Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Writing to Councillors re photo shoot for 18th August & Freedom of Information

This will go to Councillors in Havering, a similar version will go to Redbridge & B&D

Dear Councillors

Photo shoot re plan to close Cedar Chemotherapy unit at King George Hospital & transfer to Queens

Date: Saturday 18th August Midday
Location: Outside Redbridge Town Hall

Writing to you on the 9th August appears to have led to BHRUT issuing a statement about the Cedar unit which is the end of this email (1)

This statement is welcome, but it still leaves the questions I asked of BHRUT unanswered which are:

1 – Why were Councillors not consulted about the planned closure?

2 – Why is BHRUT breaching their own clinical services strategy, available on their website, to keep outpatients at King George?

3 – Why is BHRUT breeching their commitment to keep care close to home in their clinical services strategy?

4 – Will BHRUT provide full disclosure of the documents relating to the planned closure, especially the proposed staffing to patient ratios and the impact to the Queens car park?

5 – Can Joe Fielder, the BHRUT chair, provide an assurance that on his watch, no further cuts to services will take place until elected representatives and the public via board papers have been notified and consulted in advance?

The BHRUT statement implies the proposed closure of the Cedar unit is an improvement to their service. BHRUT also claim that the proposed closure of King George A&E will also improve the service to residents. The evidence is clear at that closing emergency admission beds at King George as preparation for the A&E has led to a worse service at both King George and Queens (2).

This begs the question of whether closing outpatient departments at King George will lead to a worse outpatient service at Queens.

BHRUT provide no evidence to support their claim that the reduction in service from five days to two days at the Cedar unit is a service improvement. So I hope you will agree that a five day a week service for the Cedar unit should be restored and the plan to close the unit abandoned.

If you cannot make the photos shoot, any quotes from Councillors for the press would be very much appreciated.

Requesting your help with regarding BHRUT statistics on Time to admit & Sepsis, Pneumonia, Urinary Tract Infections

On 29th March I wrote to BHRUT to information about the above statistics:

My argument for the information to be released relied upon was:

Page 35 at paragraph 4 (c) of a recent Redbridge Council Health Scrutiny working group report chaired by Wes Streeting MP suggests BHRUT keeps this information. I request BHRUT use the same method of calculation used to produce this information Wes Streeting's group.
I realise this information comes at a cost. However, yesterday the Redbridge Health Scrutiny committee called for two extra wards to be opened at BHRUT. It to be proportionate for the costs of this information to be allowed for the public to judge whether additional funding for our NHS is required “ end of quote

On 1st May 2018 BHRUT wrote to me to supply the following (3)

For the month of February

a) The average time from being seen by a doctor to a decision being made to admit: 

295 minutes 

b) The time taken to arrive at a diagnosis for the following conditions:

Pneumonia: 664 minutes
Sepsis: 673 minutes
Urinary tract infections: 446 minutes

However, since then in an email dated 7th August (4) BHRUT refuse to provide further monthly information and cast doubt upon the information supplied on 1st May 2018. I am seeking to lodge a “decision review”, should you be supportive of this information being provided each month I would be grateful if you could send me an email and I would use it as a reason for BHRUT to disclose the information I seek.

A recent Panamora concerning the conviction of Dr Hadiza Bawa Garba and the tragic death of Jack Adcock shows why it is important for sepsis and life threatening conditions to be diagnosed quickly.

Tracking these conditions each month is an essential part of monitering what is hapeening at King George and Queens and I would be grateful for any help you can provide on this point.


Andy Walker

(1) BHRUT statement on Cedar unit below

Dear Andy,
Following your recent email to several councillors and the questions you’ve raised on social media I thought it might be helpful if I provided you with the following information.
In June we consolidated the number of days over which we give chemotherapy treatment in the Cedar Centre at King George Hospital from four days to three. Since then, due to changes in demand and thanks to careful management of patients, we have consolidated this further to two days, ensuring we use our resources as efficiently as possible.
We are hugely proud of our recent track record in cancer. Just this week we hit the national standard for 12 months in a row. We’ve also introduced cutting edge technology to our radiotherapy departments that is putting us on track to being one of the most advanced cancer centres in the NHS.
We are always looking at ways to improve our serviceand are already liaising closely with Scrutiny Committee colleagues around any potential future proposals.
We will engage and involve our patients and public in any changes we would like to make to improve the quality of their care and their experiences at our hospitals,as we routinely do.     
All the very best.

(2) Various articles at over the years. An example is here

3 The BHRUT email extract is below of 1st May 2018 disclosing Sepsis and other information

4 BHRUT refuse to disclose information below on 7th August:

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