Health Scrutiny requests the CCG and NHS Property Services to sort out the Colyton Health Centre charges dispute with the GP Practice
My item at the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee yesterday led to the committee requesting the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group as well as NHS Property Services (the landlords) to get together with the Seaton and Colyton Medical Practice to sort out the excessive service charges demanded by NHSPS.
When ownership of Colyton Health Centre was handed over to NHS Property Services, maintenance charges soared while actual maintenance deteriorated. The matter is going to Health Scrutiny next week.
Seaton and Colyton Medical Practice have been fighting a long-running battle over rapidly rising charges for the Health Centre. Total maintenance charges rose from £5556 in 2015-16 (the last year before NHS Property Services took over) to £15,422.66 in 2016-17 and £34,657.39 in 2017-18, with the threat of their topping £40,000 this year. As users will realise, these are ludicrous figures for a building the size of a small bungalow, and the Practice is contesting them.
At the same time, actual service under the maintenance contract has been lamentable – the Centre was still without hot water last week after the boiler broke down in June. The Practice has brought the matter to my attention and I have put it on the agenda of the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee next Tuesday (pp 87-90).
NHS Property Services is a company set up by the Government to manage the NHS estate, with a mandate to charge commercial rents and, where appropriate, sell ‘surplus’ property. The Health Centre was handed over to the company in 2016, along with our community hospitals, when the RD&E took over our area from the North Devon trust.
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Report to be presented to Tuesday’s Health Scrutiny meeting shows Devon NHS continuing to let down patients with cancer and those needing ‘elective’ surgery. Where is the urgency to improve patients’ experience, when they are faced with life-threatening and life-changing conditions?
A report to be discussed on Tuesday provides alarming evidence that the NHS in Devon is continuing to fail patients with serious conditions, both cancer patients and patients who require what is classified as ‘elective’ surgery. On both counts, Devon yet again scores worse than the national average.
It shouldn’t need emphasising that with cancer, delays cost lives. With many other conditions, delays cause needless weeks and months of additional pain and suffering, with serious impacts on patients and their families.
The Government’s long-term failure to fund the NHS is primarily responsible, and staff shortages – exacerbated by Brexit (which is driving away European doctors and nurses) -make the situation worse.
Yet it is difficult not to feel that Devon’s NHS leaders (in the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership) are complacent about these failings. Once more, damning figures are buried in the middle of a report whose main focus is the overall Winter experience in 2018-19.
Where is the urgency to improve patients’ experience of our NHS, when they faced with life-threatening and life-changing conditions? When will the Health Scrutiny committee call the NHS to account for these failings?
THIS IS WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
Cancer – time to treatment ‘Performance against national cancer waiting times standards for first definitive treatment within 62 days for urgent referrals showed significant variation throughout the year, with performance at Devon level consistently failing to meet national targets.’
Over the year, the figure varied from 68.4 to 80.2 per cent, against a national target of 85 per cent.
Cancer – time to see specialist ‘The time taken for patients to see a specialist after urgent referral for a suspected cancer within 2 weeks of an urgent referral improved during Winter, with overall performance at Devon level reaching an in-year high-point of 89.5%, but still failing to meet the national target of 94% of patients being seen within 2 weeks of urgent referral.’
In fact, the figures show that March 2019 was the best month of the last year, during which the figure varied from 80 to 89.5%.
Referrals to treatment within 18 weeks ‘We continued to see a deterioration in the proportion of people being referred to treatment within 18 weeks, dropping to 80.5% by the end of the year.’
Stagecoach are consulting on bus routes in our area – an opportunity to improve links to RD&E as well as Beer-Exeter? Your opportunity to comment.
Stagecoach are proposing to route the 9A via Beer – shouldn’t they also reroute it to stop at the RD&E? Currently older and sick people using this route have to take a second bus to get to the hospital.
There are many buses going on its current route in Exeter via Heavitree so there would be no loss of service within the city.
Also a bus between 07.30 hrs and the next one at 10.00 hrs would be much appreciated for the same reason – getting to early appointments at RDE.