Only £513 million required for starters

“On 14 December Brent CCG Governing Body approved a massive submission to HM Treasury asking for £513 million investment for Part 1 of the “Business Plan” to implement plans to run down Ealing Hospital and create “Hubs” across the 8 NW London Boroughs involved.

The public were allowed 30 minutes to contribute or ask questions. This is what I said for BPV.

I thank the Governing Body for making 30 minutes available for public comments or questions during this session. I am afraid that the rest of what I have to say will be more critical.

Sadly we are presented with yet another example of flawed procedure and a flawed case for change on the part of our NHS.

To begin with procedures, it is farcical that the Governing Body are set to approve a complex 250-page submission only 8 days after it was put into the public domain. Doctors on the Governing Body are very busy people with important clinical jobs. How can they have had time to read and understand these proposals?

It is also disgraceful that 7 out of the 8 NW London Healthwatches which make up the PPRG (Patient and Public Representative Group) for SaHF have offered quasi-endorsement for the document even though they admit that the public they are supposed to represent have not seen it.

We are told there will be public engagement in future, but is not this the wrong way round? Engagement should have been before the document goes to the Treasury.

Turning to the clinical case for change, it has been over 3 years since the “Better Care Closer to Home” strategy set out in SaHF was launched. It was supposed to be all in place by 2015. Where is the assessment to show that more care in the community has stopped people being admitted to hospital and reduced the need for acute beds? It is certainly not in the NW London STP (Sustainability and Transformation Plan). “If Better Care Closer to Home” works why are our A&Es among the most challenged in England. Why are Referral to Treatment (RTT) times on a downward trend?

We were told in the slide presentation that 27 Hubs across NW London are at the heart of this Business Case and that St Charles off Ladbroke Grove is an example of a fully functioning “Hub”. Can we please see a paper giving details of how this is working? As a patient of a nearby Brent practice who uses the Urgent Care Centre at St Charles I have to say that the existence of a Hub is a well kept secret. No-one has told me or my Practice PPG about it.”

Robin Sharp, Chair of Brent Patient Voice

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