Monday, 6 May 2019

HOSPITALS YES – HEALTH CUTS NO

NHS campaigners from Save Our Hospitals and from Ealing Save Our NHS held a lively lunchtime rally in Lyric Square Hammersmith on Saturday May 4th to celebrate the saving of Charing Cross and Ealing Hospitals as major acute hospitals.

However, speakers at the rally who, in addition to campaigners from Hammersmith and Ealing included MP Andy Slaughter and Steve Cowan leader of H&F Council, condemned the scandalous plans by H&F health bosses to cut more than £30m in this financial year from the local health budget.

Initially people in the borough are facing cuts to dementia services, stroke provision, cardiology services, dermatology services and gynaecology services in the community. It is also proposed that financial savings will be made by cutting back night hours from Hammersmith Hospital Urgent Care Centre and by cutting medical hubs from the current three to 2 or even 1. And, on top of all this, GP after hours funding is being cut. The rally condemned these cuts as entirely unacceptable attacks on health provision.

Mention was also made of the digital service, Babylon GP at Hand which campaigners have just learned is taking out more than £20m and rising from local health budgets, thus undermining GP and other health services in the borough.

On a bright afternoon passers-by listened to speakers, took leaflets, signed petitions and engaged with campaigners. In particular passers-by enjoyed campaigners singing and a lively improvised communal dance. The high point was a die-in staged by SOH campaigners – many bloody and bandaged - demonstrating the damaging effects to our health were these cuts to go ahead.










Wednesday, 27 March 2019

WE'VE WON

Today in parliament (26/03/2019) the Secretary of Health Matt Hancock announced that the closure plans for both Charing Cross and Ealing hospitals contained in the cuts & closures plan known as Shaping A Healthier Future have been withdrawn  We've won. Its not been easy taking on a well funded posse of spin doctors, management consultants and political ideologues but many thousands of people have done just that and after a 7 year fight we've stopped a closure plan that was downright dangerous. Everyone has done their bit whether that's signing petitions, challenging bureaucrats in meetings, running street stalls , demonstrating, fundraising or delivering & displaying posters. Tonight we should feel really proud of ourselves and celebrate our collective achievement.

Of course there are still huge problems: The £30m primary & community cuts planned for H&F, the state of disrepair in our hospitals, on going understaffing & under resourcing coupled with the threat of privatisation by the likes of Babylon and Virgin. Some may have seen the laughable attempts of local conservative MPs and councillors to claim responsibility for a victory they have consistently done their best to sabotage  It's also true that the government could change it's mind and come back with new closure plans in the future.

So we'll have to keep campaigning - we've proven today that campaigning works. But for tonight let's just celebrate a victory won by lots of different people (including you) working together to Save Charing Cross Hospital.

Kind Regards AD(SOH chair)

https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/08822533-8e7f-4b91-bbee-21407e5445e0.

Ealing and Charing Cross A&E closure plans scrapped - BBC News
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-47708750

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
By
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

NEW YEAR - MORE NHS CUTS




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".

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