Carry on regardless – Who needs publicity in West Herts ?

Publicising changes to NHS services that are not going to be popular can’t be a nice job. But somebody has to do it ? Right ?

Well maybe not. Maybe not if you’re @HVCCG 

Compared to the neighbouring clinical commissioning group in East & North Hertfordshire, it’s a no contest. Same goes compared to West Essex.

Each of the meetings being held locally in East and North Herts has been “tweeted” about about 3 or 4 days beforehand and have included details of what gong to be changing. Excellent.

They’ve also used an online platform called Eventbrite so people can register for a ticket, and see what other meetings are available in the area. While it’s not necessaryto “register” to come along, it gives the people running it an idea of how many people are coming, and gives the people attending the reassurance that they’ll get in if it’s going to be a packed meeting. Brilliant !

Clearly the guys running the twitter feed at East & North Herts are trying to encourage their followers to come along or are at least trying to make it look like people could have had a say.

In fact they have also tweeted about the general changes twice, IVF once and cross herts changes 4 times.

And then we compare that to the Herts Valleys CCG’s effort. Since the initiative was announced on their website on the 6th of July there has been no news on their website about local meetings. This screenshot was taken on the 15th of July. 

OK so lets not be too mean, maybe they put it somewhere else. Where might that be ? Lets have a look in the events page on their website…..

Nope not there either. Maybe they use some other kind of way to communicate to people and don’t put these kind of things on their website. Hmmmm probably a good idea to put it on more than one place you’d think ????

But wait….. They do……Phew. They put it on twitter. Brilliant. Lets go there and check………

Oh wait.

Empty. Zip. Nada

There’s nothing there….. No tweets about the changes, no tweets about local meetings. Nothing. Zip, nada, nowt ! But wait a minute, how many times did neighbouring East & North Herts tweet about this ? 10 times.

OK so there is ONE re-tweet (which if you’re not up in your tweet terminology means that they saw someone else’s tweet and showed it to their followers) – but it’s not them tweeting with any news. In fact in this case, they re-tweeted East & North Herts CCG’s tweet about the meetings going on in East and North Herts NOT on their own doorstep. So lets get this right you advertised someone else’s meetings but not your own. DOH !

So where are the meetings that they are having ??? Who can go ? How have they told the public that there are changes happening to their healthcare that they are by asking the general public about ???

Are we in a timewarp ?

Well if we were asking this question in the future, we would ask them where was this consultation, who was informed about it and how did they inform everyone about it. Which is precisely what we did when we asked what consultation went on to decide to remove the hospital from Hemel Hempstead. We asked them to provide us with the evidence that they had consulted with the public. They they responded to our FOI. (it’s coming soon.) They rolled out a HUGE list of meetings that were held all over the place. The only trouble was none of them were actually telling the general public what was going on, and none of them were in places that make any sense. One of them for example was at a local train station. When you’re going to catch a train, do you really have time to stop and talk to someone about closing your local hospital. Of course not.

Getting back to the present day, we DO know there’s a “drop in” session happening on Monday the 17th of July at Sportspace in Hemel Hempstead. We know this because we found the only place IN THE UNIVERSE that this event has been publicised. The ONLY way ANYONE in the entire area of West Herts will have found out about this meeting will if they had visited this website and found the calendar of events.

The session is NOT on the website, they haven’t publicised it on their Facebook page, and they haven’t put it on Twitter. Talk about a joke.

The sad thing here is that if you don’t tell anyone about the changes, they cant come along to the meeting and say they object. If nobody objected then the changes go through. This is all about how difficult it is for the average guy in the street to be made aware of these changes – as the CCG has a legal duty to do. They should

a) Publicise the change/event

b) Listen to public opinion and feedback

c) Do something about it.

Who is doing a good job ?

In the case of West Essex, they are publicising the events, have NOT agreed to put these cuts through and ARE from what we can see genuinely consulting.

East & North Herts are publicising the events but we don’t know whether they have already agreed to make the cuts.

Herts Valleys on the other hand have already decided to make the cuts, have not publicised the events, and it really doesn’t matter if they listen to the public opinion so long as there is a  “story” to tell later that of course they “engaged” with the public. Of course the kicker is that not only have they wasted public money on going to an event that nobody will turn up to, they haven’t got the money to do it in the first place as they are already massively overspent. If I had a child at Nascot Lawn and I learnt that the CCG had cut the service because they didn’t have the money, and then learnt that they had wasted money on these “events” I’d be REALLY angry. The way that’s going, the people affected will be taking the CCG to court.

How dare these people waste money BEFORE providing critical respite care for these people.

So come on NHS England. Do what the local MP said. Make the Herts CCG accountable for their actions.