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“Shaping a Healthier Future” is the name of the process for changing the functions of the 9 acute general hospitals in NW London. Our earlier story “Stilettos and hatchets at the Civic Centre” reported on the public hearings of the Mansfield Commission into the Shaping project at Brent Civic Centre on 9 May.
Since then Rob Larkman and other leaders of the Shaping team invited BPV to discuss the situation. After a useful meeting on 30 June we have had extensive correspondence with the team, urging them to be much more open with the public about what is going on. Our latest letter of 02 September calls for them :
- To publish a summary version of their implementation business plan without delay; we believe that it will require a capital investment of over £1 billion;
- To make major improvements to their website so that it contains up to date papers, information about patient and other participants in the formulation of plans and is interactive;
- To fulfill the statutory duty to involve and consult genuine patients and their representatives in proposals for the healthcare to be commissioned and not merely lay members on the NHS payroll and similar.
Recently we heard from colleagues who attended the Imperial Trust board meeting that in informal talk afterwards a very senior person on the board suggested that Shaping a Healthier Future was dead in the water. This chimes in with the impression BPV gained at our 30 June meeting that everything is going very slowly. It must be relevant that £1 billion is a large amount of investment for an increasingly cash-strapped NHS to make.
If there is a slow down in progress in implementing the Shaping plan, there are still urgent decisions to be taken locally about the future of Central Middlesex Hospital(CMH) and we have pressed for a meeting of the CMH Partnership Board in order to put patients and public in the picture.
Robin Sharp 17th September 2015