Claire Wright

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

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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

Claire Wright and I win a commitment from the County Council to work to save ALL Devon’s community hospitals, although the Conservatives can’t stop themselves adding get-out clauses

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In a hour-long debate in yesterday’s meeting, the Council adopted proposals which Cllr Claire Wright and I, the two Independent members from East Devon, put forward, in place of the original recommendation by the Cabinet.

IMG_0272The ruling Conservative group adopted (with a small addition) the wording of my amendment, which Claire seconded, which proposed to influence NHS decisions in the direction of retaining all community hospitals to be used as health and wellbeing centres for their areas, in place of the original Cabinet recommendation to merely seek ‘decision making appropriate to individual circumstances, including population need and the quality of building.’ 

This is an important change in direction by the Council, which is now committed for the first time to work to retain ALL hospitals, as Claire (who proposed the original motion) had requested. The Conservative leader, Cllr John Hart, insisted on adding the words ‘where appropriate’ to my proposal, which we opposed because it provides the NHS with additional leeway to close hospitals. Cllr Hart’s addendum was too much for one Conservative Councillor, Jonathan Hawkins (Dartmouth), who voted with the opposition for my amendment without this addition, in the light of his community’s experience of the closure of Dartmouth Hospital. 

The Devon Clinical Commissioning Groups could end this controversy with a clear policy statement that all remaining hospitals will stay open and will be supported as health and wellbeing centres for our communities. Until this happens, Claire and I, with the support of tens of thousands of people around Devon who are fighting for their local hospitals, will continue our campaign. On yesterday’s evidence, we are winning.

WATCH the debate online. 

Claire Wright sets up support group for people who are struggling with the Department of Work and Pensions, such as those on working tax credits or who are trying to claim PIP or carers allowance

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claireClaire Wright, my Independent colleague on the County Council, says:

“Hi, I have set up a support group for people who are struggling with the Department of Work and Pensions, such as those on working tax credits or who are trying to claim PIP or carers allowance, for example.

The first meeting is on Tuesday 21 August at 7pm, in the Institute, Yonder Street, Ottery. The meeting is primarily for people living in my council ward, however, I won’t turn anyone away.

Please help get the message out there by liking and sharing this post. Many thanks:

Claire Wright
Devon County Councillor
Otter Valley Ward”

Any demand for this kind of group in Seaton and Colyton?

Claire Wright warns on dangers of No Deal and backs a People’s Vote before the looming Brexit deadline – do we really want to leave when it will do all this damage, and there are no real benefits?

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Claire’s post: Leaving the EU with no deal now looks like the most likely scenario … here’s what you can do…

‘Prospect magazine has a very comprehensive piece this month on what will happen if we crash out of the EU with do deal – here’s the link… https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/thirty-six-things-that-will-happen-if-britain-crashes-out-of-europe-with-no-deal Meanwhile our unbelievably irresponsible politicians mostly seem not to care one jot that they are about to plunge the country into disaster.  Several – including those who have their eye on the leadership, like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees Mogg seem to positively welcome the idea.
‘I am doing my bit by campaigning with Devon For Europe, which is getting support all over the county for a People’s Vote on a final deal (or not as the case may be). Either way, we must have another vote, especially now it has emerged that the Leave campaigns broke electoral law, plus their links with American Trump associate fascist, Steve Bannon and Arron Banks, who bankrolled the campaigns with money obtained from highly dubious sources, mean that the whole shady business needs a laser light sweeping the entire operation.  If it brings Gove and Johnson down, I will be delighted. Their naked ambition, selfishness and ruthlessness has plunged this country into chaos, from which it will take many many years to recover. Sign up to a People’s Vote and Devon for Europe here – https://www.devonforeurope.org/

I’m talking tomorrow at The Beehive, Honiton – alongside @ClaireWrightInd – about my campaigning at Devon County Council for hospitals, cycle routes and road safety. Still some places free!

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‘TIME FOR A CHANGE IN EAST DEVON’ – the East Devon Alliance’s open conference, 10-1 (doors open 9.30). Speakers (apart from Claire and me) include EDA leader  and EDDC Councillor Cathy Gardner, Geoff Jung (also on EDDC) and Pam Barrett, Independent Chair responsible for the revolution in Buckfastleigh Parish Council. The inimitable Paul Arnott of Colyton, Chair of EDA, will preside. See you there!

Claire Wright reveals – CCG claims it isn’t in a position to give Health Scrutiny information on the winter crisis in Devon’s NHS

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CLAIRE WRIGHT, Devon County Councillor for Otter Valley, writes: I am really disappointed to report that despite me asking at the beginning of January for the winter pressures information to be available at the 25 January Health and Adult Care Scrutiny meeting, it is not going to be provided.

Given the avalanche of very worrying “NHS in Crisis” press stories I sent several emails to committee chair, Sara Randall Johnson, at the beginning of January asking for information such as delayed discharges, A&E waits, levels of norovirus, staff vacancies and various other pieces of information.

I am really disappointed to report that despite me asking at the beginning of January for the winter pressures information to be available at the 25 January Health and Adult Care Scrutiny meeting, it is not going to be provided.

I was told it would be published as part of the performance review. However, when the agenda papers were published last week, the performance review charts gave information until the end of November only.

I have since been told by the committee chair that a representative from the NEW Devon CCG claimed that they weren’t in a position to provide the information because it would give councillors an incomplete picture.

If this isn’t infuriating enough, winter pressures data is updated on a daily basis and circulated to NHS and social care managers. They have the information. And it’s as up to date as today.

The health scrutiny committee chair indicated during a phone call with me on Saturday that she thought this was acceptable and that this data not being provided until the March meeting was fine!

When I asked (as per the email below) for the data to be provided under ‘urgent items’ I was told the issue wasn’t urgent and there wasn’t time to get the paperwork out in any case.

The refusal to supply this information, is in my view, a deliberate obfuscation. An attempt to interfere with the democratic and legitimate process of scrutiny and the NHS should have been pressed to provide it for this meeting.

Here’s my email to chair, Sara Randall Johnson, sent last Wednesday (17 January).
……………………………………………………………………………….
Dear Sara

I am very disappointed that there will be no specific written report on winter pressures at next week’s meeting.

I think that most people, given that ongoing national crisis that the NHS is experiencing right now, would find it inconceivable that our committee did not have this important information to assess how our major hospitals are managing during winter.

I see that there is an agenda item for urgent items at the beginning of the meeting.

Can I ask that this information as I previously asked for, is included in the form of written reports from the four NHS acute trusts, as an urgent agenda item. This to include delayed discharges for the winter period and up until next week, A&E waits and numbers, staffing vacancies, levels of norovirus and all the other standard winter pressures reporting that the trusts do on a daily basis for their managers.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes
Claire

Pic: Demo at Totnes last month.

Hospital beds: public meeting with Claire Wright

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claireCLAIRE WRIGHT, the Independent County Councillor on Devon’s Health Scrutiny committee who proposed the successful resolution to refer hospital beds closures to the Secretary of State for Health, will be speaking at a public meeting NEXT SATURDAY, 18th March at 4.30 in the Colyford Memorial Hall (A3052).

Claire has campaigned tirelessly to protect the NHS in Devon, as has EDDC Councillor CATHY GARDNER, Leader of the East Devon Alliance, who will also speak.

They will be joined by Independent East Devon Alliance candidates MARTIN SHAW (Seaton & Colyton), PAUL HAYWARD (Axminster) and PAUL ARNOTT (Sidmouth). All welcome.

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DOWNLOAD POSTER for this event.