Good Health In Bad Hands

DONHS 2 012

Apologies for the delay in publishing this but it landed in our spam. This is feedback from the Defend Our NHS (DONHS) Wirral meeting that we previously plugged. 

In the mean time it seems that local politicians have been belatedly gegging in on the action , most particularly in relation to the now ‘temporary’ closure of Eastham NHS Walk-in centre. This week’s Adult Care Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee was a humdinger with NHS head honchoes – Simon Banks ( NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group) and Karen Howell ( Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust) getting a good mauling.

Acting chair  Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin took the opportunity to say that it was “important that the decision-makers are held to account.” Yes, those words actually came out of her mouth. My, how we laughed. And then we cried such bitter tears.

She also took the opportunity to plug a prospective Labour councillor who had organised (yet another) petition.  We note that campaigning for next year’s local elections has already started then !

However more concerning for us was an issue that received  zero press coverage and caused considerably less outrage among councillors and that was the closure of  Thorn Heys, an NHS respite service for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs.  Somebody remind us what was that Wirral Plan ‘pledge’ about ‘protecting the most vulnerable’ again?

What is most apparent is that ‘partnership’ working between Wirral Council and its NHS counterparts is not what it should be – the power struggles and the safeguarding of ever diminishing budgets was there for all to see – although of course some highly paid public servants and consultants still seem to be doing okay out of it ! As ever the only people to suffer are those who pay for what appears the deliberate (?) and ongoing (mis)managed decline of a once great institution !

Dear friends of the NHS

Are you angry? The packed audience at our public meeting on Thursday were angry. But they were also full of ideas for the fight back to defend our NHS. There was a spirited and constructive discussion after superb inputs from national campaigner Steve Carne and from a number of local campaigns on our own patch.

Why are people angry? Read the list below* and then come back here.

Are you angry yet? You should be. And if you are you can do something! This is what Thursday’s meeting decided. You can do some or all the following now.

  1. Let us have email addresses of others who might want to join the fight.
  2. Read AND act upon AND share the ‘to do’ list (in the ‘Files’ section on our Facebook page and attached to this message):https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/files/
  3. Come along to the many NHS meetings and protests (some on the ‘to do’ list but starting with the Eastham event on Monday detailed below). Some important events are shown. PLEASE COME!
  4. Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth will be in Eastham to meet with members and people affected by the closure.
    If you are available, and if you know anyone who is concerned about the closure, please bring them along.
    When? Monday September 11, 2017 at 11am – 1pm. Where? St David’s united reform church Eastham Wirral ch62 9dg
  5. STOP THE STP! Wirral Council has the power – and has already said it opposes the STP. Why doesn’t it do it? Wednesday 13th September 6.00pm at Wallasey Town Hall. Let’s make this the biggest lobby ever! Arrive early! http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=819&MId=6118&Ver=4
  6. Attend the Wirral CCG AGM @Tranmere Rovers 28th September from 1.00pmhttps://www.wirralccg.nhs.uk/news/wirral-ccgs-annual-general-meeting-2017/ It’s the CCG which has the local purse strings and makes the cuts.
  7. Share your experiences on Facebook or by email.

Thanks and best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

…………………………………………………………………………………………

* That list:

  • The closure at short notice last week of the Eastham NHS walk-in centre.
  • The simultaneously announced end of the Eastham-Arrowe Park bus service.
  • The ‘pilot’ closure of the Clatterbridge dermatology ward.
  • A further near ONE BILLION POUNDS of cuts in the pipeline for Cheshire & Merseyside.
  • The payment of £300,000 to Price Waterhouse Cooper to compile the list of cuts to be made locally.
  • The payment across England of £21 MILLION POUNDS to firms like PwC for similar ‘work’.
  • The news that PwC and other ‘tax management’ outfits are being given the job of organising NHS service commissioning.
  • All this part of the 44 awful ‘sustainability and transformation partnerships’ (STP) including one here in Cheshire & Merseyside.
  • The STPs and everything else above comes from the brain of the head of NHS England Simon Stevens who now effectively controls the whole of our NHS. (Jeremy Hunt has washed his hands, Pontius Pilate-style.)
  • The revelation that Simon Stevens came to the NHS from US health ‘corporation’ United Healthcare.
  • The revelations of the anti-patient and anti-doctor business behaviour of United while Stevens was a boss.
  • EVERY local council has rejected the STP. Wirral Council has the power to stop the STP in its tracks and voiced its opposition last December – BUT it took the leader of the Council, Phil Davies, EIGHT MONTHS to write the letter to Jeremy Hunt.
  • Meanwhile the cuts have got worse, the waiting lists longer, the appointments harder to get, the adverts for American-style health services appear on GP notice boards – yet wonderful NHS staff continue to offer a fantastic service despite all this and despite years of effective pay cuts.

 

 

Election Selection : Week 7

As we enter the final week of what has been an interminable general election campaign in the interest of political balance we’ve made some changes and additions to our original post.

Gone West

caldeira facebook.jpg

One of our readers has heeded our word and undertaken some research on local candidates before they cast their vote. As they themselves say it’s not exactly a ‘leak’ (as it’s all in the public domain if you know what to look for). The candidate in question is Tony Caldeira the prospective parliamentary candidate for Wirral West .

Our source writes :

Tony Caldeira over in Wirral West runs on the ticket of being a successful businessman  https://www.tonycaldeira.org.uk/about-tony. His Facebook page (1) states that he “will always be a champion for local business.”  (see pic) 

Looking at his business accounts, it seems that his principal business is Caldeira Holdings with, until last year, 5 subsidiary companies.

Picture 2 is from Caldeira Holdings most recent accounts (2).  Now I’m not experienced at looking at these things, but it seems to me that:

 – his main business (Caldeira Ltd) is losing a lot of money

 – his overseas subsidiaries seem to have accrued big debts,

 – one of his businesses (Caldeira Retail) went into voluntary liquidation

Caldeira Retail appears to have gone into liquidation owing £6.7m to employees, and small businesses, etc (3).

I just think that if being a great businessman is his ticket, he should be transparent about his own struggling business. And if he says he “will always be a champion for local business”, then people should know that he liquidated his multimillion pound debt to dozens of small businesses last year – not much of a champion for them, then?

Links are:-

(1) https://www.facebook.com/TonyCaldeiraWW

(2) https://www.thegazette.co.uk/company/07102829/filing-history/MzE3Mjk3Mzg0MWFkaXF6a2N4 , taken from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/company/07102829

(3) https://www.thegazette.co.uk/company/06576230/filing-history/MzE0MzUxOTgzOWFkaXF6a2N4 , taken from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/company/06576230

Perhaps Mr Caldeira could comment as to whether our source has given a fair reflection of his current business interests?

Mass Debate

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We don’t know about you but we feel this general election campaign has been going on for most of our lives. Debate after debate after debate. And all of them signifying nothing. But at least we should be grateful that Wirral had a prominent audience member at last week’s televised debate.

A few people contacted us to say they recognised DASS manager Peter Ferguson – particularly someone  who had dealings with him during the infamous ‘4 week delay ‘scandal. They weren’t impressed. However with the news that 220 DASS social care assessment staff are being ‘integrated’ with Wirral Community NHS Trust we can only hope that Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust CEO  Karen Howell  delivers on her promise that ‘As one organisation, we will deliver a fully integrated social care assessment and health service to local residents – helping to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time.’

One thing that has occurred to us as Wirral Council slough off yet more staff that we can’t understand that with less and less services and fewer staff to manage as to why there isn’t a corresponding cut in pay for Wirral Council’s most senior managers?

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15324643.Dawn_of_a_new_era_for_social_care_in_Wirral/

Finally we’d just like to comment that judging by recent events and the divisive nature of general election campaigns that whichever way you cast your vote (or not as the case may be) that political debate and dissent is set to continue long after Thursday’s election result……..

 

People Who Need People……

Einstein -People

…….are the unluckiest people in the world.

Well judging by the fact that Wirral Council have a fancy new Scrutiny Committee called “People” anyway ( the other two Scrutiny Committees are called “Business” & ” Environment”)

Yes really.

We know the first meeting of the People Overview Scrutiny Committee was held last week and we note that some of the same people involved in the biggest safeguarding failure of vulnerable people in Wirral’s history were back at the helm as  DASS Manager Amanda Kelly made a recommendation to the chair Matron Moira McLaughlin that Wirral councillors should get involved in monitoring Wirral’s care homes – because let’s face it Mother Kelly’s team haven’t been doing a great job have they? – judging by the number of home closures and a series of damning Care Quality Commission reports (yet two more homes they announced who require improvement this week are Hilbre House and Seabank House).

Also in attendance was Dr. Sue Wells. “Who’s she?”  we hear you ask.

She’s the one who appears on the leaflet that was recently pushed through your door asking you to sign up to The Wirral Care Record – a single digital confidential care record which by spring 2017 will mean that YOUR information will be shared by Wirral Community NHS Trust , Cheshire and Wirral NHS Foundation Trust and Wirral Council.

Would you trust (no pun intended) any of these  organisations to keep your personal information confidential?.Would you trust them full stop?

We wouldn’t! – we advise our readers to visit healthywirral.org.uk and submit an “opt out” request or call 0151 541 5440 and ask to be opted out.

However we were particularly drawn to the attendance of former Crime Reduction Initiative (CRI) employee  CLLR ANGELA DAVIES  who asked some innocuous question about laptops ( because laptops are so much less problematic than vulnerable people).

Hey Councillor Davies – how about asking “People” about your former employer now known as “CHANGE, GROW, LIVE”  (CGL). No,seriously – this must the  worst rebranding since Wirral Partnership Homes became “Magenta Living”.

http://www.changegrowlive.org/

According to our sources CGL appear to be having a problem with the “LIVE” bit of their acronym  based on the following messages we’ve received :

“CRI, now CGL is an absolute shambles. Broken promises to service users and 65 service user deaths since takeover. An increase of nearly 300% compared to NHS. Commissioners have a lot to answer for…..”

” (£) 24 m contract they were given. Still haven’t opened a hub in New Ferry 18 months in. Everything done on the cheap. Volunteers/ recovery champions falling off the wagon left right and centre…..”

There are many good people that work there. I wouldn’t want to cause them any problems . There are also plenty of idiots there too. Commissioners need to be grilled…..”

We’re sure that the People Overview Scrutiny Committee will want to answer these questions next time they meet in September!. Perhaps the Committee’s “Independent Person” could do us all a favour and ask them on our behalf as Cllr Davies seems curiously reluctant to perform her public duties. Yeah just keep banking the cheque and expenses Cllr Davies – what a fine exemplar of public service you seem to be.

We can’t help feeling (and not the first time) that vulnerable people deserve so much better than the people on the “People Scrutiny Overview Committee” !………….