Saturday, February 24, 2007

NHS Day of Action at City Hospital

Next Saturday (3rd March 2007) the City Hospital Supporters Group are holding a Day of Action at the front of the hospital on Trust property with the permission of the Chief Executive. There will be a marquee and at about 10am we will be joined by TUC members from around the Midlands on their way to the big Save our NHS Rally in the City Centre. Starting at 10.15am there will be some speeches, and we hope to have Khalid Mahmood MP among the speakers. There will be an opportunity for people who have not done so already to complete their consultation forms and the petition.

City Hospital needs you there to demonstrate your solidarity with our cause. The people who work there and the members of the community it serves have to be the ones that stand up and support it. Please come, even if it is for just a short time and bring your family, friends and anybody else that wants to support a great hospital doing a great job. The bigger our demonstration the more publicity our cause will receive giving us the best chance of being heard (you might even get a chance to be on TV!). Come and support City Hospital. You are needed now.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Ed Doolan Debate Proves Fruitful

There was an excellent debate on Friday's Ed Doolan show regarding the healthcare plans for Sandwell and the West of Birmingham. The panel was made up of six people, John Adler (Chairman Sandwell & West Bimingham Hospitals), Di Reeves (Sandwell Primary Care Trust) and Denise McKlellan(Heart of Birmingham PCT) who made the case for the proposals while Ken Taylor (Spokesman Ciy Hospital Supporters Group), Chris Rickards (Unison) and Judith Whalley (Royal College of Nursing) raised objections and concerns on the proposals. The panel was chaired by Ed Doolan himself and supplemented by an audience, many of whom were staff at the hospital and also some familiar faces from the Birmingham Mail debate which took place earlier this year.

Surprisingly the show started by discussing the longer term Towards 2010 proposals whose consultation finished last Friday, although John Adler assured Ed that points made today would be taken on board. As usual there was a general consensus among the panel that these proposals were a good idea although some concerns were raised over the number of beds and the standard of service that would be found in the planned community hospitals. This was unsurprising given that the debate took place at City because as mentioned before on this blog most of the opposition to the Towards 2010 proposals come from Sandwell residents who feel they are losing a hospital.

The debate then went onto the shorter term Shaping Hospital Services for the Future plans where I am glad to announce a victory for the City Hospital Supporters Group. For the first time John Adler gave a public commitment for a 24 hour Paediatric Assessment Unit, which was one of the main aims of the petition. He also said that the Trust were examining proposals for a 24 Surgical Assessment Unit, another aim of the petition, and would implement this if it was financially and logistically feasible.

A recurring theme in the debate was the climate of fear that exists in the NHS at the moment.
These accusations were not aimed at the senior management, but at "bullies at lower levels" as Judith Whalley put it. Ken Taylor pointed out that staff in the NHS are line managed, and are expected to follow the Trust line. Many doctors were frightened to speak up in opposition to these proposal because they were afraid of the consequences he said. Ed Doolan, who used to sit on the Trust board of the Children's Hospital, noted that this has been a problem in the NHS for years. In particular, Ken claimed that some doctors were even afraid to attend a meeting arranged with a local MP. John Adler stated that he was happy for this meeting to take place, and was happy for staff to say whatever they wanted about these proposals. I understand that since the programme a productive meeting between the group of doctors and the local MP has taken place.

A write-up on a debate like this would not be complete without me picking up Hugh Bradby on not one but two points he made on this show. The first one regarded his favourite excuse for the interim proposals, the European Working Time Directive (whose affect Ken Taylor assures us is being exaggerated). After spending a few minutes explaining how much more junior doctors we would have to employ to comply with this piece of legislation, and telling us how much it would cost if changes were not made, he concluded by claiming that the interim plans were being driven by clinical motivations and were not due to financial concerns thus contradicting everything he had just said! His other boo boo was as he pontificated that it would be better to stabilise a patient and move him to the correct facility rather than keep him at the wrong facility and try to manage the patient there. He seemed to completely ignore the point that currently we have acceptable facilities at both sites to manage emergency surgical and paediatric patients. It is the Trust that want to reduce these facilities at City and concentrate them at Sandwell, so the choice is really between being able to keep the patient at the same site where everything can be done or than having to move them to a new site after an arbitrary period of time. You do not need be medically qualified to realise that the former case here is preferable.

Some excellent points were made by the former chairman of City Hospital NHS Trust, Richard Steer, about the fact that whenever two Trusts merge the plan will always be to reconfigure services regardless of guarantees by the management and the Department of Health that services will stay the same during consultations on the merger. This was the case during the merger of Sandwell Healthcare NHS Trust with City Hospital NHS Trust five years ago, and is currently the case in the proposed takeover of Good Hope Hospital by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (if you want to take part in this entirely separate consultation, please click here). He also made an excellent point that since Birmingham Health Authority was split into four (now three) separate PCT's, there is no pan-Birmingham healthcare strategy, which is to the detriment of heathcare planning for the city.

Deidre Alden, chair of the Health Overview and Scrutiny committee on Birmingham City Council, made another good point that the healthcare proposals may affect people outside the Sandwell and West Birmingham area. If under the new plans the Trust fails to cope, ambulances could be diverted to Heartlands or Selly Oak which will have a knock-on effect on the services at these hospitals. Do not say you have not been warned - make sure wherever you live that you take part in the remaining consultation, Shaping Hospital Services for the Future.

Finally, on a lighter note I did chuckle at Dr Connolly's claim (did you know you have a 1-in-5 chance of seeing him if you have a heart attack in Sandwell or Birmingham City Centre?) that it took him 11 minutes to get from City to Sandwell. Not 15 minutes. Not 10 minutes. 11 minutes. Now I have done this route a lot and I would estimate it takes me a minimum of 15. Does anyone know what car he drives (in particular what is the size of the engine) and how on earth he managed so accurately to calculate this time?


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Reminder on Doolan Debate

Just a reminder that the Ed Doolan show is going to host a debate on Shaping Hospital Services for the Future at City Hospital this Friday (23rd February 2007) at 10am. It will be in the Wolfson Lecture Theatre of the Postgraduate Centre at City. Tickets can be obtained by phoning 08453 030 030. I believe you may be required to have a question to ask the panel.

Normally I would include a link to the City Hospital site map here but as you can see it does not work. The Trust paid a private firm £6000 develop this website to help advertise their services and compete for patients in the new patient-centred NHS, but they cannot even be bothered to check what they paid for works. We can only imagine what will happen when we give them £700 million for the new hospital and community facilities.

The Towards 2010 consultation that concentrates on the proposals to build a new hospital finished on Friday, but the consultation regarding the interim reconfiguration plans outlined in Shaping Hospital Services for the Future has been extended for another month until March 15th 2007. While it is great to be able to concentrate on the reconfiguration plans in this debate (which is after all the way the consultations should have been done, i.e. separately), it is very convenient for the Trust to not have to face the public again over the plans to build a new hospital in Smethwick. Despite what the Trust says, these plans are very unpopular in Sandwell and the only reason the opposition to Towards 2010 has not been taken seriously is that there is not an organised campaign highlighting these plans in the way the City Hospital Supporters Group has done for the other consultation. As I have mentioned on this blog before, the Trust has not even waited for the end of the consultation before putting the wheels in motion for the building of the new hospital.

On Friday, we have an opportunity to prevent the same thing happening with the interim reconfiguration plans.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

CHSG Response to Interim Plans



This document has attracted our greatest attention because it is about reducing services especially at City Hospital which is the much larger hospital serving the most deprived population. It is also the City Centre Hospital and its A&E Department has a fine reputation with some 100,000 plus referrals per year. Indeed the merger of City and Sandwell Hospitals was only approved on the 8th March 2002 by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health Yvette Cooper after Birmingham MPs had met with her presenting a paper about the importance of ensuring the continuance of City Hospital’s A&E Department in its present form. A letter was written by Ms. Cooper to the then Chairman of City Hospital NHS Trust Mr. Richard Steer and a copy is appended to this response. It is noted that the first condition in her letter states “will continue to provide the full range of clinical services to support local Accident and Emergency Services.” The second condition states “neither of them is under threat of closure nor is either expected to become under threat as a direct or indirect result of merger.” The third condition states “should there be proposals for service reconfiguration these will be the subject of feasibility studies involving key stakeholders, public consultation and national independent scrutiny. Furthermore in the future all NHS organisations will be required to consult local authority overview and scrutiny committees on proposals for service reconfigurations. These committees will have the statutory powers to refer those proposals to the Secretary of State if the consultation process is inadequate or the merits of the proposal are not in the interests of local people.”


· Moving inpatient emergency general surgery, trauma and children’s beds from City Hospital to Sandwell will adversely affect the service provided by City Hospital’s A&E Department.

· At present if a patient is seriously injured or has a serious surgical problem he or she may be brought to hospital in an ambulance or by relatives in a car. The patient is brought into A&E and is seen assessed and treated by the A&E Team. If surgery is required it can be performed as speedily as required on site by the duty surgeon and then the patient can move seamlessly to a Critical Care or High Dependency bed and hopefully on to an appropriate ward for full recovery. This is ideal patient care in the local hospital all under one roof. The community can depend on receiving high quality care speedily in their local hospital.

· If the emergency surgical and trauma beds were moved from City Hospital patients arriving there would have to face being patched up and then transported elsewhere which is not coherent medical care. How would they be transported and with what type of escort? Would doctors and nurses be required and if so how feasible would that be? How would that effect their risk of survival and recovery? Indeed the Trust state in their document that ambulances and GP referrals will be directed to Sandwell and presumably if they do not have beds to other hospitals further away. Although some of the geographical distances to these other hospitals may not be great the speed of access depends on having roads that are not blocked with traffic. Having blues and twos on does not mean that ambulances can fly over traffic jams. Again the relatives would have to travel further afield with many of them using a rather poor public transport system, or if they are more affluent in cars. The cost of travel on public transport is another important issue. If there were no duty surgeon at City with a support team then patients could not even be operated on there so would have to be exported to other surrounding hospitals Furthermore this would put patients with upper gastro-intestinal bleeding that may need surgical intervention at risk. This would mean the gastroenterological service moving to Sandwell with knock on consequences for medical patients coming to City Hospital as emergencies.

· What has been said in the point above also applies to children if their beds were moved from City to Sandwell. Can this be sensible for a hospital seeing nearly 20,000 paediatric referrals a year? Remember Birmingham is already short of general paediatric beds. Although we have the Birmingham Children’s Hospital this is a regional specialty hospital on a site constrained for space. There is great pressure on its beds and often patients are referred to City from BCH because they are short of beds. Indeed the shortage of children’s beds in the city has meant City Hospital has had to send children needing admission to New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton and Worcester. Is this good care for local people? Does it make sense to reduce beds in Birmingham further? Why are they offering a Part-Time 12 Hour Paediatric Assessment Unit when currently children can be seen at any time of the day or night and be fully sorted out? Could the planners be saying well at certain times of the day we see relatively small numbers of children so why provide a full service? We believe the people of West Birmingham would say every single child is precious and deserves the same level of care as every other so give us a 24 hour service with every child being treated equally. No doubt planners have children. Would they be happy for them to receive an inferior service because the child became ill at an inconvenient time? How many of these planners actually live in West Birmingham? The Trust are proposing an inequitable service for which there is absolutely no justification. City Hospital Supporters believe equity of care must be afforded. In fact it is our understanding that cost is not really the issue so why are they proposing a Part-Time Paediatric Assessment Unit????

· What will the changes give us asks the Trust in its consultation document?
Maintain local access they say but surely the true facts point to the very reverse being the case.

Tackle the urgent problems in some specialties. They refer elsewhere in the document to the European Working Time Directive for junior doctors, they also mention elsewhere Modernising Medical Careers and recruitment and retention.
In fact the doctors working in the relevant specialties at City Hospital assure us that recruitment of consultants, junior doctors and nurses is not a problem. They also state that concerns about the EWTD and MMC have been over-played by the Trust.

Change services to help deliver the vision for improved NHS care.
If services are being reduced as described above how can this relate to a vision of improved NHS care?

Apparently the main benefits of the proposals are to:

Improve clinical services and make sure they are safe and can meet modern day requirements..
This just does not square with the reality of what they are proposing.

Help attract and keep the best staff.
The only reason the Trust has lost staff is that they have deliberately reduced the staff complement by 540 including medical and nursing posts in an effort to reduce the financial deficit of circa £15 million. Furthermore when the Trust advertised for a qualified Children’s nurse at City recently there were 70 suitable applicants. I am reliably assured that there is keen interest in the consultant surgical posts becoming available in the Trust. There are plenty of men and women of great quality who relish working in the very challenging and worthwhile environment of City Hospital.

Enable services to develop and support the long-term vision for health services.
They are repeating themselves.

Let junior doctors work fewer hours and meet European Regulations.
Not an issue according to informed sources.

Make better use of resources including investment in new equipment.
Not supported by any evidence presented.

We now need to turn to the consultation process itself which is vexatious. In effect we have had two consultation processes rolled into one which is very confusing for the public. They were both launched on the 20th November closing on the 15th February. As a result of public pressure the consultation on reconfiguration has been extended until the 15th March.

In order for this consultation to be meaningful the people in the community not only need to appreciate what is proposed but understand the implications for their healthcare. We believe that expecting them to phone up for two booklets or try and download them or complete them online is just asking too much. On the 3rd February the Trust were approached by City Hospital Supporters Group and asked to place the green booklets “Shaping Hospital Services for the Future” on every ward and in every outpatient clinic. The response was an interesting one, they thought “the suggestion was a good one and they would check if there were enough copies left.” This response says it all? The people attending the hospital as patients and their relatives are the very people that will be most affected by the changes. Surely those are the people the Trust want to hear from? Many of the people around City Hospital do not have access to computers and the key reasons for them having poorer health than more affluent areas will seriously impair their ability to respond to this confused, poorly thought out and executed consultation process. The truth of the matter is that if they knew about, and understood what is proposed, it is very unlikely that they would approve it.


City Hospital Supporters Group believe that the Trust has not produced any convincing evidence for the proposed changes that would effectively downgrade services at City Hospital and undermine its A&E Department. We are firmly of the view that services should remain as presently configured, and then when the new hospital is built, provided it is of an adequate size both City and Sandwell Hospitals can move into it. This may take significantly longer than the six years forecast by the Trust. While the people of West Birmingham and Sandwell await their new hospital they deserve at the very least to continue to receive the current level of service
We believe that we have shown that this consultation process has been inadequate, and there are no merits in this proposal for the local people and it is certainly not in their interests. We believe that it would not stand up to national independent scrutiny and unless it is significantly modified it should be referred to the Secretary of State for Health.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

More Details on Doolan Debate

As I have mentioned on this site before, the Ed Doolan programme is going to bring a debate on the reconfiguration plans to City Hospital on the morning of Friday 23rd February starting at 10am. It will be in the Wolfson Lecture Theatre of the Postgraduate Centre at City. Tickets can be obtained by phoning 08453 030 030 and the lines opened at 10am this morning. I believe you may be required to have a question to ask the panel.

If you disagree with the reconfiguration plans and are able to attend we would urge you to take part in this debate. It is very likely that the Trust and PCT management will be out in force to show a united front from the managements, with plenty of "experts" defending their view. Those of us who have studied these proposals independently know that they are not telling the full story, but the listeners of the Ed Doolan show will not be aware of this unless you let them know.


CHSG Reponse to Towards 2010



The West Birmingham and Sandwell catchment areas are both extremely deprived especially West Birmingham, and they both have a great diversity of ethnic groups. These factors mean the population has more small for dates babies, more congenitally abnormal babies, a higher perinatal mortality rate, more hypertension, more diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, more strokes, more chronic lung disease, more cancer, more violent injuries, more self-harm, alcohol and drug abuse than more affluent and less ethnically diverse areas.

It makes sense for the areas with the greatest health care needs to have the best access to and provision of health care services both primary and secondary. To date there has been remarkably little investment in the health care infrastructure of the area.
City Hospital Supporters Group welcomes the proposed investment of £695 million in buildings but is concerned at the possible fragmentation of the investment and questions the impact this will have on the delivery of services especially in the secondary care sector.


· £200 million of the above figure will be invested in new and refurbished health centres which is good for primary care and this leaves £495 million for a new specialist hospital fit for the 21st century plus new community hospitals and community treatment centres on the current Sandwell General Hospital site, Rowley Regis Hospital, on the current City Hospital site and also at Aston / Perry Barr and at Sparkbrook / Springfield.

· The question is how much money does this leave for a proper hospital? A major concern is that it will not be enough.

· Will people still need to be admitted to a proper hospital in 2013? The very simple medical answer is yes of course they will. If you are seriously ill you need care in a proper hospital bed looked after by an adequate number of staff not too far from home. At the moment City Hospital has 700 beds when they are all open, and Sandwell has 400 beds giving 1100 beds in total. In the Trust’s summary consultation document they do not mention bed numbers. I understand there will be something over 600 beds which means a cut of about 500 on the present total of the two hospitals. This is a swingeing cut. However I believe there will be 200 to 300 beds in community hospitals. The bed numbers need to be explicit.

· Bed occupancy has to be a major issue. Currently in this Trust like others throughout the country we are practising industrial production line medicine. It is all about high turnover with low production costs in the best business tradition. The aim is to put the most patients through the least number of beds requiring the lowest number of nurses possible. It means bed occupancy figures of over 95% and even over 100% have been tolerated. This has led to all the problems that are now an every day occurrence. Patients pushed into any available bed, some patients admitted to a ward of the other sex, the need for draconian target times for patients to be admitted, with the Chief Executive’s P45 depending on meeting the targets, patients with infections being admitted inappropriately. The question is what is bed occupancy going to be in the new specialist hospital? If we had an occupancy of 80% and certainly not more than 85% like some of our continental friends we could avoid the awful problems mentioned above. Bed occupancy in the new hospital needs to be explicit.

· What about community hospitals? What is the record on these institutions in the UK?. Well surprisingly during the last 30 years or so every effort has been made to close down community hospitals. Why? They were found to be places where patients languished without a very good quality of care. The patients were transferred to acute hospitals so they could receive a full range of integrated care. Why are we revisiting the past?

· Fragmentation of the clinical service and lack of joined up care could be real problems with the new system being proposed. The more separate institutions that you have the more barriers there will be to the smooth journey of the patient from illness to health, the more travelling time for the health care professionals. Do we need so many community hospitals? It makes sense to have intermediate care or community beds on the City Hospital, Sandwell Hospital and Rowley Regis sites but do we need the others? Why not facilitate a lower bed occupancy at the new hospital by increasing at least potential bed numbers and sacrificing two of the community hospitals?

· Another very real worry not touched upon in the consultation document is to move more and more of acute illness into the community setting to be carried out by General Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners leaving the hospital to look after the seriously ill. This is a development which does not have a sound evidence base. It is in reality third world medicine chosen for its perceived cheapness rather than its suitability to a first world country and England’s second city. If it has not been chosen for the residents of Edgbaston, Sutton Coldfield and Solihull who are in far better shape why have it in poverty stricken West Birmingham? We need to remember that today’s mild or moderately severe illness effectively diagnosed and treated in secondary care with early discharge if appropriate will avoid a number of serious pitfalls.

· If the Birmingham Treatment Centre and the Sheldon Block are all that is eventually left of City Hospital it will leave the BTC with no on site support. If a patient presents with an illness requiring immediate admission, if another specialty is required urgently, or if a day case operation becomes complicated requiring more complex intervention and admission, presumably urgent transfer elsewhere will be the only option? Is this 21st century care?

· Lastly we do not believe the local community has been fairly consulted on what is proposed. They have only been presented with one option and the full implications of what has been proposed have not been explained. This is a community where more time and effort needs to be committed to ensure a truly meaningful consultation. What proportion of the population even know about the changes proposed? Furthermore the Trust have had two consultations running at the same time making it difficult to do justice to either.


The new capital investment proposed is welcome and desperately needed. The people of West Birmingham and Sandwell deserve and should demand a proper secondary care hospital with a full range of services on one site. This should have an adequate number of beds designed for an occupancy of 80-85%. Even if all the beds did not open from day one there should be space to open wards as they may be needed It should have a comprehensive A&E Department that at the very least can handle the emergencies currently seen at City and Sandwell Hospitals combined. It will serve 500,000 people and it should be able to do them justice. If the staff of that hospital have the right conditions they will deliver a magnificent service.

A nightmare situation that must not be allowed to happen is as follows. An unsupported Birmingham Treatment Centre on the Dudley Road site with a community hospital in the Sheldon Block. The rest of the hospital is demolished and the land sold for the rich pickings of developers. Sandwell Hospital suffers a similar fate. We are left with some inadequately sized hospital at a venue to be decided with several community hospitals that will be filled with those who have nowhere else to go. The dedicated staff providing a great service today, who are far more important than buildings will have long since left for greener, more sensible and coherent pastures.

A really good secondary care hospital with excellent health centres and primary care facilities and three community hospitals has surely got to be the way to go providing seamless care that is cost efficient. The development of primary care by the destruction of secondary care must not be allowed to happen.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

CHSG Press Release 13th Feb 2007

City Hospital Supporters Group of about 200 and growing comprises members of the community local to City Hospital and its staff. It has submitted its response to the document Shaping Hospital Services for the Future to the Health Scrutiny and Overview Committee of Birmingham City Council.

  • They say “moving inpatient emergency general surgery, trauma and children’s beds from City Hospital to Sandwell Hospital will adversely affect the service provided by City Hospital’s A&E Department to its local community.” The Trust deny any adverse effects. One senior respected consultant at the hospital states “the Trust’s plans make no sense.”
  • At the moment patients needing the above services can get them 24/7 at City Hospital. If that is no longer to be the case it is a worse service for local people. Worse means being taken to a hospital further away, maybe Sandwell but it could be a lot further. They point out that this will hardly improve the outlook of those seriously in need of care.
  • They are very critical of the proposal for a Part-Time Children’s Assessment Unit pointing out that this would deny equity of access to local children. If the child presented during opening hours presumably it would be able to stay at City, but if not it would be off to Sandwell or further afield. The quality of care would depend on what time the child was ill “Are they planning a shop or a hospital?” say City Hospital Supporters.
  • They go on to point out that claims made by the Trust that their proposals are necessary because of problems with junior doctors hours and recruitment and retention of staff have no substance. There does not even appear to be a financial case for the Part-Time Children’s Assessment Unit.
  • They are very critical of the consultation process, in effect two consultations at the same time. It has been difficult to inform the community about what is going on. Getting the green consultation booklets is not easy especially if you do not have access to the internet and e-mail. The Trust has not seized the opportunity to hand out booklets to those most affected namely inpatients, outpatients and their relatives
  • The City Hospital Supporters believe that the proposals are not in the best interests of local people and the consultation process has been inadequate. These are the essential criteria for Birmingham City Council Health Scrutiny and Overview Committee to refer the proposals to the Secretary of State for Health unless the Trust modifies its position.
  • The mantra of City Hospital Supporters is that the people of West Birmingham continue to have 24-hour access to high quality emergency care for adults and children on the City Hospital site, until a new hospital which can provide this service opens its doors.
  • If people would like to find out more about City Hospital Supporters Group, obtain the booklet Shaping Hospital Services for the Future with advice about completing the consultation form and signing our petition visit:

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Hospital a Done Deal?

Graham Seager, Director of Facilities has just been appointed Director of the New Hospital Project according to an e-mail sent to Trust staff on Friday 9th February 2007.

In anticipation of the large workload involved in the new role, many of his current responsibilities have been taken over by Pauline Werhun, the Director of Nursing.

Graham Seager's new role is particularly interesting, given that the consultation regarding the new hospital Towards 2010, does not finish until this Friday (16th February 2007), and a "decision" will not be taken until May.

John Adler has previously said that the Towards 2010 proposals are not as controversial as Shaping Hospital Services for the Future, the interim proposals that the City Hospital Supporters Group has concentrated its campaign on. This simply is not true. Many people in Sandwell are very angry at losing a hospital to what they consider to be a new hospital just around the corner from the City site, as was apparent on the Ed Doolan show John Adler was on. Just because they have not got an organised campaign, they are being ignored.

Is this what they mean by consultation?

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CHSG Releases New Campaign Documents

Three more documents have been released by the City Hospital Supporters Group regarding the two current consultations about healthcare in the Sandwell and West Birmingham region. They are available in the bar on the right hand side under the heading Key Documents (Printable Versions) and are called Press Release 13th February, Response to 2010 and Response to Shaping Hospital Services

I appreciate not everyone can access documents stored via Google documents and spreadsheets so I will post them as part of the blog over the next three days, as they are quite a lot to take in one go.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Ken back on Phil Upton

Ken Taylor was back on the Phil Upton show this morning for the second time to give an update on the campaign. You had to be up early to hear him as he was on just after 7am, but the early bird catches the worm. Compare this to the Trust, who amble in just after 11am on the Ed Doolan show although to be fair some of them do live a bit further away...

Good job Ken, only another month to go!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ed Doolan to Host Debate on Reconfiguration

The Ed Doolan programme is going to bring a debate on the reconfiguration plans to City Hospital on the morning of Friday 23rd February starting at 10am (update 14/02/2007: originally the start time was planned for 11am but it has been brought forward an hour). It will be in the Wolfson Lecture Theatre of the Postgraduate Centre at City. From what I understand at the moment, a telephone number will be put out nearer the time for people to ring for a ticket. People may be asked to have a question and they may get tickets on the basis of the question they are asking.

I will put further details on here as and when they become available, so please check back if you are interested in participating in this debate and you are not a regular listener of the Ed Doolan show.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Why did the Trust Extend the Consultation?

While browsing the links on the left hand side, I came across a video report of the Big Debate held at the Afro-Caribbean Millennium Centre on January 16th as part of the Birmingham Mail's big Hospital Debate which is well worth watching:

What strikes me is that at the end Steve Dyson warns the Trust that if they do not have a proper consultation on these proposals (which he defines a "taking advice and conferring with" the people, and "not just ticking bureaucratic boxes"), the Birmingham Mail would join in and oppose the Trust's plans.

A day later the Trust extended the deadline on Shaping Hospital Services for the Future, to March 15th 2007 from February 16th 2007.

On the Ed Doolan show last week, John Adler used the extended deadline as an example of the Trust trying to engage with the people and as proof they were not trying to hide the plans. The comment by Steve Dyson puts this claim in a slightly different context.