Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Very Good Meeting.

Last Tuesday 4th September the City Hospital Supporters Group had one of its regular meetings
We learned that we have over 200 members and we are about equally balanced between members of the local community and members of staff.

Members heard from Ken Taylor a detailed report of all the activities since the last meeting at the end of April.

They took careful note that the Trust's Interim Reconfiguration plans have been referred to the Commission for Racial Equality.

They were very pleased at our success in persuading the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to refer the Emergency Surgery proposals to the Secretary of State and his subsequent referral to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP.)

There was great disappointment that Children's Services had not been referred but everybody felt we must do all that we can to stop City Hospital losing its Children's beds. The members felt that local people would get a much poorer service for their children as a result. We will continue to press for children to be included in the IRP review. Everybody agreed that if it was poor patient care to make adult patients travel on unnecessary ambulance journeys to Sandwell or elsewhere, why is it OK for the children. Have people taken leave of their senses? A referral to the Health Service Ombudsman on the Children's issue could be the next step.

Since last week's meeting we have heard that City Hospital Supporters will be meeting the IRP on the afternoon of the 4th October. We will be fielding a strong team of people from the local community, some patients and doctors and a staff representative.

Members deplored the fact that Postgraduate Centre staff had been cautioned by management for helping the Group to communicate with staff. They also heard about the problems with staff accessing the website from some computers within the Trust. The two questions everybody asked were do we still think we are living in a democracy, and is it right that those paid their wages out of tax payers money can treat fellow citizens in this way?

We heard the good news that we continue to maintain a satisfactory financial position and members were impressed at the value for money they had been getting.

It was agreed to meet again when we have the result of the deliberations of the IRP to decide our next actions.

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