Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The future of Sidmouth's hospital: getting the figures right

There has been widespread opposition to proposals to cut hospital beds in Sidmouth and the wider County:
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's hospital >>> protesting at the NHS public consultation: reports 

Meanwhile, there seems to be confusion over these figures have been put together:

Claims the criterion for bed cuts in eastern Devon is flawed

21 November 2016 Eleanor Pipe

Sidmouth representatives fight for town’s inpatient beds

Claims that Sidmouth hosptial lacks accessibility for carers - being used as justification for potentially shutting its inpatient beds - have been challenged by the town’s county representative.

Councillor Stuart Hughes has questioned the criterion used by health bosses to determine proposals, under which the town stands to lose all of its inpatient beds. He spoke out following a public meeting last week where the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) outlined its case for cutting 71 community hospital beds across the region.

Cllr Hughes said: “The consultation document makes it look as if Sidmouth is difficult to access, when, in fact, on the research I have done, it has by far the best geographical spread for access by public transport, which most carers actually take to visit their loved ones and family in hospital.”

He provided a list of more than 30 bus routes to and from Sidmouth that stop in All Saints Road - approximately 60 metres from the hospital - and pointed out that the facility also has ample parking.

Cllr Hughes added: “I have also raised concerns over the so-called rapid response. Has the CCG taken into consideration the very likelihood of more winter weather events involving snow and ice where it would be several days before home help could access many patients?”

He questioned whether issues with flooding had been considered in the CCG’s plan to develop a more home-based care model and raised concerns about the chance of people in the town getting cut off.

Cllr Hughes said: “I believe that, for these issues alone, the Sidmouth beds should remain. As county councillor for Sidmouth, I am fighting on.”

Chairman of Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Comforts Fund Graham Vincent agreed the criterion is flawed.

He said: “The access by bus is good. We have 51 spaces in the on-site car park, plus all the parking in May Terrace and All Saints Road, so we have an excess of 60 car parking spaces. The hospital is in the middle of the town and so easy to reach. Sidmouth should not be in the preferred option [for bed cuts].”

Mr Vincent also pointed out that Sidmouth hospital is unique in having a junior doctor on site four days-a-week.

Claims the criterion for bed cuts in eastern Devon is flawed - Home - Sidmouth Herald

Today on-line, the Herald carries a part-response from the NHS authorities considering the cuts:

Health bosses refute claims incorrect data was used in East Devon hospital bed cut proposals

30 November 2016

Concerns raised after wrong postcodes published
Health bosses have refuted claims that incorrect data was used to determine which community hospitals in East Devon should stand to lose inpatient beds.

Concerns were raised about a public consultation process being run by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) after the wrong postcodes were published on its website.

These played a significant role in the criterion for determining which hospital beds should be cut, based on travel times and ease of access.

While the CCG’s documents have now been corrected, the mistake prompted concerns about whether the incorrect postcodes were used in the decision-making process.

A CCG spokesman said: “The postcodes were printed wrongly in the appendix when columns were transposed, but we can confirm that the correct data was used for the calculations.”

The public consultation runs until January 6, 2017, and the public is asked to comment on the four options – two of these, including the preferred choice, will see Sidmouth lose its inpatient beds.

View consultation documents and have your say online via: www.newdevonccg.nhs.uk.

Paper copies can be picked up from Sidmouth’s leisure centre, library, hospital, town council offices and pharmacies.

The CCG is hosting a drop-in event as part of its ongoing consultation on Friday, December 16, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, at Kennaway House, in Sidmouth, where residents are welcome to ask questions and leave feedback.

Health bosses refute claims incorrect data was used in East Devon hospital bed cut proposals - News - Sidmouth Herald

Community Voice on Planning: National Conference report >>> NIMBY – reality or slur?

CoVoP met recently to consider the mess that is planning law:
Futures Forum: Community Voice on Planning: National Conference reports >>> "Planning our fight-back"
Futures Forum: Community Voice on Planning: National Conference report >>> exploring the mess that is the current planning system

The conference was subtitled as a retort to the notion of nimbyism:
Futures Forum: NIMBY – reality or slur? >>> Community Voice on Planning: National Conference

Here is a further report from South-West representatives:


30 NOVEMBER 2016

“Communities across the South West have been suffering for some time from a planning system that all too often works against their interests while not serving the needs of the country.

Community Voice on Planning’s National Conference took place in Leeds recently and attracted delegates from as far away as Devon, over 20 groups across the South West being affiliated to CoVoP.

The South West has seen much recent inappropriate development: from building on the green belt around Bristol to unaffordable housing in St Ives and Salcombe. Building on Areas of Natural Beauty, on flood plains, prime farmland and public parks and swamping of green spaces around villages are further all-too-common examples.

Housing Targets are typically inflated and based on questionable methodology. And the current planning system encourages developers to land-bank, slow build-out rates allowing them to increase prices and exploit the 5-year land supply requirement to get even more planning permissions. Developers challenge planning restrictions through viability studies so that infrastructure or affordable housing needs are not met. And developers prefer to build expensive housing rather than the lower-cost houses that people actually need.

We, the undersigned, call upon the public as a matter of urgency to contact their MPs to change planning laws and halt the desecration of our green and pleasant land which is being sacrificed to the economic gain of a few developers and landowners, with public opinion ignored by councils and government.

Georgina Allen (Devon United) Jackie Green (Save Our Sidmouth) Stephen Henry (St Austell, Save Our Unspoilt Land (S.O.U.L.) Paul Adams, MBE (DefeND North Devon) Julie Fox (Your Kids’ Future Cornwall) Dr Louise MacAllister (Save Exmouth Seafront) Peter Burton (Our Cornwall) Mike Temple (East Devon Alliance) David Hurford (Pilton Residents Group) Ron Morton (Save Our Green Spaces)”

"We need to recognize that economic globalization, as previously practiced, is dead, which opens a space for the more resilient, localized approach"

Much of what has happened of late has been a reaction against globalization:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the new globalization
Futures Forum: Brexit: and globalization

Here is a piece from Rob Hopkins of the Transition Network:

Before President Trump, fetch wood, carry water. After President Trump, fetch wood, carry water.

By rob hopkins 18th November 2016

woodI watched the sun rise on the day Donald Trump became President Trump, sitting at my laptop, watching the clouds turn yellow, watching the results roll in.  I had barely slept the night before, tossing and turning, wanting to turn on my phone and see how it was going, but knowing that if I did so I would most likely get no sleep at all.  I had a feeling Trump was going to win.  And now, this morning, I still feel numb, stunned, horrified. There have been tears in my kitchen this morning. 
I’ve read many reflections on it, Jonathan Freedland’s probably being the most chilling.  I could, like many, write a blog about what it all means, or could mean, as many people are.  But that’s not what I feel moved to do. I want instead to share a couple of different reflections with you.
At a recent Transition Network team meeting, we had a fascinating discussion about the ongoing campaign at Standing Rock, and how many of us were feeling deeply affected by what’s happening there.  One of the team talked about how she was working hard to generate compassion for everyone involved, for the police as much as for the demonstrators.  Another said that he didn’t see that compassion had much of a place, that it was a situation that justified anger, that we need more anger, that anger was a powerful, and entirely appropriate reaction.
For me, it is an oddly Western notion that compassion and anger are polarities, incompatible and mutually exclusive things.  Having spent time around Tibetans, and Tibetan culture, I have always been very taken with the ‘wrathful deities’ who are so central to that philosophy.  Many different Buddhas have a ‘wrathful emanation’, what early visitors to Tibet saw as ‘demons’.  They are wild, horrific visions who, according to Exotic India Art, “symbolize the tremendous effort it takes to vanquish evil”.  Often surrounded by flames, they often carry ritual implements which symbolize wisdom and compassion.
The election of Trump, among the other emotions of heartbreak, fear, trauma and so on, is generating a lot of anger.  But on its own, anger is a volatile, unskillful energy.  Combine it with compassion, and with wisdom, and we have something far more skillful, and far more powerful. I saw wrathfulness in Van Jones’ powerful reflections following the election result. A deeply moving combination of speaking truth to power, clarity, rage and compassion:
I see it in the extraordinary work of our brave brothers and sisters, the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, facing militarization and brutality with resolution, strength and compassion. We all know what’s at stake here. Wrathful compassion is a powerful tool, and we need it now more than ever before.
A lot of people are asking “so what do we do now?”  My sense is that Progressives, whether on the left or the right, need to keep doing what we’re doing.  We need to stand in solidarity with those most likely to take the brunt of Trump’s policies, and recognize that the same lurch towards intolerance and insularity is happening elsewhere too, and across Europe.  We need to recognize that economic globalization, as previously practiced, is dead, which opens a space for the more resilient, localized approach we’ve been developing for years now, provided we can argue for it convincingly, model it in practice, and just get on with creating it in reality.
Above all, for me, Trump’s election speaks most to the death of imagination in our culture.  When faced with the convergence of all the threats, challenges and crises which you, as a reader of this blog, are only too familiar with, the best the United States managed to come up with is a President whose vision is about going backwards (“Make America Great Again”), and doing what has always been done, just more of it.  Really?  Is that the best we can do?  Especially when it’s a vision that only makes any sense at all when you airbrush climate change out of the picture (‘An Inconvenient Truth’ indeed).  I am reminded of a quote by Sylvia Plath:
“What I fear most, I think, is the death of the imagination…. If I sit still and don’t do anything, the world goes on beating like a slack drum, without meaning. We must be moving, working, making dreams to run toward; the poverty of life without dreams is too horrible to imagine.”
What millions of people are doing around the world, whether Transition, renewable energy, new forms of food production, new models of education or whatever, is about antidotes to lives without dreams.  We dream big, we unleash imagination. We do it beautifully.  With humour.  With care, kindness, compassion and yes, when needed, with wrath.  The late David Fleming wrote in ‘Lean Logic’:
“If the mature market economy is to have a sequel … , it will be the work, substantially, of imagination”.
But our imaginations, like our attention spans, are in ruins, due to a culture that doesn’t value imagination, an education system that suppresses and ‘educates’ it out of us, an economy that tells us that imagination is only of value when it enables profits to be made.  Perhaps it is the enabling of imagination that is one of the most important things we do in Transition. I want to end with another Buddhist analogy, and this blog’s title.
Before President Trump, we fetch wood and carry water.  We also build resilient communities, model new futures, create new enterprises, produce more delicious food, support each other, build connections. We speak truth to power in calling out the absurdity of assuming economic growth and increasing emissions on a finite and ailing planet.  We reimagine and rebuild local economies, scaling up our efforts, we weave imagination and playfulness through all that we do, work to meet our communities’ needs rather than those of big business, we resist racism, xenophobia and discrimination. We invest differently, tell new stories, celebrate together.
And after President Trump?  We do exactly the same.  Exactly the same.

Before President Trump, fetch wood, carry water. After President Trump, fetch wood, carry water. - Transition Network

A Celebration of the Sid Valley’s Trees >>> Protect - Improve - Expand!!

The Arboretum's event on Friday
Futures Forum: A Celebration of the Sid Valley’s Trees >>> kick-starting National Tree Week >>> Friday 25th November

... opened with Steve Potter talking about the yew:
Futures Forum: Celebrating the yew tree @ Radio 4's Natural Histories.... and @ the Arboretum's celebration of trees Friday 25th Nov

These are the parting words from Steve, who rounded off the evening with an overview of proceedings and a look to the future:

So what keywords lit our candles this evening?

Vision, witness, change, education, stewardship, community, caring, contribution.

John [Wilding of Clinton Devon Estates]  illuminated the Value of the forester - the arch-seer - someone empowered to see way beyond the average government..., a Capability Brown with vision of the future in context of current plans and their consequences.

And how squirrels - and other diseases impact our choices

Ruth [Worsley of the AONB's Legacy to Landscape] personified King John's Oak - fending off nibbling deer - without looking anything like its age! 900 years in three phases, like the moon goddess, and living 25x the lifespan of a contemporary human....

Brian [Golding of the Parish Church] noted the changing landscape of the parish church yard - like the King John's Oak, it's witnessed many changes.

Richard [Huntington of the Sid Vale Assn], Monica [Matthews of the Friends of the Byes] and Jo [Forsyth of Devon Wildlife Trust] enlightened us on local efforts to manage and anticipate change in our tree-scape and landscape - and the wildlife that integrates them.

Graham [Cooper on 'health'] reminded us of the sensory therapy of trees - reminding me of how every day we open our curtains and think 'wow!'

Louise [Woolley on bats] reflected that trees also support communities, of bats, birds and insects, yet another area where our contributions count - without effort our valuable resources vanish.

Laura [Goble, EDDC warden] linked us to wetter climate issues and how yet again trees are our friends, and that once again land utility has consequences.

Kate [Tobin of the Forestry Commission] and Claire [Wright of the Woodland Trust and Devon County] showed us that on a larger scale forestry is still a learning and educational as well as regulatory process, with macro-management of tree-communities and of epidemics within those communities. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.

The psalteries and lyres of Ancient Sumeria were made of yew, and we still value its charm as a veneer and as a spiritual icon.

Another thing hasn't changed tho, we still sing and celebrate communities of humans and communities of trees, and in that we celebrate our connection with our INTERNATIONAL pasts and futures.

Protect - Improve - Expand!!

Thank you - everyone - for making this a wonderful evening :)

See also:
Futures Forum: A Charter for Trees >>> 'bringing people together to celebrate the woods and trees at the heart of their communities and help feed ideas and stories into the building of the charter'

Brexit: and the new globalization

This blog has already looked at the issues around globalization raised by the referendum campaign:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and globalization

These issues were also raised during the US election campaign:

The new globalization: Brexit and Donald Trump represent a different backlash to free trade

Just as globalization has had a long history, so have reactions to it

The new globalization: Brexit and Donald Trump represent a different backlash to free tradeAnti-NAFTA protesters, Nov.13,1993 in St. Louis, Mo. (Credit: AP/James Finley)
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Globalization is under attack. The electoral victory of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote and the rise of an aggressive nationalism in mainland Europe and around the world are all part of a backlash to globalization.
In each instance, citizens have upset the political order by voting to roll back economic, political and cultural globalization. Support for Brexit came in large part from those worried about their jobs and the entry of immigrants. Similarly, the Midwest of the U.S. – the industrial heartland hurt by global competition – was the linchpin of Donald Trump’s victory.
But what exactly are these globalizations and why the discontent? A deeper examination of global integration sheds some light on how we got here and where we should go next.
The rise of the globalization agenda
The roots of today’s global economic order were established just as World War II was coming to end. In 1944 delegates from the Allied countries met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to establish a new system around open markets and free trade.
New institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and a precursor to the World Trade Organization were established to tie national economies into an international system. There was a belief that greater global integration was more conducive to peace and prosperity than economic nationalism.

The foundations of global economic integration, such as the creation of the International Monetary Fund in 1945, were laid after World War II as an alternative to economic nationalism and as a means to promote peace and prosperity.
archivesnz/flickrCC BY-SA

Initially, it was more a promise than reality. Communism still controlled large swaths of territory. And there were fiscal tensions as the new trade system relied on fixed exchange rates, with currencies pegged to the U.S. dollar, which was tied to gold at the time. It was only with the collapse of fixed exchange rates and the unmooring of the dollar from the gold standard in the late 1960s that capital could be moved easilyaround the world.
And it worked: Dollars generated in Europe by U.S. multinationals could be invested through London in suburban housing projects in Asia, mines in Australia and factories in the Philippines. With China’s entry onto the world trading system in 1978 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the world of global capital mobility widened further.
Global transfer of wealth
While capital could now survey the world to ensure the best returns, labor was fixed in place. This meant there was a profound change in the relative bargaining power between the two – away from organized labor and toward a footloose capital. When a company such as General Motors moved a factory from Michigan to Mexico or China, it made economic sense for the corporation and its shareholders, but it did not help workers in the U.S.
Freeing up trade restrictions also led to a global shift in manufacturing. The industrial base shifted from the high-wage areas of North America and Western Europe to the cheaper-wage areas of East Asia: first Japan, then South Korea, and more recently China and Vietnam.

The U.S. and Western Europe saw a rapid deindustrialization as China and other countries ramped up manufacturing, offering lower production and labor costs to multinational corporations.
scobleizer/flickrCC BY

As a result, there was a global redistribution of wealth. In the West as factories shuttered, mechanized or moved overseas, the living standards of the working class declined. Meanwhile, in China prosperity grew, with the poverty rate falling from 84 percent in 1981 to only 12 percent by 2010.
Political and economic elites in the West argued that free trade, global markets and production chains that snaked across national borders would eventually raise all living standards. But as no alternative vision was offered, a chasm grew between these elites and the mass of blue-collar workers who saw little improvement from economic globalization.
The backlash against economic globalization is most marked in those countries such as the U.S. where economic dislocation unfolds with weak safety nets and limited government investment in job retraining or continuing and lifetime education.
Expanding free markets
Over the decades, politicians enabled globalization through trade organizations and pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, passed in 1994. The most prominent, though, was the European Union, an economic and political alliance of most European countries and a good example of an unfolding political globalization.
It started with a small, tight core of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. They signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957 to tie former combatants into an alliance that would preclude further conflicts – and form a common market to compete against the U.S.
Over the years, more countries joined, and in 1993 the European Union (EU) was created as a single market with the free movement of goods, people and capital and common policies for agriculture, transport and trade. Access to this large common market attracted former Communist bloc and Soviet countries, to the point where the EU now extends as far east as Cyprus and Bulgaria, Malta in the south and Finland in the north.
With this expansion has come the movement of people – hundreds of thousands of Poles have moved to the U.K. for instance – and some challenges.
The EU is now at a point of inflexion where the previous decades of continual growth are coming up against popular resistance to EU enlargement into poorer and more peripheral countries. Newer entrants often have weaker economies and lower social welfare payments, prompting immigration to the richer members such as France and the U.K.
Cultural backlash
The flattening of the world allowed for a more diverse ensemble of cultural forms in cuisine, movies, values and lifestyles. Cosmopolitanism was embraced by many of the elites but feared by others. In Europe, the foreign other became an object of fear and resentment, whether in the form of immigrants or in imported culture and new ways.

Marine Le Pen, head of France’s National Front party, one of several nationalist political parties gaining power in Europe.
blandinelc/flickrCC BY

But evidence of this backlash to cultural globalization also exists around the world. The ruling BJP party in India, for example, combines religious fundamentalism and political nationalism. There is a rise of religious fundamentalism around the world in religions as varied as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.
Old-time religion, it seems, has become a refuge from the ache of modernity. Religious fundamentalism held out the promise of eternal verities in the rapidly changing world of cultural globalization.
There is also a rising nationalism, as native purity is cast as contrast to the profane foreign. Across Europe from Bulgaria to Poland and the U.K., new nationalisms have a distinct xenophobia. Politicians such as Marine Le Pen in France recall an idealized past as a cure for the cultural chaos of modernity. Politicians can often gain political traction by describing national cultural traditions as under attack from the outside.
Indeed, the fear of immigration has resulted in the most dramatic backlash against the effects of globalization, heightening national and racial identities. In the U.S. white native-born American moved from being the default category to a source of identity clearly mobilized by the Trump campaign.
Reclaiming globalization
Globalization has now become the catchword to encompass the rapid and often disquieting and disruptive social and economic change of the past 25 years. No wonder there is a significant backlash to the constant change – much of it destabilizing economically and socially disruptive. When traditional categories of identity evaporate quickly, there is a profound political and cultural unease.
The globalization project contains much that was desirable: improvements in living conditions through global trade, reducing conflict and threat of war through political globalization and encouraging cultural diversity in a widening cultural globalization.
The question now, in my view, is not whether we should accept or reject globalization but how we shape and guide it to these more progressive goals. We need to point the project toward creating more just and fair outcomes, open to difference but sensitive to cultural connections and social traditions.
A globalization project of creating a more connected, sustainable, just and peaceful world is too important to be left to the bankers and the political elites.
The Conversation
John Rennie Short, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The new globalization: Brexit and Donald Trump represent a different backlash to free trade - Salon.com

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The future of Sidmouth's Blackmore Health Centre >>> ‘endemic professional disrespect’

The future of the town centre surgery is very much at stake:
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's Blackmore Health Centre >>> doctors urge the public to support their bid to buy the surgery ahead of upcoming talks

Negotiations with the NHS are going badly:

GPs’ anger as talks on future of Sidmouth’s Blackmore Health Centre stall
11:47 29 November 2016

Eleanor Pipe

Sidmouth residents gathered at Blackmore Surgery to protest at the possible closure of the practice. Hugo Swire MP made his way through an angry crowd as he met with surgery staff to discuss the future of the practice.

‘We will await outcome of hospital beds consultation’ - NHSPS

Negotiations over the future of Blackmore Health Centre have stalled until a decision on the future of Sidmouth’s hospital beds is reached.

Sid Valley Practice partner Dr Joe Stych accused landlord NHS Property Services (NHSPS) of ‘endemic professional disrespect’ after what he says was another round of frustrating talks last week.

GPs have been battling to buy the surgery amid ongoing concerns for its future and announced their intentions to carry out badly-needed renovations to safeguard healthcare provision for the town.

NHSPS says it cannot sell the building while NHS services are required there and admitted it is now awaiting the outcome of a consultation on inpatient beds before progressing further.

Dr Stych criticised a failure of NHSPS to come back with documentation confirming resolution of billing errors – despite a request two months prior for the information.

He said: “I find it astounding that NHSPS attended the meeting with five managers to an audience with our patient participation group and MP (Sir Hugo Swire) without doing their homework.

“This endemic professional disrespect seems to be a feature of NHSPS operation, which is making progress challenging.

“Several potential options were discussed, but it became obvious in the meeting that nothing will progress until we know the future of our community hospital. NHSPS is aware that the GPs are strongly behind both keeping our hospital operational and having a modern town centre GP healthcare facility.”

Dr Stych said NHSPS this week began repair work on Blackmore Health Centre and called it ‘ludicrous’ for the company to be spending money when its plan is to knock the building down and build a new surgery – at a time when community services are under threat.

A spokesman for NHSPS said: “In order to ensure best value for the NHS and the taxpayer, NHSPS aims to take a strategic approach to estate management and we will await the outcome of the beds consultation to assess any opportunities it affords for the healthcare estate in Sidmouth. While the consultation is ongoing, we are continuing work on the options to provide the practice with upgraded facilities on the health centre site.

“Confirmation of rent and service costs for this year and last year is being provided to the practice this week.”

GPs’ anger as talks on future of Sidmouth’s Blackmore Health Centre stall - News - Sidmouth Herald

Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

"The only answer is an increase in the social care budget which would not only be good for patients but, ultimately, reduce the pressure on the NHS budget."

The future of social care is very much tied up with that of hospital provision.

And everyone involved seems to agree with this:
Futures Forum: 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."
Futures Forum: The Homecare Deficit: "An admission that 'care in the community' is failing miserably – at a time when care in community hospitals is being slashed beyond the bone."
Futures Forum: "Taking money from the NHS isn't going to solve the crisis in social care"

Including East Devon's MP:

East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire calls for increased social care funding in the region
24 November 2016 Eleanor Pipe

Concerns there will be ‘unacceptable loss of healthcare provision if hospital beds not compensated for’

East Devon’s MP called on the Government to increase social care funding in the region or risk an ‘unacceptable’ loss of healthcare provision.

Sir Hugo Swire spoke out in the House of Commons last week and raised concerns about plans to axe hospital beds without ensuring adequate measures for alternative care are in place.

He said proposals put forward by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which will see Sidmouth lose all of its inpatient beds – will only put the social care budget under increased strain.

Sir Hugo suggested that the only answer is an increase in the social care budget and called for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, to ‘seriously consider’ the matter before his Autumn Statement.

In a letter to Mr Hammond, Sir Hugo wrote: ‘I am not against a reconfiguration of our local NHS per se. However, I am concerned that we are putting the cart before the horse. Before removing the hospital beds, we need to ensure that the social care provision which prevents people from needing those beds in the first place is sufficient.

“As it stands at the moment, with council budgets for social care falling behind demand by £5billion nationally, I am concerned that the loss of hospital beds will not be compensated by the social care system, resulting in an overall and unacceptable loss of healthcare provision. This would be particularly damaging in East Devon, where 27.7 per cent of people are aged 65 or over compared to 17.7 per cent nationally.

‘In my opinion, the only answer to this complex issue is an increase in the social care budget which would not only be good for patients but, ultimately, reduce the pressure on the NHS budget.”

There was no mention of additional funding for social care in the Autumn Statement announced yesterday (Wednesday).

East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire calls for increased social care funding in the region - News - Sidmouth Herald

His political rival has welcomed his stance:

Hugo Swire asks for more funding for social care after all!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 0 Comments by Claire

East Devon’s MP has joined a rebellion demanding more funding for social care.

Mr Swire didn’t admit that he was planning to join a rebellion on this in his letter to me .....but I did ask him to ask for more money for health AND social care, as Devon’s budget is around £5m in the red.

It’s excellent news that Mr Swire is starting to oppose more unacceptable government policy. There are few government policies more contemptible than starving the NHS of money and plunging the most vulnerable people in society into difficulties, potentially leaving them without adequate personal care. There are too few carers who are paid very little. This is a big part of the problem.

Otherwise the deficit is largely down to rapidly rising demand - more older people with complex health and social care needs - and massive cuts to council budgets.

Here’s the article - https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/29/tory-mps-press-philip-hammond-over-nhs-and-social-care

And here’s my email to Mr Swire, sent earlier this month - http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_please_back_sarah_wollaston_and_urge_chancellor_for_more_nhs_and

Here’s Mr Swire’s reply to me, received last week - http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_disagrees_with_colleague_dr_sarah_wollaston_over_nhs_funding

Hugo Swire asks for more funding for social care after all! - Claire Wright

See also:
Futures Forum: The future of East Devon's hospitals >>> campaigning to keep - and expand funding
Futures Forum: The future of Sidmouth's Blackmore Health Centre >>> doctors urge the public to support their bid to buy the surgery ahead of upcoming talks

Brexit: and selling alcohol

How much Devon Buckfast fortified wine is sold in Scotland?
Futures Forum: Brexit: and selling Devon's Buckfast tonic wine

Indeed, how much Devon wine is sold in France?
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the wine trade

And how much Scottish whisky is sold in Devon - or France for that matter?

Foreign Office (FCO) on Twitter: "More Scotch Whisky is sold in one month in France than Cognac in a year. #GlobalBritain #BusinessisGREAT https://t.co/TZJsNHx0PY"