Better healthcare and real consultation in West Essex ?

NHS in West Essex listens more than East and North Hertfordshire + Herts Valleys .

Over the border in nearby West Essex, the guys over there ARE following the meaning of consultation, unlike their nearby colleagues in NHS East and North Hertfordshire and NHS Herts Valleys.

As reported today on their news announcement page, the West Essex CCG have announced a CONSULTATION to cut SOME of the things announced last Friday by their neighbours in East, North and Herts Valleys CCG.

We put consultation in BOLD because it really is a consultation and SOME because they have not gone as far thereby creating a discrepancy in the way healthcare is developed and delivered across Herts and Essex.

Here’s what West Essex said ….

West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG)

  • Limiting the routine prescription of medicines and products that can be bought without prescription for short-term conditions and minor ailments.
  • Reducing or stopping the availability of NHS-funded IVF (in vitro fertilisation) and specialist fertility services.

Whereas over the border the change is bigger

NHS East and North Hertfordshire and NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)

  • Tightening up existing rules so that people who smoke or whose weight is classified as ‘obese’ are required to make bigger improvements to their health before non-urgent surgery – unless a longer wait for surgery would be harmful
  • Limiting the routine prescription of food supplements, as well as medicines and products that can be bought without prescription for short-term conditions and minor ailments
  • Restricting the prescribing of gluten-free foods
  • Stopping NHS funding for female sterilisation procedures
  • Reducing or stopping the availability of NHS- funded IVF (in vitro fertilisation) and specialist fertility services, apart from in exceptional circumstances (West Essex CCG is also consulting its residents on this issue).

So if you’re in an area covered by NHS East and North Hertfordshire and NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) you’re about to get hit  worse than if you’re in West Essex. Maybe this is because Herts Valleys are in financial turnaround but are East Herts CCG too ? We don’t know.  Perhaps people in East & North Herts are being penalised as they are in the same CCG group as Herts Valleys. (Yes this is sooo confusing isn’t it).

And as we were saying on Friday, if you think you’re getting consulted in West Herts (and East Herts) think again.

The interesting thing here is that West Essex have not actually agreed to make these cuts yet. Their board have NOT voted to agree the cuts and there’s a chance that they may actually listen to their public, and then discuss and agree. So they are actually doing what they should and as Wikipedia says doing the

  1. Notification
  2. Consultation
  3. Participation

If you want the full definition of consultation read the OCED document.

Of course West Herts continue to pretend that they are consulting and have just jumped to the participation bit….. and called it consulting. Again.