Mansfield Commission Report slams hospital plans

Brent Patient Voice welcomes the findings of the Mansfield Report. BPV Chair, Robin Sharp, said: “We are pleased that Mansfield endorses the extensive evidence that we and many other independent people submitted. Why has the NHS greeted it with silence?” 

The Report of the Independent Healthcare Commission for North West London under Michael Mansfield QC was published on 2nd December. It brings no comfort for the NHS chiefs in our area – and none for patients either.

The Report says that the Shaping a Healthier Future programme is “deeply flawed”. Launching the Report Michael Mansfield said that the planned reforms provide “no realistic prospect of achieving good quality accessible healthcare for all and any further implementation is likely to exacerbate a deteriorating situation.”

The Commission calls for the programme to be halted, for the decisions to close the A&E Department at Central Middlesex Hospital and the Maternity Unit at Ealing Hospital to be reversed, for the increasing size of the population in NW London to be properly established and factored into future planning, for the so-called “Implementation Business Case” to be published and for there to be a new public consultation on the plans which they believe to have changed significantly. They suggest that the local authorities should consider seeking judicial review if the NHS press ahead with the programme in current circumstances.

However we are deeply disappointed that neither the eminence of Michael Mansfield nor the extent of public concern revealed by the evidence have moved the NHS authorities responsible for Shaping a Healthier Future to be sensibly open about the current state of the programme or its likely costs.

Commenting further, Robin Sharp said “Our fundamental criticism of the whole initiative is that the NHS in NW London has broken its promise in the consultation document that out of hospital services will be in place before changes are made to hospital-based services. Two A&Es and one Maternity unit have closed. Where are the openings to take their place?”

In order to be constructive we propose:

  • That the NHS should publish an intelligible version of the Implementation Business Plan for Shaping as it now stands, with outline costs, as is normal for any major public project;
  • That full consideration of the future of Central Middlesex Hospital be resumed, including the option of restoring its acute status with a fully-functioning A&E, bearing in mind the inadequacy of a stand-alone Urgent Care Centre there and the continuing intolerable situation at Northwick Park;
  • That Council officers be instructed to work with GLA statisticians to provide reliable estimates of the size of the current Brent population and growth rates, taking account of births, deaths, net migration and planned major developments;
  • That in collaboration with all partners Brent CGG produce a clear account of their Out of Hospital Strategy, including the role of the new GP networks, to restore confidence in this vital missing element of the Shaping programme;
  • That full and meaningful patient consultation and involvement should be integral to all future consideration of these proposals.

Brent Patient Voice 5th December 2015

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