested "tongue in cheek" .....Welcome to Circle Hinchingbrooke Ltd... but who knows.

My inside sources as well as my meeting attendance keeps me "ahead of the game" when it comes to news and news to me comes easier than in 2006 when Hinchingbrooke was threatened with closure.....
Many people now use Twitter and I follow @NHSspy and @circlebrooke who I am led to believe work "within the walls".
If Twitter was about in 2006....things at Hinchingbrooke would not have got this far....twitter pushes news and campaigns in real time, mostly faster than BBC/SKY etc.
We could have stopped this nonsense on 21st September 2006 if twitter was born back then.... but it wasn't so we are here....

I still continue to get emails from staff and patients and letters stuffed through my letter box......

I shall not say my job as campaigner is done here....because it isn't.....

I promise to blog at least weekly even if not much is happening at the Hospital and even if it is commenting on the local health economy such as the PFI doomed Peterborough Hospital which has more debt than Hinchingbrooke yet only open for 18 months......

One thing staff at Hinchingbrooke can be well assured..... they have worked 110% over all the years and the debt was NOT their fault....
If successive Political meddling had not got in the way then they would not have the debt, Tories have their Neo Liberal Private good, Public bad views and Labour wanted to be seen to be doing something....
We all know that Hinchingbrooke has had a tough life, Locals donate much time etc. and even the land it is built upon was donated and hence why the 2006 sell off and ideas to sell land to the rear where scuppered.
You see D0H and SHA number crunchers only care about what they can make or cut in budgets NOT about Patients.....sadly

We have suffered 50% per capita funding since 1982 due to Baroness Blatch and the Tyrant Thatcher's "deal" which deemed the area as not requiring a 100% funding ratio.
We have suffered Health Rationing on a massive scale and it has shaped the Health care map locally. Failures in Tory Councils to provide infrastructure have helped Hinchingbrooke stay open as the road network locally is appalling.

Recently as Christmas 2011, Hinchingbrooke's activity for A&E has been running sky high, good for Hinchingbrooke of course but you have to wonder why that is.....

In the main it is down to the Private Run "Urgent Care Cambridgeshire" who are responsible for Out of Hours GP.....they tend and personal experience confirms this to tick the box take the money and A&E pick up the case....hence why many just opt to go straight to A&E....and the SHA/PCT as now and DOH wonder why we do that...
Private companies like UCC and Harmoni making cash for doing little...

It's a new dawn today for Hinchingbrooke, staff and buildings and ALL building work and facilities are NHS.... the pen pushers at the top taking the financial risk are Circle Health....they are sadly "doing a tory" and shifting responsibility to staff for Profit & Loss,which means when it fails and it surely will...the Staff are at fault and Circle walk away unscathed and with knowledge of the NHS for another assault somewhere else a little easier

Thanks to all Hinchingbrooke supporters....The Fight Goes On Until Hinchingbrooke is finally back in the NHS .....AND run by a true Social Enterprise....The People of Huntingdonshire.....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goodbye NHS

Today is Hinchingbrooke's Last Day as an NHS run hospital, for now anyway.

It is a sad day for Campaigners who fought not just to keep Hinchingbrooke from closing but indeed fought to get the hospital built and moved away from the old County hospital on Brampton Road. Locals remember that the land Hinchingbrooke is built on was DONATED to enable the facility to be built, but that's for another day as the foundations to the NHS to Andrew Lansley mean nothing as all that matters to him is lining his pocket from Tory health care donors

It was revealed by Circle yesterday that the Circle Health Hinchingbrooke will be run as 20 or so "Clinical Units" of 50 to 100 staff and ALL Staff members are responsible for Profit & Loss of those units......see I WAS correct PROFIT before patients and staff are Coerced into this scam too.
Building works are being done too, new windows and now frontage and atrium roof as well as the new rear car park carved up to make way for a new back up generator..... Customers of Hinchingbrooke will obviously think these are being paid for by Circle.....WRONG...paid for by the Taxpayer and yes ....all these items were identified by Hinchingbrooke long ago, the windows 15 years ago.....Circle arrive and get what they want, when they want it.....

"Magic" Ali Parsa has sorted some Near Patient blood machines for quick testing, they don't do it all but it makes a good show, what he forgets is the Lab staff will spend 90% of their days quality controlling these machines....

I end this post albeit a brief one, with some thoughts......

Now Circle Health have announced that Staff are responsible for Profit and Loss, you have to ask a) What actually are Circle Health doing?...not managing that's for sure b) Will they finally admit their LIE that they are a Social Enterprise as Profits don't go with non profit Social Enterprises c) the Treatment Centre and Hospital have a recruitment campaign as of tomorrow....yes because the activity will be up by 100% to what the Treatment centre was designed for.....

Today at Hinchingbrooke NHS you are a of Tomorrow you are a Circle Hinchingbrooke Ltd Customer with a Price on your head.....

Ironic 2006 they were going to run down and close the Hospital...we campaigned and kept it they hand the "management" to Circle Health in the private sector and they throw money at it.....and it will be a bottomless this ROTTEN TORY Government will do their worst to make this "work", well on paper anyway......

The Staff will be the ones who are blamed....when it all goes wrong...but we know different, don't we.....