Monday, April 16, 2012

Minutes of meeting held on 13 January 2012

Minutes of meeting held on 13th January at Havering Town Hall

Attendance: B Archer, D Breading, K Darvill, J Evens, B Howe, P McGeary, D O’Flyn, A Walker. H Zammett

Apologies A Rosindell, L Scott

1) JE provided a report back from the public meeting held on 11 December
2) Discussion of way ahead, HZ presented the paper below which stimulated a discussion on way ahead.

United we stand, divided we fall

The strongest strategy is for the campaign to promote the idea of putting all local resources together to provide a focus for monitoring the progress [or not] of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust  [BHRUT]

The most powerful body is the Health Scrutiny Committee, as it has statutory rights:

  • to call in witnesses from local NHS bodies
  • make recommendations which NHS organisations must consider.   

The Health and Social Care Act 2001 requires NHS organisations to consult with health overview and scrutiny committees when considering substantial development of variations in services. 

They will be forming a working group on 16 January, the role of which will be to monitor and scrutinise the performance of BHRUT.

The second most powerful body is the LINK.  This is the organisation whose role is to represent the public in communicating with the NHS with the purpose of improvements being made. 

Again, this has statutory powers:

  • It can ask for information or making reports and recommendations, all of which must be responded to within 20 working days
  • It can visit services to see what they are doing
  • It can tell overview and scrutiny committees what it has found and get a response from them
  • If necessary, it can report directly to the Department of Health


That the LINK join the Health Scrutiny Committee for the part of their meeting dealing with current progress [or not] of BHRUT.  This would be well publicised so that the public can attend to make their representations and ask questions.
Watch out for smoke and mirrors

As you know, Andrew Lansley, the Care Quality Commission [CQC] and the Independent Reconfiguration have made it clear that none of Health for North East London’s plans can go ahead until the quality of care at Queens and King George Hospital [KGH] have improved.

In spite of constant assurances of transparency and openness from health authorities in north east London, recent events have shown that previous underhand and devious tactics are continuing.  This has resulted in the current confusion about what is happening in our local NHS, particularly with regard to maternity and to a lesser extent, A+E.

We need to know exactly what is going on so that we can see whether or not real improvements are being made.  This can only be done by the Health Scrutiny Committee Working Party demanding specific facts:

A          CQC Action Plan

This lays down the measures which Queens and KGH must undertake, with targets, in order that improvements in care are achieved.  This is based on the 73 recommendations which the CQC laid down in order to bring this about.

B          Specific Data

Detailed data is needed on:

STAFFING                     Joiners, leavers, total number, establishment, agency, bank,
                                    Medical staff by grade split

CAPACITY                    List of operational wards, bed numbers

PATIENT DATA            Readmission rate, length of stay

MATERNITY                 Numbers of natural, planned and emergency caesarean births
                                    Numbers of newly recruited midwives who stay after initial training

A+E                              Number of ambulances turned away from Queens and KGH
                                    Number of patients not seen within 15 minutes

C           Information about neighbouring hospital trusts

Current emergency measures show that what one trust does impacts on others.  If services are to be reduced at KGH we must ensure that adequate capacity is available close by. 

Whipps Cross Hospital is a key part of Health4NEL’s plan.  However, the plan makes no provision for the fact that Whipps is merging with Barts, the London and Newham hospitals and is unsure of the local health service provision which it will be providing in the future.  The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts agreed to 620 beds at Whipps for 2010/11.  Instead between April 2010 and September 2011 the number of beds reduced from 551 to 428 – approximately 200 beds less than planned.

The London Hospital   There is much spare capacity in this new PFI hospital – reports vary from 240 “mothballed” beds to 5 spare floors.  Planned caesareans for Redbridge women were undertaken there over the Christmas period

What the campaign can do now

We know from the unanimous vote at the emergency Council meeting that our councillors support the views of the campaign.  However, with the complex and confusing situation regarding the NHS and their other work, they probably are not fully aware of the situation. 

We can encourage residents to contact their councillors about the importance of giving the Health Scrutiny Committee all the support it needs to ensure that the real facts about our local NHS are known.  Also to request public involvement via the LINKs presence at the Health Scrutiny Committee meetings as well as publicising these meetings and encouraging residents to participate.

After all, many believe that insufficient improvement will take place to allow the Health4NEL plan to be implemented.  We need to make sure that this is clearly evident ENDS

3) It was agreed that AW write to Averil Dongworth on the following points:
a) Ask Averil Dongworth, the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Executive to produce a monthly report detailing how she is working towards meeting the targets set in the CQC report. This report to be published on the Health for NE London website along with waiting list and medical staffing figures.
b) To seek an assurance that the two month deadline for cesarean sections to be brought back into the Trust to prevent women having to travel to Hackney is on track to be met.
c) Ask for A&E temporary closures to be published on the Health for NE London website within 48 hours. Never again should people rely on the bravery on an ambulance driver speaking out at a public meeting to find out Queens A&E had to close to ambulances because it could not cope.
d) To invite Averil to meet us on a quarterly basis for a discussion of her report

4) AW to write to MPs requesting they meet with NHS senior management re the current unsatisfactory performance of our NHS

5) It was agreed to hold a public meeting in the summer in Havering and an autumn meeting in Redbridge

6) Date of next meeting 13 April (later changed to 20th)       

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