Thursday, 20 October 2016

The future of Sidmouth's hospital >>> "Until we can absolutely ensure that we have got social care right, we should not look at unnecessarily closing community beds that some people will have to use."

A huge amount of noise is being made about the proposals to cut the number of hospital beds in Devon:
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's hospital >>> "Hospital inpatient beds are essential to any community"

East Devon's MP has something to say:

MP Hugo Swire raises concerns about plans to cut community hospital beds in Sidmouth

19 October 2016 Eleanor Pipe

‘We are in danger of putting the cart before the horse’

Sir Hugo Swire argued against community beds cuts and criticised a consultation process that he says unfairly disadvantages elderly people yesterday (Tuesday).

East Devon’s MP called a parliamentary debate - attended by the majority of the county’s MPs - to raise concerns about health care ‘reforms’ - under which Sidmouth stands to lose all 24 of its inpatient beds.

Sir Hugo said the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) proposals to cut community hospital beds posed a danger of ‘putting the horse before the cart’ if adequate alternative care provision is not in place.

Speaking in Westminster, Sir Hugo argued Devon is being ‘unfairly targeted’ in the nationwide drive to plug an NHS deficit and argued Sidmouth has an aging demographic with a high proportion of over-85s, making healthcare paramount. He said: “The community is hugely supportive of our local community hospitals. Many local residents over the years have donated significant sums to the hospitals themselves. In Sidmouth, this is more than £5million. I will talk about the consultation process and the lack of documentation. As I understand it, the consultation process has been overwhelmingly carried out online. Elderly people - who may have no access to the internet and who are disproportionately likely to be affected by the changes - are therefore disadvantaged.”

Sir Hugo acknowledged figures quoted by health bosses which state a move aware from hospitals towards home-based care would be more cost efficient. He said: “However, we are in danger of putting the cart before the horse. Until we can absolutely ensure that we have got social care right, we should not look at unnecessarily closing community beds that some people will have to use. Equally, I am nervous that, just because we have well-supported community hospitals across East Devon, we are being targeted unfairly, so as to rebalance the books across other parts of the county. If we are reducing the number of hospital beds, it is absolutely essential that the social care system is able to compensate for that loss.”

In response to issues raised, Philip Dunne – the minister of state for the Department of Health – referred to the need for change to plug a predicted £398 million deficit by 2020/21. He said: “It has come out of the investigations leading up to the consultation that every day more than 500 people in north, east and west Devon are being cared for in a hospital bed who do not need to be there. That is at the heart of the challenge that we face not just in Devon but across the country. It is important, when we come to look at the recommendations arising from the consultation, that we take into account the capacity that will need to be created in social care to provide alternative models of care if the number of beds is reduced.”

The consultation document can be viewed at www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk, as well as libraries, GP surgeries, hospitals and leisure centres.

MP Hugo Swire raises concerns about plans to cut community hospital beds in Sidmouth - Home - Sidmouth Herald

His political rivals see things differently:

Tories attempt to hoodwink us over NHS funding. They craftily altered the definition….

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 1 Comment by Claire

Our PM says she will give the NHS £10bn and there is no more money in the coffers to pay for vital patient care, maintaining hospital standards, departments or even retaining beds.

But look at this link from the National Health Service Executive, reporting from yesterday’s Health Select Committee meeting.

The truth is that the Conservative health ministers’ claims of funding an extra £8-£10bn are actually more disingenuous than I thought. I understood it was based on “effiicency savings” made by NHS trusts of £22bn… but conservative ministers have actually changed the definition of health spending in order to give a falsely inflated figure to the media.

Didn’t they do that with the benefits budget, in which they included pensions, to falsely inflate it and demean it as “bloated.”

With the NHS (and other public services) in meltdown, I really hope these politicians can sleep at night.

Here’s the article.- 
NHS cash cut giving us a ‘bigger hill to climb’ in face of rising demand


1. At 07:27 pm on 19th Oct Phil Wakely wrote:

Forgive me if I am being extremely naive, but the way the Tories are treating the NHS is an absolute classic Privatisation scenario. The ‘rules’ to privatise any public service are to…............
1. Starve said organisation of cash and investment;
2. Ensure the public is angry;
3. Get your own MPs to start ‘objecting’ to generate an apparent sense of sympathy;
4. Come up with apparent salvation in the form of any of a) public share subscription; b) franchising; c) any other offer of cash.

Examples…..... British Gas; British Rail; Water Authorities; Royal Mail, etc

The only way to stop this is to rid us of the Tories - provided they haven’t gerrymandered the constituency boundaries before the next election.

Tories attempt to hoodwink us over NHS funding. They craftily altered the definition... - Claire Wright


20 OCT 2016

Hugo Swire says he is “fighting for” Exmouth and Sidmouth community hospitals. Though his idea of fighting for them whilst suggesting the NHS must economise, is somewhat disingenuous.

Neil Parish, whilst fighting for his own, says MPs should also be fighting for all of them.

Parish is right.

What happens if you live in Sidmouth and Exmouth and Sidmouth hospitals are full?

What happens if you live in Swire’s constituency and yet your nearest community hospital is in Parish’s constituency?

What happens if your hospital is closed because of infection? What happens if your hospital is closed for repairs?

What happens if the RD and E has a major incident on the M5 or Exeter Airport and has to ship out the least ill patients to other areas to cope?

People do not live in isolation and do not get sick in “efficient” places.

We need ALL our community hospitals for ALL of us everywhere.

Though East Devon’s MP, living as he does in mid-Devon and usually in the constituency on the odd Friday (when he fills his diary with photo opportunities and meetings from which he excludes the district’s county councillor) will quite likely never experience these choices.

Swire on the NHS in Parliament - prepare to be shocked
Swire says no hospitals will be closed ... how does he get that idea?
Neil Parish: what do you have to say about NHS bed closures?
← Claire Wright on local NHS

One thought on “Why is East Devon’s MP cherry-picking only his own community hospitals to save?”

Paul F says:
20 Oct 2016 at 11:04am

Some possible reasons:

1. He knows that he is never going to win more funding, and some hospitals will have to lose their beds (or as we normal people would say “close”). So if hospitals have to close, it should be other constituencies, any constituency other than his. Nothing to do with logic, or analysis of impacts, or needs. Just so long as they are not in his constituency and won’t affect his votes and his chances of retaining his seat.

2. If hospitals still close in his constituency, he can wring his hands and say that he tried his best.

3. By accepting the cuts in funding and not making major waves, he keeps he record sheet clean with the party leadership, maximising the chances of his return to the front benches (even if it is at the expense of the colour of his nose).

I leave it you you to decide how likely these are. And if you disagree, please post your own reasons.

Why is East Devon’s MP cherry-picking only his own community hospitals to save? | East Devon Watch

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