“We need a better plan”- report on Huddersfield hospital cuts public meeting

Sorry for the delay in reporting on the Huddersfield public consultation meeting on the proposed hospital cuts. This is the first installment, the rest should follow shortly.

Greater Huddersfield CCG public consultation meeting, John Smith Stadium

Steve Ollerton, Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body Chair
Alan Brook, Chair, Calderdale CCG Governing Body
Mark Walsh, Chief Officer, Calderdale CCG
Carol McKenna, Chief Officer, Greater Huddersfield CCG
Owen Williams, Chief Exec, Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT)
Dave Birkenhead, Medical Director, CHFT
Janet Youd, Nurse Consultant,CHFT
Mark Davies, Emergency Medicine Lead, CHFT

Steve Ollerton
Opened talking about his 4 day old niece, a Huddersfield lass happily born at CRH
Snide comment re. parking at CRH
Challenges: quality, safety, patient experience, staffing, ageing & changing population, financial pressures& challenges
Up to 50% to go to urgent care instead of A&E
CRH as ‘hot’ site – financially driven

“I am making a better health service for the whole population.”

Need to design future with fewer GPs – he can only deal with the problem in front of him, the Government is not delivering on more GPs

Carol McKenna

Need to make sure it is all fit for purpose before implementing any changes
October – decide what to do & develop implementation plan to determine pace
Business case sets out what needs to be done

Lady from audience

If there are insufficient services in place and it’s unfeasible, what will you do if services are not in place?

Carol McKenna

We won’t make changes until we’re sure it’s safe.

Steve Ollerton

There were 20 questions at Calderdale, we can do better than that.

1) Jean Booth (audience)

1 or 2 babies have died on the Elland bypass. There is increasing traffic. What will be done to manage that? Has it even been considered?

Janet Youd

We need a dedicated paediatric A&E service

Jean Booth

That’s not the question. What is being done about traffic?

Janet Youd

I’m here to answer clinical questions.

Steve Ollerton

Calderdale Council are making it a dual carriageway. We are confident more lives will be saved with the changes.

Owen Williams

It is clear transportation is an issue we have to face. It’s not clear we have the answers yet. Need honesty in the situation. The ambulance service are here tonight, but probably can’t answer properly now. There is an assurance, the process won’t be allowed to carry on by commissioners or Department of Health if there is no answer to important questions at a point in time. It won’t be treated lightly.

Alan Brook

There is work to get under the data.
Looked at journey times with both Huddersfield and Halifax as the ‘hot’ site
Working with ambulance service – they’re committed to working with us to transport people safely
A lot is not in the gift of the NHS to solve
We’re working with local authorities to ensure the infrastructure meets the needs of the new model.

2) Barry Sheerman

Why, for months, did we think Halifax would close, not Huddersfield?

Carol Mckenna

2 years ago we were in a different situation. We’re in a different place now. Mentioned Monitor & the financial position. In light of a worsening financial position both locally and nationally, we’ve had to re-look at all the options.

3) Mike Smith

Is this a genuine consultation or the great and glorious telling us plebs what is going to happen? Under the proposals there will be no A&E in Kirklees. The CCG should resign en masse. We begrudge paying back £771million for the PFI.

Steve Ollerton

I agree with some of what you say. The consultation is not a sham. We’re very open to what you have to say.

4) Dr. Barbara Brown

It is rare to call in an A&E consultant, 90% of cases are dealt with by junior doctors.
Too tied in with national planning
Agree there should be 24/7 consultant cover. What we have is inadequate, but so is this plan
Some of your answers don’t meet the professional standards to be expected from people being paid as much as you
It is feasible to get a better plan
Managers should complain re. PFI
The problems could be solved with more flexibility
Steve, you’re not very popular with your GPs
Steve, you’ve been heard to say 40,000 signatures won’t stop this.

Mark Davis

I can’t answer all your questions. I’m a doctor, not a manger or finance person. There is a lack of middle grade doctors. They are the ones that keep us safe overnight. Without middle grade doctors, the service is not safe.
Clinically, we can’t have 2 safe, quality A&Es . I go to bed crossing my fingers that everything is okay overnight.
At least ½ of those going to A&E can be treated elsewhere. It’s about making things better for you.

5) Dr Mohammed, paediatrician

I totally disagree with this. I am embarrassed with this consultation. The document says transport will have a negligible impact on patients. ??
PFI – the cost is not included In this document
Urgent care, p23 – is basically a 1st aid centre. It’s embarrassing for the 21st century. It will offer blood tests and x-rays – all available in refugee camps. Huddersfield people deserve better.
This is good enough reason to scrap this plan.

Alan Brook

The Keogh review talks about A&Es and at least the same number of urgent care centres.
A&E is very old fashioned
Now we have specialists, not one doctor for everything
The system doesn’t work over 2 hospitals
It needs to be integrated
We’re trying to offer the best we can in difficult circumstances
It will be an improvement on now
We wouldn’t propose anything we don’t believe is an improvement.

6) Barnsley SOS group

Very concerned re. patient safety
Barry Sheerman’s comments were disgraceful
Barnsley A&E is failing to meet target times. Additional patients will lead to increased waiting times and deaths
The ambulance service is struggling, how will they cope with an extra 10,000 hours? Have resources been put aside to pay for this or will it lead to even worse times?
It’s all Tory policy

Carol McKenna

We are in continued dialogue with Barnsley
Need to look at the results of the travel analysis, the figures are out there
Barnsley Hospital will respond as part of this consultation
We will talk to Yorkshire Ambulance Service as it will need investment.


What representations have been made re. ambulance service

A – they will be at joint overview & scrutiny tomorrow,

8) Joyce Wilson

Why can’t a town with a population <250,000 have its own A&E?

Steve Ollerton

A District General Hospital serving ¼ million is not enough for its own A&E, we’re looking for at least ½ million.

9) Ted Casey

After the Rochdale closure, there have been numerous cases of ambulances having to wait to hand patients over. What is the current waiting time at Halifax and how will this be addressed with double the patients?

Mark Davies

Not as good as we want, but not quite an hour. We will get a new, state of the art department with all the staff needed at Calderdale. Expect waiting times to improve.

10) Richard Diaper, accountant

Is PFI the prime driver? If so, how is the new Huddersfield centre going to be funded? The business case says there are financial restraints. Have these proposals been subject to independent perusal?

Steve Ollerton

2½ years ago, we were looking at quality before finance.

Owen Williams

Say we get to where we need to work with the DoH and treasury
It could be PFI 2
DoH & treasury may allow us to borrow and give us some money for rent
Capital sum from DoH & treasury.
If we get to this stage, the DoH & treasury will decide which route.
Forget HRI as an option; there has been under investment in the building and asbestos. 2 weeks ago, a sewerage pipe burst. It’s not just PFI, HRI needs £100million pounds spent on it over the next 5 years to last 15 years.
I don’t know how the money will work out.

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