Sunday, 20 September 2015

"Shaping a Healthier Future is dead in the water"

Making the case for Charing Cross to remain as a major hospital can be a frustrating process because of the bland corporate responses that are the standard replies to genuine questions from local campaigners. Whilst this kind of spin was in evidence at both Imperial  NHS Trust and H&F CCG meetings last week real differences also emerged giving us a glimpse into the  politics and pressures that are really shaping local health policy. 

Most surprisingly in an informal chat after the AGM Sir Richard Sykes (Chair of Imperial ) said :- "Of course Shaping a Healthier Future is dead in the water"  I did not have the opportunity to find out what he meant but perhaps an enterprising journalist or campaigner could ask him? 

 Sir Richard Sykes (Chair of Imperial ) 

In H&F CCG board papers there was a lot of criticism of ambulance and A&E waiting times at St Mary's and a clear unease about whether the assurances Imperial managers gave about future improvements in A&E services, cancer waiting times and operation waiting lists were realistic. The lack of capacity in relation to midwifery (following the closure of Ealing hospital's maternity unit) was such that the CCG have written formally to seek further reassurance about midwife staffing levels and maternity performance. There was seemed to be a perception that Harrow's community health services are being subsidised by the other boroughs (whose health outcomes are worse) and some unease about whether Harrow and Hillingdon councils were actually still supporting SAHF plans. Throughout there was an ongoing theme that Out of Hospital services were under developed. 

All this strengthens the case for retaining Charing Cross as a general hospital with an adequate number of acute beds but obviously we need to keep spreading that message far and wide. There are quite a few opportunities to do so in the next few weeks.

Give out Save Our Hospitals material at the People's NHS stall  Wed 16th & Thurs 17th Sept (11 - 2) 417 North End Rd (opposite Lloyds bank). We are getting a great response in Fulham

Join us on Friday 18th September at 12 noon when People's NHS are holding a Press Conference outside Nye Bevan house Clem Attlee Court SW6 7TB about threats to ourNHS  - both local and from TTIP.

On Saturday 19th September there will be our usual Lyric Square King St SOH stall between 2 - 4pm all welcome.

Future Diary Dates

Wed 30th Sept Imperial Board meeting 
Clarence Wing, St Mary’s Hospital (no time yet)

Thurs 1st October SOH stall 
outside CX Hospital 12 - 2

 Sun 4th October Anti-Austerity Coach
We still have places left on the coach up to Manchester to join the TUC Anti-Austerity Demo outside the conservative party conference. It's a 6.30am pick up from Westfield Shopping Centre Coach Drop Off Aerial Way (near valet parking sign & overground)and 7am from Brent Trades Hall 375 Willesden High Road. We may be able to help with transport for that early start. Tickets £20/£10 advance booking essential. Let us know if you'd like to come. If money for fares is a problem get in touch as we do have a small travel subsidy fund to make sure no'one is excluded through income from attending.
Wed 7th Oct SOH Public meeting
Sir Bruce Keogh Hall, CX Sports Club CX Hospital 7pm We've now got confirmation that as well as Dr Youssef El-Gingihy, East London GP and author of "How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps " we'll also hear from Mark Dearn, Campaigns Officer, War on Want. (To give adequate time for discussion we're postponing the film Sell Off to another date.) This is a brilliant opportunity to get local health staff involved and to work more closely with 38 Degrees groups. We're planning lots of publicity and if you can help with that do let us know.

Wed 14th Oct SOH Organising Meeting 
7.30pm Hammersmith Town Hall

Wed 21st Oct Healthwatch Tri-borough Community Mental Health Forum 
Cttee Rm 1 Kensington Town Hall W8 7NX

Sat 21st Nov Public Report back from Mansfield Commission 
2 - 4pm Hammersmith Town Hall (postponed again from Oct)

At the HealthWatch AGM last week we were really sorry to say goodbye to manager Paula Murphy who has made a massive impact on the quality of local health services. We look forward to working with her successor and with the newHammersmith manager Jason Tong. You can read the new report on local child & adolescent mental health services from HealthWatch  here.

Finally whatever your views of the new Labour leadership it's got to be useful that we have pics of the leader and deputy leader supporting Charing Cross hospital.


Student undergoes pioneering brain surgery at Charing Cross Hospital

iKnife is able to detect when surgeons are removing cancerous tumour from healthy brain tissue

Reuben Hill underwent pioneering surgery for a brain tumour at Charing Cross Hospital

A west London PhD student has undergone pioneering brain surgery at Charing Cross Hospital.
Reuben Hill, 22, was treated for a brain tumour at the Fulham hospital, where surgeons used two pieces of innovative technology to help them remove the tumour without damaging any healthy brain tissue.
Currently, one of the major obstacles to removing brain tumours is that the boundary between the tumour and healthy brain tissue is very hard to see even with an operating microscope. Surgeons must rely on numerous biopsies taken during the course of the surgery to help guide the removal of the tumour. This can sometimes mean healthy tissue is also cut away which can result in serious side effects such as the loss of speech or movement in some parts of the body.
Neurosurgeons Babar Vaqas and Kevin O’Neill used a specialist laser probe to detect the subtle differences between cancerous and healthy brain tissue enabling them to accurately map the tumour site. It was then removed using the iKnife, a specialist surgical tool which sucks in the smoke created by the electric scalpel used during surgery and instantly analyses it, confirming to surgeons that they are cutting away cancerous tissue, leaving only healthy tissue behind.
Reuben is one of the first patients in the UK to receive this treatment as part of a trial at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the only hospital trust in the country currently using these technologies.
Reuben said: “Being diagnosed with a brain tumour was a huge shock. When Babar and Kevin approached me about using these two innovative technologies during my surgery I jumped at the chance, especially as through my physics studies I understood how the laser probe would work to accurately detect the cancerous tissue.”
Reuben was diagnosed with a brain tumour and several other conditions after his university housemates found him on the floor at his student accommodation, where he is studying for PhD in physics at Imperial College, London.
Mr Babar Vaqas, neurosurgeon at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Being able to use both of these innovative technologies during delicate brain surgeries is considerably improving the accuracy of removing brain tumours. This means that patients are far less likely to suffer from the side effects of cutting away healthy tissue such as loss of speech.”

Hospital Chaos in NW London

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