Who is running our GP referral system and the latest NHS news – ESON newsletter 11/03/19

There is still no sign of North West London NHS getting its hands on the capital money they need to upgrade other A&Es and develop services to replace Ealing Hospital’s A&E and beds, so it’s time they abandoned their Shaping a Healthy Future plans, once and for all, as our latest petition calls on them to do. Meanwhile the maintenance bill for some hospitals is pretty eye-watering, in the £100’s of millions and their finances are looking really grim. Please read on for more news and views.
Latest NHS figures show waiting times are increasing:
The latest figures for waiting times at Northwick Park & Ealing Hospital A&Es(London North West University Healthcare Trust) show less than 70% of seriously ill/urgent patients (called Type 1) were seen within the 4 hour target, which is 95% of the time. The figures for all the hospitals across North West London put together were much not better, with around 77% of patients only being seen within the 4 hour target.
However, if you put all the A&E attendances together, which includes waiting time at Urgent Care Centres (called Type 3 A&E) the picture looks much better with London North West at 86% and North West London at over 90%. So you can guess which figures North West London NHS bosses prefer to use!
The picture for England as a whole for the 4 hour target is 84.4% for all A&E waits and 76.1% for Type 1 only.
Thanks to Colin Standfield, local NHS researcher, for the figures and for the two very useful graphs which illustrate the picture since 2013 so well.
Next Street Stall – Sat 16th March in West Ealing:
Our next Stall will be from 11.00- 1.00pm near Sainsbury’s in West Ealing. We will be giving out our latest leaflet please add link to latest leaflet here which promotes our Petition to abandon the ‘Shaping a Healthy Future’ plans to close Ealing Hospital’s A&E and 100’s of beds, and bring back our Maternity and children’s acute services. The Stall will also have our brightly coloured ‘Save Ealing Hospital’ posters and car stickers. It would be lovely if you can join us for an hour or so.
Please let everyone you know they can now sign our petition to abandon ‘Shaping a Healthy Future and fund Ealing Hospital online –
Ealing Save Our NHS is also planning a Save Ealing Hospital Public Meeting in late Spring – so please watch this space for more details.
ESON Campaign Meeting – Tuesday 19th March:
Roy Willis, from Ealing Social Care Action Group is our Guest Speaker and will be talking about the problems facing social care users and carers in Ealing.
We will also be discussing plans for our Public Meeting in late Spring, the latest news on Ealing Hospital and our NHS and other ideas for action. It would be lovely to see some new faces.
7.30pm in Northfields Community Centre (tea & coffee provided)
Private company ‘Optum’ – now manages Ealing GP Referrals:
Did you know ‘Optum’, part of global private company United Healthcare have a contract with Ealing’s health bosses (Ealing CCG) to run the GP referral system, called the ‘Referral Facilitation Service’. Strangely their name doesn’t seem to appear on any referral letters?
We have heard a number of stories about patient’s referrals being rejected, delayed or not being referred to the intended service. A recent case study about ‘Optum’ in Ealing has also raised concerns about ‘Optum’ having access to our medical records and how this could be used.
Ealing Save Our NHS has now written to Ealing CCG, using the Freedom of Information Act, with detailed questions about how Ealing’s GP Referral Service is working.
You can read our questions here.
A&E 4 Hour waiting time to be scrapped:
A recent article in the Times has revealed that NHS England wants to scrap the A&E 4 hour waiting target, claiming it does not promote the most up-to-date care. However, this is hotly denied by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine who oppose the plans.
Dr Taj Hassan, of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “In our opinion, scrapping the target will have a near-catastrophic impact on patient safety in many emergency departments that are already struggling to deliver safe patient care.
Let’s be very clear. This is far from being in the best interest of patients and will only serve to bury problems in a health service that will be severely tested by yet another optimistic reconfiguration.”
If the target is removed, it could be replaced by a focus on treating more seriously ill patients faster and potentially making people with more ‘minor ailments’ wait longer!
The article from the Times can be read here