Consultation drop ins: more like them telling us what to think than asking

So far the Clinical Commissioning Groups have held hospital cuts consultation drop in sessions at Slawit, Sowerby Bridge and Shelley.

Here is what some members of the public have told CK999 about their experiences at the drop in sessions:

“Went to the Sowerby Bridge ‘consultation’ – more like them telling us what to think than asking.”
“One little contradiction – because they want pediatric outpatients clinics in both towns they say people want a local service. But for emergency care its ok to centralise in one place?”
“Dr Ollerton dismissed a question about about the risk of increased patient deaths from closing Huddersfield A&E, by saying that the study is outdated that found patient deaths increased with increased distance to A&E.”

This is the 2007 Sheffield University study by Jon Nicholl: The relationship between distance to hospital and patient mortality in emergencies. Dr Ollerton didn’t back that up with evidence – ie where is the update study that has found that this risk no longer exists?

“Think I really got on their nerves with the summary & conclusions of the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Senate Review which state – ‘the proposed model needs to be described with greater clarity, particularly detail about the workforce, in order to answer questions regarding the ability of this model to deliver the standards proposed’ and ‘further consideration needs to be given to the staffing of the Urgent Care Centres in order to ensure there is the correct medical and nursing skill mix and experience to safely stabilise a very sick patient‘ – they did their best to avoid making any sort of comment.”
“I asked, if after all the consultations & surveys were completed, & people were overwhelmingly against it what would happen? ‘It isn’t a vote’, I was told. So I asked if it would go ahead anyway, what was the point in consultation? She just smiled & shrugged.”
“The Clinical Commissioning Group couldn’t answer what had changed between now and last summer , to prompt the switch from a clear case to close CRH A&E to a clear case that it should be HRI A&E … Dr Wybrew said the difference was that two different sets of people had reviewed the finances …. she didn’t have an answer when I suggested that, in that case, it was likely that a third might come up with a totally different proposition.”
“I told the GP I debated with last night that rather than rubber stamping destructive national policy, they should be standing up and fighting for a properly funded NHS and he said he couldn’t disagree with the fact that we need that!”
“They should be incentivising to attract staff to provincial hospitals like HRI and CRH, and if they sorted out the exhorbitant pfi debt they’d have the resources to do just that” frown emoticon.
“I think they do sincerely believe in the merits of specialist centres but they need to wake up and realise that these well equipped and well staffed centres don’t improve outcomes for every emergency situation, nor do they function in isolation but require all the other parts of the NHS jigsaw – paramedic and ambulance services, bed management, GP surgeries and other community services etc – to be fully functional, to be able to deliver to maximum effect … unfortunately, with the whole of the NHS on its knees that simply isn’t going to happen!”
“It’s an over simplification to talk about specialist facilities – unless you can ensure the patient gets triaged correctly at any stage through this reduced service, deaths will rise – there will be no middle man to stabilise nor with the expertise to get the person to the specialist centre anyway . Red tape is crazy as it is – have these people tried to access specialist centre beds !”

People reported lots of talk from the CCG about the shortage of A&E consultants being the reason for closing HRI A&E, centralising emergency and acute services for life threatening conditions at Calderdale Royal Hospital, and building a smaller planned care hospital in Huddersfield.”

But as a recently-retired Calderdale & Huddersfield hospitals consultant told the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, the idea of building a smaller hospital because there aren’t enough staff is something straight out of Yes Minister, that Sir Humphrey would be proud of.

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