Friday, 8 February 2019

You can help save the urgent care centre at Hammersmith Hospital - but you need to act now

It's where you can get vital NHS treatment for things that aren't life threatening
Julia GregoryLocal Democracy Reporter
  • 15:27, 5 FEB 2019
  • There's a chance to have your say before the NHS closes the unit to try to save money
  • There are plans to close an "underused" out of hours  urgent care centre in Hammersmith .
    It's where you can go 24-hours-a-day to be seen urgently if your illness is not life threatening.
    And, if you have strong views on that, now is the time to speak up.
    Residents are to be asked what they think - there are six weeks to have a say.
    The closure is one of several options which will be included in a consultation this month as the cash- strapped Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group looks to save money.
    It estimates that shutting one of  its two urgent care centres which are open overnight from 8pm to 8am, reducing weekend plus GP appointments from one practice to three and cutting 155 extended hours GP appointments a week, could save £1m a year.
    It said it had no plans to close the urgent care centre at Charing Cross Hospital, or reduce its hours from 2am to 6am.

    So, how under-used is it?

    An average of seven patients are seen at the urgent care centre at Hammersmith Hospital on any night.
    Of those, an average of only two need emergency or urgent care, according to the CCG.
    It said the highest number of people ever turning up between midnight and 8am was 18.
    So it's up and down.
    But that's still a lot of people.
    In 2017/18, nearly 33,000 people visited, with 47,000 patients turning up at Charing Cross, which has seen a maximum of 20 people during the midnight to 8am slot.

    Now the consultation begins

    The CCG has already talked to Healthwatch about the best way to consult residents about the options.
    MD Janet Cree told Hammersmith and Fulham’s health and well-being board that it was not practical to send letters to every patient. That data is not available.
    It has already staged a series of pre-consultation events and discussed ways it will stage the formal consultation.
    The CCG’s  co-vice chair, Vanessa Andreae, said patients commented at last year’s pre-consultation events that "they were not always aware of what’s available. Having a single location could reduce that complexity".
    She added many of the appointments were filled by the practices’ patients.
    Ms Cree said: "There is nothing determined until we get that feedback."

    Have your say

    Councillor Ben Coleman, who is Cabinet member for health and adult social care urged residents to respond.
    The Labour politician said:"Our local NHS is under attack from government funding cuts. Almost 50 people attend Hammersmith Hospital's Urgent Care Centre overnight each week and nearly one in three of these requires urgent or emergency treatment.
    "This consultation could lead to the service being closed. I urge residents to respond."
    The consultation will last six weeks.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019


Hammersmith and Fulham has to make £44 million cuts in health spending

Health campaigners are demanding to know exactly what will be cut and when

The CCG buys in the health care needed in Hammersmith and Fulham but campaigners fear many services will have to be cut

One of management groups that buys in health care for people across huge areas of West London is going to have to make savings of some £44 million, but won't yet tell people what services are to be cut.
Health campaigners have pledged to keep asking for more details about the "eye-watering" savings Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group is facing over the next two years.
Merril Hammer from health group Save Our Hospitals, has demanded the CCG open up and share information about ways it will save money.
She told its governing body meeting "to date there have been no detailed reports on what  savings have been made in the current financial year and on what services have been affected in what way?"
She asked when the public will be consulted about the proposed £17m savings the CCG needs to make this financial year and the further £27m in 2019/20.
Janet Cree, the CCG’s managing director said there are plans to  "engage" with the public on January 29.
Paul Brown, the chief financial officer of North West London CCGs said it has to consult on proposals such as closing the Hammersmith urgent care centre which could save £359,000 a year.
He said there were also contracts which are still running, but will be examined.
But Councillor Lucy Richardson, who chairs the council’s health, inclusion and social chair public accounts committee is also pressing for more detail.
She said residents are concerned that services could be downgraded as the CCG has been asked by health NHS England bosses to make "eye-watering" savings of £44m by 2020.
The board meeting was told that there were a range of possibilities, but the “mostly likely position is a total system deficit of £17m and most likely Hammersmith and Fulham will be adrift by £10m,” said Mr Brown.
Demand for the CCG’s services are also 10% higher than its contract.
He said: "We know it’s a challenge, but we keep on working on this problem."
But Ms Hammer said: "People need specifics."
Health campaigner Anne Drinkell also asked how many job losses were likely as the CCG looks to save money.
Chief officer Mark Easton  for the group of CCGs said: “We do not anticipate a specific number of redundancies.”
He said there were a large number of vacancies and it the CCGs have already made savings by collaborating on some staff costs and half the accountable officers for the area.
He said savings will be looking “at reductions in growth”.
He told the LDR service “often these are about alternatives and cheaper options".

Monday, 23 July 2018

Please join this protest against GP at Hand on Tuesday 24 July 2018 at 5-7pm,

NHS body ‘wastes millions on flawed financial advice’

North West London Clinical Commissioning Group under fire as cost of implementing management consultants’ plan soars to £1.3bn

 Protesters march in London against the NHS financial crisis last February. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty 

A large NHS body has spent millions of pounds on management consultants for a plan designed to save money – but which could cost more than £1bn to put into practice.
Over the past six years, the North West London Clinical Commissioning Groups has spent £66m on 41 different management consulting firms – including the big four: McKinsey, EY, Deloitte and PwC – for a five-year programme to improve healthcare in the area while closing a £1.4bn budget gap forecast by 2021. However, costs have ballooned and the trust said it now needs £1.3bn to implement the programme. It declined to quantify the savings that have been made to date.
It is just one example of the huge sums being spent on management consultants across the health service, despite growing concerns that they do not deliver value for money. Research from the University of Bristol and Warwick Business School suggested higher spending on management consultants made hospital trusts less, rather than more, efficient.
Stephen Cowan, the leader of Hammersmith & Fulham council, said the £66m spent by the NHS in north-west London was “a complete waste of money, evidenced by the fact that they couldn’t produce a business plan”.
One doctor working at Ealing hospital said staff felt completely demoralised by the changes taking place: “First they took cancer care, then they took obstetrics, then they took children’s in-patient services. There is a feeling of planned demolition.”
Management consultants drafted and redrafted the investment case for the trust’s transformation plan, which is now being revised after the regulator said assumptions about reductions in demand for certain services were “counterfactual”. Colin Standfield, a campaigner with Ealing Save our NHS, said: “That is exactly what we said six years ago. We said the numbers don’t work.”
It is a common complaint about management consultants working in the health service. Roger Steer, a former NHS chief executive who reviews NHS plans for local authorities, said: “It’s wishful thinking. You balance the books by assuming that demand can be reduced, then cuts can be justified by the fact that the service won’t be needed in the future.”
He said management consultants were often brought in to give plans a “plausible gloss”. A report by The King’s Fund, a healthcare thinktank, suggested the current wave of plans had “created an industry for management consultants”.
In north-west London, plans continue to be implemented despite the delay in approving the investment case. The first step was to close acute A&E departments at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith hospitals, replacing them with urgent care centres to deal with minor illnesses and injuries. That had a major impact on A&E waiting times in north-west London, which have been consistently worse than the rest of the country ever since.
A spokesperson for North West London Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Investment in the right expertise has allowed us to redesign services and make real improvements to the care we provide our 2 million residents. Over the last three years we have significantly reduced our spend on consultancy.”
Peter Spilsbury, director of the Strategy Unit, an internal NHS consultancy, said individual trusts are also not sharing informationabout projects, so management consultants can resell their work to different parts of the health service.
He contrasted that with the work of the Strategy Unit. “The knowledge developed stays in the NHS. When we produce knowledge, we publish it whenever we can. If we’ve done a piece of work for one NHS client, we don’t sell it again.”
The lack of transparency has a further impact on staff morale. The doctor at Ealing hospital said: “Everybody feels things are done behind their back with ulterior motives, in a confrontational rather than cooperative way.
“Clearly we are in terrible trouble. When we look back at this period of austerity, I think we are going to see this in the statistics of the healthcare indicators. I’m sure that it will show up.”

Popular Posts

Follow by Email