Monday, 29 October 2012

NHS NW London spent £7million on Shaping a Healthier Future "consultation"

NHS NW London spent seven million pounds on the Shaping a Healthier Future consultation. £7,000,000!

How they could have spent so much, money that could have been used to improve our health services, is hard to imagine. Gold plated paper clips?

The consultation itself was seriously flawed. Documents in languages other than English were not available until relatively late in the consultation process. The "roadshows" resembled public relations exercises, designed to sell an idea rather than any serious attempt to find out what ordinary people need and expect from our health service.

The context of the proposed changes - the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act and the merger of NW London Hospitals and Ealing Hospital trust - was ignored. There are now serious questions about whether the hospitals that will be left after the proposed cull will be able to cope.

The draft report produced for the final meeting of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee of the affected boroughs was extremely critical of the consultation. It said:

We are however not convinced that the specific proposals presented by NHS NW London are supported in their current form, without significant clarification on significant issues. There are several primary reasons, these are:

  • Key elements of the plans remain opaque;
  • Information about the future shape of services for patients is absent;
  • Measurable outcomes for the proposals are underdeveloped;
  • Impact on local populations and groups with protected characteristics have not been developed in sufficient detail;
  • Key risks have either been underestimated or mitigations not identified or shared;
  • The proposals have been driven by a desire to move care out of tariff;
  • The consultation process has not been fit for purpose.
In addition there are a number of secondary reasons

  • There is insufficient evidence of ownership by key partners and by staff;
  • Critical workforce issues have been underappreciated;
  • There is insufficient evidence of alignment across health and social care system.
The  report also says, "There is an underlying sense of both immediate threat and unhelpful manipulation in these arguments which clouds an objective assessment of what might actually be the end result for patients over a realistic timescale." and "But our concerns about the consultation process are more fundamental than timing. We question the underlying approach and the extent to which this has had the feel or a marketing exercise rather than a properly conducted consultation exercise." Also (as well as a great many other criticisms, "There has been far too little engagement of staff and their representatives about the proposed changes." "A key concern is that virtually nothing of any significance about the proposals has altered over the nine months of development and engagement. This is not a sign of the strength of the proposals but an indication that a top-down, un-engaging process has been running."

Seven million pounds for a flawed, top-down, un-engaging consultation that was not fit for purpose. Seven million pounds that could have been spent on health care for local people.

Friday, 12 October 2012

An A4 poster for noticeboards etc or to email to all your contacts.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fightback to present 2,000 plus petition against hospital closures today

Brent Fightback at Saturday's demonstration
Brent hospital campaigners have collected more than 2,000 signatures on petitions opposing hospital closures in West London and the privatisation of the NHS.

They will join campaigners from Ealing and Hammersmith today at 1pm to present the petitions to the North West London NHS Trust at their offices at 15 Marylebone Road, NW1 (close to Regents Park).

Please join them if you can. Brent campaigners will meet at Baket Street Station at 12.45pm.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Don't make a Casualty of our NHS

The NHS NW London consultation Shaping a Healthier Future, which proposes the closure of four A & E departments and the downgrading of Central Middlesex, Ealing, Charing X and Hammersmith hospitals, ends next Monday so we plan to deliver the thousands of signatures that have been collected by the Hammersmith and Brent campaigns at the consutation's HQ. Please come and join us if you can. Bring your banner or swathe yourself in bloodstained bandages.