Report from CCG & Trust meeting 8/3/2019
Tonight a public meeting was held where the “latest” thinking was announced to appox 150 members of the public.
There were no real surprises – the new “planned care” site proposed by the CCG and trust only last October was removed from an ever shortening list of “options” as expected. It was dismissed on the grounds of affordability.
Work undertaken since the October/November public meetings included information that a travel analysis previously challenged as inaccurate had been updated. No details were given but a quick visit to the CCG Website revealed that the NEW Population, Catchment Area and Travel Analysis report made by PA Consulting corrects the previously incorrect travel data that says that people were better served by Watford hospital from a travel perspective than a centrally located greenfield site. It only took them 2 years to agree with what they were told by our independent travel consultants !!!
The report now says quite clearly that if services were to be moved from Watford to one of 2 sites between Hemel Hempstead and St Albans only a few people in Watford would ACTUALLY be negatively affected but MANY MANY more people in the rest of West Herts including St Albans and Hemel Hempstead would have an improved patient experience due to better accessibility.
Also population changes were referred to as a second report titled Sizing the future hospital had been generated by PA Consulting. Despite using the Office Of National Statistics data as instructed by the government guidelines, the current plans DO NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT the massive increase in population that local councils are currently putting together. So the current proposal makes no provision for the MASSIVE PROPOSED increase in building on the green belt that the government are currently forcing local councils to accommodate.
Example 3 Rivers local plan link
Example St Albans local plan link
Example Dacorum local plan link
Example Hertsmere local plan link
Example Watford local plan link
Helen Brown the deputy CEO of the trust confirmed that the current plans makes NO increase in the number of beds despite the current increase in population. Tim Duggleby the trust’s strategy director attempted to creatively suggest that NHS standards would be met for single bed rooms and same sex wards. He forgot to say that these only apply if you build a new hospital – which the shortlist won’t provide. !!!
You can’t make this stuff up !!!
HertsValleysHospital.co.uk firmly believe that hospital planning should be integrated with town planning and bring in both county and district councils. At present this isn’t happening !
Anyway, getting back to the meeting, this chart was presented which was annotated to say that the “Max Planned Care” (new site) option had been removed and the evaluation panel” agreed with the chart.
This was immediately challenged as the evaluation panel had not been given the financial information used to come to that conclusion, therefore the decision was flawed. The explanation was that the information had only become available in the last few days AFTER the evaluation panel. There were groans from the sceptical audience !!
A somewhat heated Q&A session was kept short deliberately as the intention was to split the tables up into groups to provide feedback on the 4 remaining options. After protests from the audience a few more questions were taken and then focus was switched back to the CCG & Trust “agenda” – Thereby removing the chance for more than a few “challenging” questions and forcing people to ONLY consider the 4 remaining options that still had to be fully considered by the “Evaluation panels”. We declined the offer to comment on the “canned” options !!!
One wag suggested just writing “Resign” on the post it notes provided as feedback to the CCG & Trust !
The conclusion of this meeting was we felt that the current direction of travel will result in yet more money being funnelled into propping up Watford hospital but not bringing it up to current standards due to the massive spending on A&E. Planned care services in both Hemel Hempstead and St Albans will continue to be second cousins and will only get scraps left on the table.
This is NOT an acceptable solution to a difficult situation. With more ambition and less defensive action the CCG and trust we firmly believe can achieve generational change as opposed to more sticking plaster on an estate they already accept is past it !
In case you’d like to see the presentation material from the evening you can download it from the CCG here
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