Cash-strapped Derby hospitals breached breast cancer referral deadline

SOS NHS Derbyshire report that Derby women who may have breast cancer have had to wait more than two weeks for a diagnosis.
Specialist hospital doctors are supposed to see patients with suspected breast cancer who’ve been referred by their GP within 14 days, but during April, May and June four out of five women had to wait longer.

Update: Derby and Burton University Hospitals Trust reported in early September that they have how created extra capacity and are able to offer patients a breast clinic appointment in less than two weeks.

Thank goodness the hospitals have managed to get back on track – but a three month breach of the 14 day referral deadline is not on!

Playing with people’s lives to cut NHS costs

Cancer Research UK says an early diagnosis

“can be the difference between life and death”.

But around 6,200 patients a year in the East Midlands are diagnosed with cancer when it has already reached an advanced stage – too late to give them the best chance of survival.
The charity says:

“There is a desperate shortage of NHS medical staff trained to carry out tests that diagnose cancer.
 “This means that efforts by the health system to diagnose and treat cancer more swiftly are being thwarted.”

Derby Telegraph article

Don’t blame the Hospital – blame the Government!!

The Derbyshire  NHS Clinical Commissioning Group – formed this financial year out of the merger of 4 Clinical Commissioning Groups in Derbyshire – plans and buys NHS services in the county.

It said that increasing referral rates meant that Derby and Burton University Hospitals didn’t have enough consultant oncology capacity.

SOS NHS Derbyshire accept that was certainly a problem. But it was caused by the lack of funds.

The campaign group points out that since 2000 the NHS has had 6 national plans and 10 reorganisations.  Much of this has been wasted on creating internal markets and hiving off the most lucrative sectors to private companies.

The ten-year NHS Long Term Plan talks about feeding another £20 billion into the NHS. However, that money is not enough. This is just a top up which masks the fact that the NHS budgets have been seriously underfunded over the last 9 years leading to a cumulative funding shortfall of about £48 billion.

Most of the extra money will go into paying off deficits and debts that local NHS organisations have fallen into as a result of the government’s long-term underfunding of the NHS

Slash and Trash 5 year operational plan 2019-24

Like all 44 Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships/Integrated Care Systems in England, Derbyshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership aka Joined Up Care Derbyshire, has been directed by NHS England to prepare a 5 Year Operational Plan 2019-24.

A summary of the Derbyshire STP’s August Board meeting discussion of the 5 Year Plan is utter gobblydegook. The paragraph on the STP’s finances says:

At month 3 All Organisations are reporting to deliver to plan at year end; the CCG has reported £10.6m outside of forecast outturn to NHS England on eight savings schemes, which are all in the system risk share agreement. There remains risk to the delivery of the financial plan which may mean that the second half of the financial year continues to challenging. The System Savings Group continues to review these risks and in particular is ensuring that the impacts of any financial risks within each partner organisation are understood to mitigate against unintended consequences.

What on earth does that mean? Apart from the fact that they’ve not got enough money.

SOS NHS Derbyshire has figured out that Derbyshire now has an impending round of cuts to the tune of £69m. The Clinical Commissioning Group is doing it best to not tell the public where these cuts are taking place.

SOS NHS Derbysire says,

We blame the government. And we blame the Clinical Commissioning Group because all they are doing is shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic, instead of shouting out that the problem is being driven by the Government and its efforts to cut funding and sell off the profitable bits of the NHS.

Amen to that.

One comment

  1. Same in NW London.

    On 28th August 2019 the Accountable Officer for NW London, Mark Easton, wrote a press release / open letter telling the public that the projected deficit for the current year had just shot up from £51M to £112M because of (1) increased demand for hospital care (non-elective) and (2) the costs of continuing healthcare. Despite three “Financial Recovery” meetings with the CCG we STILL don’t know where they propose to make cuts, and they won’t cover the deficit. Cuts just seem to “happen”, like the proposed closure of a 13-bed palliative care facility (Pembridge Hospice) which will save next to nothing, and go against the STP, 5 year plan, etc. to take care out of acute hospitals?!

    Please sign this petition:

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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