Month: November 2018
Shouldn’t we be looking again at community hospital beds, to support care-at-home model? Devon Conservatives squash recommendations of review chaired by Claire Wright
Claire Wright writes: A recommendation urging no further community hospital bed closures in Devon has been voted down by Conservative councillors on Devon County Council’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee.
The recommendation, which was debated on Thursday (22 November) was part of a set of measures set out in a scrutiny spotlight review aimed at supporting the care at home service (or rapid response) to be more effective.
Highlighted in particular as a challenging area were services for end of life care, which have been put under considerable pressure, especially since the loss of community hospital beds. … read on at Claire’s blog
Flybe crisis and Plymouth factory closure show the harm that Brexit is causing to Devon’s economy – I will be asking the County Council to support a People’s Vote to choose between Theresa May’s miserable deal and remaining in the EU
Just in the last week, Brexit has brought two big threats to Devon’s economy and jobs: Flybe faces insolvency and has had to put itself up for sale, and the German company Schaeffler, which makes parts for the car industry, has announced the closure of its Plymouth factory which employs 350 people.
It’s time to call a halt to this accelerating self-harm, which also threatens our farming, health, university and small business sectors – and has already seen living standards decline. I shall be asking the County Council on 6th December to support a new referendum in which voters can choose between accepting the miserable deal the Government has negotiated or remaining in the European Union.
@neil_parish completes his transformation from Remainer to Brexiteer, attacking the Northern Ireland backstop and calling for UK to default on its legal obligations
Yesterday in Parliament, Neil Parish MP said: There is much in the withdrawal agreement that I agree with, especially on food and farming, but it is not good enough as it stands. The Northern Ireland backstop threatens the integrity of the United Kingdom and weakens our negotiating position, and my farming instincts tell me that we should not hand over £39 billion before we get the deal. Please will the Prime Minister listen to these concerns and renegotiate the deal before we put it before the House?
On 23 June 2016 Neil voted Remain. Two days later he backed Boris Johnson for PM, then Andrea Leadsom. Yesterday’s comments complete his transformation to a Gove-style Brexiteer, demanding a renegotiation which will make things even worse than May’s extremely poor deal.
His statement that the ‘Northern Ireland backstop threatens the integrity of the UK’ is totally misleading. The ‘hard border’, which would come into existence without the backstop, would risk the return of violence to Ireland, and the threat of a hard border has increased support in Northern Ireland for unity with the Irish republic – this is what threatens the unity of the United Kingdom. But who in the so-called Conservative and Unionist Party really cares about Ireland, North or South?
His remarks on the £39 billion payment are just plain stupid – as Theresa May replied, ‘this is about the United Kingdom’s legal obligations. I hope that every Member of this House will recognise that the United Kingdom is a country that meets its legal obligations.’
These elements of the Withdrawal Agreement are necessary if Brexit is to happen, unless Neil wants a car-crash, chaotic Brexit. But they remind us of the huge problems which even an agreed Brexit will bring. Neil was right first time – the UK should stop the gigantic self-harm of Brexit, and give the voters a chance to decide to stay in the EU.
Let Communities Decide: along with over 850 other councillors, I have signed an open letter opposing government proposals to fast-track fracking
Our letter (with the full list of signatories) can be found here. Claire Wright has also signed, along with Jacqi Hodgson, our Green colleague in the Non-Aligned Group on Devon County Council (that’s 3 of the 4 members of our group), and also several Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative members (but apart from Claire and me, no one else from East Devon).
Hollowing out the local police service – new plans mean that East Devon will go from 9 to just 5 PCSOs in 2020.
See this story in the Midweek Herald. Currently just one officer and one PCSO make up the entire police force between Branscombe and the Dorset border. We can’t afford to lose our PCSO!
CCG proposals for Teignmouth, including a new health/wellbeing centre, relocating services to Dawlish and selling the hospital site, go to Health Scrutiny at County Hall on Thursday (2.15)
The proposal to be presented will include ‘a commitment to support the vision of integrated services in Teignmouth and the further development of health and wellbeing services in a new centre on Brunswick Street involving the co-location of the three GP practice sites, the health and wellbeing team and the voluntary sector.’
In order to deliver this vision South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (now merging with NEW Devon CCG) says it would need to:
- Relocate community clinics from Teignmouth Community Hospital into the health and wellbeing centre
- Relocate specialist outpatient provision from Teignmouth Community Hospital into Dawlish Community Hospital
- Relocate theatre services from Teignmouth Community Hospital into Dawlish Community Hospital
- Reverse the decision following the consultation to establish 12 rehabilitation beds in Teignmouth Community Hospital
- Close Teignmouth Hospital and sell the site for reinvestment in the local NHS.
The health centre will be built by private firm Health Innovation Partners and local people have been opposing the closure of the hospital (I was at their demonstration in June).
A patient tells me of waiting 11 months for hip replacements in @RDEhospitals – and it’s going to get worse this winter. The RD&E boasted of cutting ‘elective admissions’ by 5 per cent last year, but this is a shameful failing of the Trust and @NEWDevonCCG.
From a constituent: ‘I am writing to you with another example of the impact and stupidity of reducing beds in local community hospitals. I am presently on the waiting list for hip replacement surgery at the RD&E. This waiting list is currently 11 months, compared with the Government guidelines of 18 weeks.
‘During a follow-up phone call with the RD&E last week, I was told that winter health problems were already causing a shortage of beds and the knock-on effect will be further delays for people on waiting lists for serious surgery. Clearly, beds in community hospitals could have been used to help with winter health emergencies.’
Hip replacements are called ‘elective surgery’ and the RD&E Trust boasted earlier this year that it had reduced the number of these admissions by 5 per cent. As I pointed out to the Health Scrutiny Committee at the time, this might be something to be pleased about if lifestyle changes, etc., meant that people didn’t need so many operations – but the evidence is to the contrary. It has been achieved by lengthening waiting lists for patients who suffer pain and discomfort for months or even years on end.
The lack of priority for ‘elective’ admissions is one of the most shameful failings of the NHS in Devon, alongside the mounting delays in treatment for cancer. Both these problems are repeatedly brushed under the carpet by local NHS leaders.