View From reported in December that Carnall Farrer, a consultancy firm run by Dame Ruth Carnall, who is head of our CCG’s ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan‘ – which is behind the proposed cuts to hospital beds – was being paid £40,000 a month by the CCG, i.e. nearly half a million a year. Now East Devon Watch reports that the same firm is taking even more in Camden.
It is completely unacceptable that top NHS officials like Carnall set up private businesses which cream off scarce cash from the service.
As the NHS and social care crises deepen, two key consultation meetings are both taking place in Ottery St Mary next month, the only venue for each in the whole of East Devon.
- The NHS is holding meetings across Devon to get people’s views on services at major hospitals such as the RD&E. It is all part of the SUSTAINABILITY AND TRANSFORMATION PLAN, which will involve major cuts and centralisation of NHS services across Devon. This meeting is on Monday 13th March 6pm-8pm – The Kings School
- Devon County Council is holding meetings about PROMOTING INDEPENDENCE, which is its name for getting ‘families, friends and informal social networks’ to support people who need social care that DCC can’t afford to provide (to attend this, email email@example.com by Tuesday 28th February). Wednesday 15 March, Tumbling Weir Hotel, Ottery St Mary. Facilitated event: 3pm-4.30pm, Drop-in discussion opportunity: 5-6pm, Facilitated event: 6.30-8.30pm.
Is it just coincidence that both these events are in Ottery? Or is it because Ottery has an Independent County Councillor, Claire Wright, who has been pushing hard on these twin crises, and bringing them to the attention of the public, while other councillors haven’t bothered?
I was born in 1950 so have been fortunate in my lifetime that the NHS has existed throughout that time. During my formative years I remember listening to the family discussions that took place concerning health provision that was available before the NHS was created. By and large my parents and grandparents feared having to seek health related help – they were all working class living in, what was then, a poor area of London.
My formative years, hearing stories at first hand, forged the views I still have today regarding the type of society I want to live in and the one I want to see for my children. They are both in their 30’s with good University degrees, good careers and living in London and Bournemouth, but cannot afford to buy a property yet and do not have the salary linked pension provision that I enjoyed during my career.
Where I live now in Seaton we are experiencing the same problem with the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that other areas of the U.K. are experiencing, namely giving options across a number of local hospitals with the aim of reducing bed spaces. The CCG has gone through the sham of holding public consultation events to be able to put a tick in a box when no doubt the decision had already been made when looking at options to save money.
To say that alternative services will be put in place to avoid people having to occupy bed spaces is just a future promise at the moment and, in my opinion, will not adequately tackle the problems that people will face in the future with people living longer, but, as we know now, having more multiple difficult health issues allied with possibly living at home alone or with another aged husband / wife or partner.
So who is the real culprit?
I lay the blame squarely at the door of Central Government and the current Conservative stance. The U.K. is the 5th or 6th richest country (depending on which statistic you believe). The Government decide how the expense cake will be divided and the priorities whilst servicing Government debt and hopefully growing the size of the cake. I want to see the NHS and Social Services receive a larger slice of the cake as we can afford to do that if the will is there to match the current and future needs.
I want to see everyone benefit fairly from a growing economy and in a society where health and social care is not subject to a post code lottery and a fair national tax system for individuals and businesses that encourages individuals and businesses to grow and develop without resorting to tax avoidance schemes or exploiting loopholes.
I know that the cost of the NHS and Social Services will grow due to an ageing population and I’m not advocating throwing more money at them without strong controls over how the money is spent, but I do want to see the same improved provision in the future regardless of where you live or your financial situation. As a country we can afford to do this without decisions being devolved to a local level that has resulted in the current situation and Central Government pointing the finger and blaming health professionals.
Although I am a Councillor on Seaton Town Council the views I have expressed above are my personal views. JR
The Royal College of Surgeons vice-president, consultant urological surgeon Ian Eardley, says that figures showing continuing over-occupancy of NHS hospital beds in England ‘suggest bed reductions have now gone too far in the absence of sufficient social care or community care alternatives.’
Exactly what we are all saying to NEW Devon CCG! Time to SUSPEND THE CONSULTATION AND GET ON WITH IMPROVING THE COMMUNITY CARE ALTERNATIVES.
The RCS leader added “We are now seeing increasing numbers of frail older patients in hospital because they have nowhere else to go. The lack of additional money in the autumn statement for social care and the NHS is only going to make this even harder.”
Neil Parish MP said he would press for additional resources – what will he do now that his Government has let him down?
3 December at 12:00–14:00, Exeter (Princesshay). ‘Anyone from all parts of Devon are due to meet as one and show a united front against the closures of our hospitals and beds. It follows on after a recent similar Sees Red Day in North Devon. So the theme will be for all to wear something RED. Please forward this far and wide and let’s get a huge gathering together to tell the health authorities that these cuts and closures are totally unacceptable.’ EAST DEVON people meet 11.45 at Civic Centre opposite bus station, Paris Street: