Sunday, 18 November 2012

Tell our Councillors to stop doing the ConDems' dirty work

Some Brent Fightback supporters will be outside Brent Town Hall tomorrow, Monday 19th November from 6.30 pm. There is a full Council meeting starting at 7.00 pm and we want to let our councillors know that we  want them to stop doing the ConDem government's dirty work, attacking the citizens of Brent, cutting and privatising our services. It's high time they defied the government and put forward a Needs Budget - a budget that gives details of the services we really need and what they would cost and join with the Council workers and the people of Brent to provide and defend those services.  

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Can you ever believe NHS bosses?

This press release guaranteeing the future of Central Middlesex Hospital, was issued in April 2010! You'll see that A & E attendances at CMH weere very nearly as high as those at the much bigger Northwick Park Hospital and had been rising steadily year on year.

A Bright Future for Central Middlesex Hospital

Purpose of this document
We are circulating this document to set out the important role that Central Middlesex Hospital will have as a local hospital. 
There has been some negative publicity recently about the long term future of this well loved local hospital, which has understandably worried local people and patients. We think it is important that we put the record straight.
What are the facts?
Central Middlesex Hospital and its sister hospital Northwick Park Hospital are both part of The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust.  Northwick Park is the larger of the two sites and.provides more specialist services, serving residents from a wide part of North West London and across London.  It is much larger than Central Middlesex as the table below shows:
Table 1         Comparison of Northwick Park and Central Middlesex hospitals (using 2008/09 data)

Northwick Park
Central Middlesex
A&E attendances

Over the past few years the Trust has changed the way some services are organised across the two hospitals.  Generally speaking more specialist services have moved to Northwick Park and more routine work like waiting list surgery has gone to Central Middlesex
For example, more planned operations are now performed at Central Middlesex but, on the other hand, Northwick Park now treats patients requiring emergency surgery in Brent and Harrow who would previously have gone to Central Middlesex
This approach reflects guidance from Healthcare for London, the programme set up to transform healthcare and improve standards of health in the capital.  This established the principle that healthcare should be localised where possible but centralised where larger scale services where necessary to improve safety and quality.  For example establishing specialist stroke centres at major hospitals like Northwick Park will save 400 Londoners’ lives.
The table below shows how activity has changed at Central Middlesex in the past five years.  Attendances to accident and emergency are up, as are elective (planned) admissions to hospital, non-elective (unplanned) admissions, and numbers of outpatient appointments and procedures.  Emergency surgery has reduced since the service was centralised at Northwick Park in 2009.
Table 2         Activity levels at Central Middlesex Hospital MH from 2005/06
Point of Delivery
2009-10 (Projected)
Variance between 2008-09 and 2009-10
A&E Attendances
Elective Admissions
Non-Elective Admissions
     of which Non-Elective Surgery
     of which Non-Elective Medicine
Outpatient First Attendances

Outpatient Follow Up Attendances

Outpatient Procedures


We are currently undertaking a public consultation on children’s services with a proposal to establish consultant-led paediatric assessment units at both hospitals that would be open from 10am-10pm and centralise overnight beds at Northwick Park Hospital
We have made it clear as part of that consultation that these changes complement, rather than put at risk, the future role of Central Middlesex Hospital, that of an important provider of health services offering 24 hour a day, seven day a week accident and emergency services, urgent care, emergency medical services, diagnostics, waiting list surgery and outpatient services.

What are the future plans for Central Middlesex Hospital?
It is easy to understand why so many people choose Central Middlesex Hospital – it is a state-of-the-art, modern hospital which can easily be reached by local people from Brent and beyond. 
Central Middlesex’s role – and that of other hospitals – will evolve and change as the Healthcare for London programme develops and government policy changes. In the meantime Central Middlesex will benefit from the following developments over the next twelve months:

·       Operating capacity will be increased so that more patients can receive orthopaedic and other surgical treatments;
·       An Urgent Care Centre is planned to open alongside A&E so that GPs can see the patients whose need is for primary rather than emergency care;
·       As part of the changes to children’s services, we will introduce a free relatives’ transport service between Central Middlesex and Northwick Park.  This will make it easier for family members to visit their loved ones who may be treated at either hospital.
·       We intend to develop even better models of care for patients with long term conditions such as diabetes, asthma and heart problems.  It is hoped that services will be more easily available in the community as well as at Central Middlesex Hospital itself which may also house a GP staffed polyclinic on site.

We hope that, after reading this document, local people are reassured that Central Middlesex Hospital remains an integral part of the health service in Brent.  You can continue to be proud of your safe, modern, local hospital that remains the first choice for an increasing number of patients.
If you require further information please contact the Acute Services Review team on 020 8869 3701.
Mark Easton         
Chief Executive
NHS Brent

Fiona Wise
Chief Executive
The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust

Thursday, 8 November 2012

What do Brent Labour think of Barnet Labour's case against out-sourcing?

This excellent video from Barnet Alliance sums up the case against Barnet's Council's 'One Barnet' policy that will see 70% of council services out-sourced.

Earlier this week the Labour opposition on Barnet Council, deploying a vote of no confidence at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council, made a strong case against the policy.

They cited:
  • The loss of democratic accountabilty via councillors and the council when services were out-sourced
  • The poor record of private companies in this area which has included some becoming bankrupt
  • The uselessness of 'guarantees' provided during procurement when companies become bankrupt
  • Council tax payers' money being used to boost private company profits
  • The need for support for in-house bids from the present skilled and experienced workforce
  • The loss of those skills to the council  once private companies have taken over
  • Deteriorating performance by private companies once the initial honeymoon after the awarding of the contract is over
All these arguments can of course be made against Brent Council's escalating programme of privatiision. In fact the Barnet Tory Council leader Cllr Richard Corneliu, defending Labour charges of an ideological attack on publicly provided services, cited Brent as an example of A Labour Council that was out-sourcing. How could Barnet's strategy be ideological he asked, if Labour Brent was doing the same thing?  He capped this with a claim that Unison was out-sourcing its IT to a private provider.

In today's Brent and Kilburn Times a council spokesperson said that despite the collapse of the 4 borough public realm contract after the withdrawal of Barnet and Richmond, that Brent would go ahead anyway. In a twist to the story, despite the Casino claim in the video, Barnet had decided that the 4 borough contract was 'too great a risk' and decided to go in-house 'with stretch' for waste services that had previously been provided by May Gurney.

Monday, 5 November 2012

NHS Campaign steps up - details here

The fight to preserve and enhance the NHS in Brent and prevent privatisation took a step forward on Saturday when campaigners met up on the initiative of the 38 Degrees Campaign and planned their next steps.

The 38 Degrees petition asks the Brent Clinical Commissioning Group to protect the NHS from privatisation by including a clause in their constitution affirming that they will commission services from the NHS in preference to private companies. Hackney CCG has already agreed to this

The petition will be presented at the Shadow Brent  CCG at their consultation meeting on 14th November at the Wembley Centre for Health and Care, 116 Chaplin Road, Wembley, HA0 4UZ. The meeting is from 6pm until 8pm.The services currently being commissioned can be found HERE

The meeting will be discussing the Brent Integrated Plan which is a 3 year strategy  that outlines financial planning and details health care services the CCG plans to buy,

On Friday afternoon of this week pressure will be exerted on Sarah Teather, MP for Brent Central, when campaigners present her with a petition against the proposals in 'Shaping a Healthier Future' which includes the closure of Central Middlesex A&E. This petition also opposes privatisation of the NHS. Campaigners will meet at The Nest cafe at Willesden Green Station at 2pm on Friday 9th November and present the petition at Ms Teather's office in Walm Lane at 2.30pm.

When she left her government post Sarah Teather said that she wanted to devote more time to serving her constituents and this meeting will give her the chance to do just that.

On Wednesaday 28th November NHS NWL will be providing feedback on their 'Shaping  Healthier Future' consultation at the Hilton Metrropole in Edgware Road (opposite the tube station) from 5.30-7pm followed by a workshop for the public, patient representatives, clinicians and voluntary sector organisation working in groups on issues raised in the consultation. To attend register HERE