Our latest newsletter:
As many of you will know Ealing Save Our NHS has been campaigning against local NHS bosses plans to place all our community health services in the hand of a ‘single provider’ in a fixed 10 year contract worth up to £1.3 billion pounds. The bidding process is coming to an end and despite two NHS Trusts saying the budget available to ‘transform’ delivery of community health services (out of hospital services), would not allow them to deliver safe, quality services for patients, Ealing CCG (local health bosses) are determined to press on with other bidders.
An announcement could be made any day on who the new provider(s) may be. We would have hoped there would be a pause for reflection but of course it’s not easy to stop a juggernaut! We have been in correspondence with these health bosses but they are at best totally evasive in addressing our concerns. Nevertheless we are determined to hold them to account and have written to them yet again.
We also have an interesting story on Virgin withdrawing from contracts in East Staffordshire and a shocking story about GP practices likely to close, so please read on….
ESON letter refutes health bosses claims of the benefits of Single Contract
In September ESON received a response from Ealing CCG to our written concerns. We have now written again to take up the CCG’s claims of the benefits of having a single provider of community health services; to obtain evidence of any assessments they have made of risks of the contract failing and the impact on Ealing Hospital; and to explain the perils of a fixed 10 year contract.
You only have to read this newsletter to see that in reality, based on those bidding, there is not one ‘single provider’ but many providers and likely to be more sub-contracting and an even more fragmented service. We say this because our local Trust (London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust), which manages Ealing Hospital, currently delivers around 80% of all community health services, but that link has now been broken as the Trust will not retain the services because it felt unable to bid on grounds of safety and quality of care.
The CCG has refused to provide any evidence that it is has fully assessed the risks of failure or the impact on Ealing Hospital & the London North West Trust, which we have detailed. We have called on the CCG to commission an independent impact assessment ,which has been done in other Boroughs, to try and protect our hospital and have asked Ealing Council for their help in getting this done.
You can read our letter here
Street Stalls and petitioning – all help very welcome
This Saturday 6th Oct we have a Street Stall in West Ealing (near Sainsbury’s)
11.00 -1.00pm with our latest leaflet and our ‘Stop the outsourcing of Ealing NHS Services’ petition. It would be great if you can spare some time to help.
We are aiming to get as many signatures as possible over the next few weeks. A valiant Team collected nearly 200 signatures in the early hours at the Ealing Half Marathon on Sunday.
We also have another Stall on Saturday 27th October, 11.00-1.00pm (Co-op Pitshanger Lane)
Who might be bidding to run community health services in Ealing?
We now know that West London (Mental Health) NHS Trust, who currently run mental health services in Ealing, but has dropped ‘mental health’ from their name, has put in a joint bid to run our community health services with other NHS Trusts. This was revealed in a letter to staff last month.
“We have…worked closely over the past few months with staff from across the Trust, from partner organisations (Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL), and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (THH), local GPs, third sector organisations and patient representatives to design a proposal”
They seem to be very defensive about their bid in the letter and very conscious of all the media stories, mostly from us! They are keen to emphasize how they can deliver safe, quality services, partly by cutting out ‘waste’ and re-organisation. A view clearly not shared by either, current community health provider, London North West or Central London Community Health Trust, who both thought the opposite! The West London NHS Trust bid with its multiple partners and Trusts shows what nonsense it is to claim that having a single provider will be so much more integrated and co-ordinated!!
Government policy and legislation has created this wasteful and costly contract culture that now pits Trust against Trust, ties NHS staff up for months preparing bids and increasingly edges the NHS towards a business culture, losing its focus on what really matters – the patients!
Hot News – Virgin pulls out of Single provider role in East Staffs:
One of the other likely bidders for Ealing community health services, Virgin Care, is in the news again. This time according to the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Virgin has partially terminated its 7-year single provider contract with East Staffordshire CCG.
Virgin Care took on the responsibility for the commissioning and integration of services for frail elderly patients and people with long term conditions (basically the East Staffs CCGs role!) Of course, Virgin ended up sub- contracting a number of services that they couldn’t directly provide, which included 111, out of hours services and hospital-based services. Virgin had been trying for 18 months to get the CCG to give it an extra £5m funding, but this was refused, so Virgin is no longer willing to commission or manage these services.
This means the East Staffs so called ‘single provider’ completely failed and leaves their CCG having to enter into new contracts with everyone except Virgin after all. Lots of time and money has been wasted instead of being spent on providing patient care – what a disgrace and farce! It also clearly shows how Virgin just walks away when it doesn’t suit the needs of the corporation.
GP practices in Ealing could close in next 5 years!
A recent article in ‘Pulse Today’ has revealed that according to Royal College of GPs research, over 750 GP practices could close in the next 5 years, as they rely on GPs close to retirement age. Unfortunately, Ealing is in the top 5 worse affected CCGs with a potential of 47,000 patients having to change practices. NHS England and no doubt our local NHS bosses, Ealing CCG will say we are doing well on recruiting new doctors. However, the Royal College of GPs says that there has not been sufficient recruitment and even if they had, you are at best replacing the most experienced GPs with newly qualified one. This is yet another uncertainty to add to the good reasons not to have a fixed 10 year community health service contract!
Well done SAGE for a lively and informative meeting:
Well done to Seniors Action Group Ealing for organising a very lively and informative Meeting on the impact on older people of the out of hospital services contract. It is good to see other groups discussing and debating this serious risk to our community health services. Unfortunately, no-one from the CCG was brave enough to come along and face any questioning. However, the speakers had no difficulty in making the case against the new single contract nor answering any questions. Dr Louise Irvine (Keep Our NHS Public) myself from Ealing Save our NHS, Julian Bell and Steve Pound MP, kept everyone entertained and there was very good audience participation. We were also all kept in check by some excellent chairing from Martin Eady.
NEXT CAMPAIGN MEETING – Tuesday 16th October
7.30pm in Northfields Community Centre.
You are very welcome to come to our friendly and informative Campaign Meeting. As well as the usual items on campaigning against the OOH Contract, the latest on Ealing Hospital and the Trust & future activities we need to have a full discussion on the Integrated Care Partnership ‘Consultation’ which closes on 26th October. If this goes through unchallenged it will drastically change the way health service are delivered and increase privatisation overwhelmingly. Eric has been working hard on this and will be offering suggestions as to how we can best respond.
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