Thousands to march against plans to cut more services across North London.
Thousands are expected to converge on Highbury corner, Islington at noon to join health campaigners, political leaders and hospital staff in a mass march up Holloway Road towards the Whittington Hospital. One carriageway will be closed off for the marchers who will gather for a rally with speeches by campaign leaders including Kate Wilkinson and Wendy Savage of the Keep our NHS public group. Marchers should meet at Highbury Corner at noon. Anyone wishing to help out as stewards should meet at Highbury Fields at 11.15am. Visit www.dwhc.org.uk to find out more about the event.
The Save Chase Farm group recently held a Public Meeting to discuss the latest situation-
Many thanks to all who attended for your valuable contributions to the debate.
We would especially like to thank campaigners from Haringey and Islington for highlighting the services currently theatened under the new North Central London Sector Review.
Accident & Emergency, Childrens and Maternity services at Chase Farm Hospital are now scheduled to be downgraded. Many people could die as a result.
In addition to our active group of campaigners, between May 2006 and 2010, SAVE CHASE FARM had two elected councillors scrutinising the current plans and lobbying all parties to highlight the clear need for all front line services to remain at Chase Farm Hospital.
In 2008, under the BEH clinical strategy, a decision was
taken to reconfigure hospital services across Haringey, Enfield and Barnet.
This decision involved the removal of 24 hour consultant led A and E along with
Children’s and Maternity services. The cuts to services at Chase Farm are to be
phased in. The Save Chase Farm campaign group vehemently opposes these closures
and has been fighting them since 2005.
In May 2010, shortly after the General Election, the new
Secretary of State for Health-Andrew Lansley visited Chase Farm and announced a
pause to the BEH strategy. Mr Lansley stated that there would be ‘no forced
closures at Chase Farm’. He stipulated that four tests had to be met before any
hospital reconfigurations could proceed.
The Four Tests
According to Mr. Lansley the following four tests have to be
passed before any service re-design can proceed:
Support from GP commissioners;
Strengthened public and patient engagement,
Clarity on the clinical evidence base; and
Consistency with current and prospective patient choice.
In April 2011, a
document was presented to Andrew Lansley by Enfield Council which stated that
in the view of the vast majority of local stakeholders, the four tests have not
been met. Andrew Lansley has referred the decision to the Independent
Reconfiguration panel (IRP) again and the IRP is due to report back by July 9th.
The IRP have already
produced a thick report detailing 16 recommendations. Despite three years
passing since the IRP reported on the BEH strategy few of the recommendations.
Enfield does not need another review by an external group. These delays do not
benefit anyone. What we need is for Andrew Lansley to honour his pre-election
promises and ditch these proposals.
You already know that the threat to Chase Farm Hospital is serious.
Politicians and NHS managers are planning the closure of A&E and Maternity.
You have marched. You've signed petitions. You elected us. And you have so far, stopped the bureaucrats in their tracks.
So thanks to you-and thousands of Enfield residents-our 24-hour, consultant -led A&E is still open. And newborns are expertly cared for in our maternity department.
But here's the but:the threat remain. Managers and politicians still want to 'make efficiences'. By which they mean close our services -within three years.
We think they need to think again.
Which is why we're asking for re-election to Enfield Council on Thursday May 6th.
If Enfield keeps speaking with one voice, we'll stop the madness.
SAVE CHASE FARM MANIFESTO
When elected four years ago, our pledge was to focus on retaining front line services at the hospital. This remains our priority. NHS Managers and politicians are planning to remove the consultant-led maternity and 24-hour A and E services from Chase Farm over the next three years; despite the years of protests. With an increasing population and increased health needs across the borough we think they need to think again.
We have yet to see improved access to GP services particularly in some parts of the borough. Neither Barnet General nor the North Middlesex Hospitals have been expanded sufficiently to cope with the additional thousands of patients they would need to deal with.
The 0.1% of patients arriving at A and E at Chase Farm in need of specialist treatment are already treated elsewhere in major trauma centres.
Improved access by public transport is not an issue that Transport for London or the Hospital Trusts have been able to address.
We have yet to hear a convincing clinical argument in support of the removal of our front-line services. For these reasons and many others we will continue to push for improved access to both our GP facilities and the font-line services we already know are needed, where we can get to them, at Chase Farm Hospital.
We will work to reduce the inequality in health care in the Borough of Enfield. We recognise that the elderly, the very young and less mobile groups are often at a disadvantage in accessing health care services. We aim to promote healthier lifestyles and initatives which help to prevent chronic illness.
We have been struck by the need to improve the decision making processes in government including local government. We will lobby hard to ensure that voices can be heard beyond those of supporters of the traditional 'two party system'. We will continue to ensure that your views are heard on other issues.
Kate Wilkinson (Chase Ward)
Kieran McGregor (Town Ward)
North Central London Sector Review – January 2010
Seven Options Currently Under Review for the provision of hospital services across Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, Islington and Camden.
Do minimum’ – the BEH Clinical Strategy is implemented and the Whittington moves to the HfL local hospital model
Barnet Hospital is a major acute hospital and NMUH and Whittington become medical and surgical emergency hospitals
NMUH is a major acute and Barnet and NMUH become medical and surgical emergency hosptials
Barnet is a major acute, NMUH a medical and surgical emergency hospital and the Whittington a medical emergency hospital
NMUH is a major acute, Barnet a medical and surgical emergency hospital and the Whittington a medical emergency hospital
Barnet is a major acute, NMUH a medical and surgical emergency hospital and the Whittington an urgent and elective care hospital
NMUH is a major acute, Barnet a medical and surgical emergency hospital and the Whittington an urgent and elective care hospital
‘In all scenarios, RFH and UCLH are fixed points and CFH will be an urgent and elective hospital as per the BEH Clinical Strategy.’
DEC 2009 MASSIVE CUTS PLANNED ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL LONDON
A new strategic planning group called the 'North Central London Sector' has been made up of representatives from the 5 (PCTs) - Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, Camden and Islington.
This group has been discussing this latest round of cuts since last March. In this whole area, because of the massive 'gap' in funding expected over the next few years (around £500m), only 2 or a maximum of 3 hospitals will remain as 'major acute hospitals'. The others will be downgraded to become 'Darzi Local Hospitals'. These hospitals will not necessarily keep 24 hour A and E services; consultant-led children's; maternity or women's services.
The hospitals at risk are : Barnet General, the North Middlesex, the Royal Free, University College London and the Whittington. It is also assumed in this plan that Chase Farm Hospital will be downgraded.
The new four options are:
Currently we are in the pre-consultation stage. Official consultation has not yet begun.
Campaign groups from this area have already voiced strong opposition to these plans. Opposition has also been voiced in parliament by various MPs.
In response to the immediate threat of closures at the Whittington Hospital, The Save Chase Farm Group issued the following statement:
"The Save Chase Farm Group supports the campaign to retain services at the Whittington. We applaud the efforts of your local MPs and campaigners who have seen the early danger signs. We recognise that the removal of front line services in any London Borough has a knock on effect on adjacent boroughs. We also recognise the tactic that the NHS have used in Enfield and other areas to try to 'divide and rule' public opinion by offering 'either or' options, on the premise that people will 'vote' for the deal which preserves their own services.
At this time of massive uncertainty regarding public sector finances and the future direction of government in this country, we call for an immediiate moratorium on closures and cuts. The NHS management must recognise that it is not acceptable to close services 'through the back door' or 'on the quick' in the run up to national and local elections. "
Kieran McGregor Save Chase Farm campaign
CAMPAIGN GROUPS UNITE TO FIGHT THE PLANNED CUTS ACROSS NORTH LONDON
1. TRADE UNIONISTS URGE PEOPLE TO SIGN NHS PETITIONS
Haringey Trades Council has urged people to sign petitions against cuts in NHS services at the Whittington and North Middlesex hospitals. The petitions have been drawn up by local North London MPs Jeremy Corbyn. Lynne Featherstone and David Lammy.
The trade unionists say that a broad and united campaign focusing on NHS workers, the local communities and political activists will be needed if plans to close the accident and emergency unit at the Whittington are not to progress in particular.
Haringey TUC chair Keith Flett said 'of course it is no secret that many, although not all, unions are affiliated to the Labour Party. But in order to protect our NHS we need to move beyond party politics, which clearly have their place, and build a really united campaign to defend our NHS.'
Links to petitions www.savethewhittington.org.uk http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savenorthlondonhospitals/ http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/saveouraande
2. HOW PEOPLE POWER CAN CHANGE THINGS!
Great news from Camden Keep Our NHS Public campaigners...
· In July NHS Camden decided to award the contract for a new so called GP led health centre to a private company Care UK. · Two weeks ago they announced they would not be challenging our case against their lack of consultation in the High Court. · They then presented new plans for two 'easy access centres' with consultation due to start on 1st December. · This week they have withdrawn these proposals from the Council's Scrutiny Committee and do not propose bringing any new proposals until after the election in summer or autumn 2010.
People across Camden have signed petitions, come to meetings and joined demonstrations and protests. We have made our voices heard that these privatisation plans have gone too far.
Consultation -by NHS Enfield
On 2nd of Sept 2009 as part of the Enfield Primary Care Consultation, a meeting was held at Highlands School, 148 Worlds End Lane N21.
At the meeting there were campaigners, residents and politicians. Save Chase Farm, community groups such as Residents Associations and others questioned Dr Peter Barnes and Rob Lee about the new proposals for Neighbourhood Health Centres (previously polyclinics), Walk in Centres and Urgent Care Centres.
Some of the concerns voiced by the attendees were - lack of consistency of care offered by large impersonal centres - lack of a complete business plan raising many outstanding financial questions -premise that A&E will have reduced numbers attending -reliance on the public to self assess their medical needs and decide whether they need to go to a Urgent Care Centre, Walk in Centre, Neighbourhood Centre or an A&E dept. -assurances that departments at Chase Farm would not start closing before these new proposals were implemented and running smoothly - funding for these new proposals
The consultation ended on Sept 13th 2009.
Shaping the future of care together
The Dept of Health, 'Shaping the Future of Care Together' Consultation will be running from the 14th July to 13th November. It will highlight the issues with the current care system and offer several options for debate to build a new National Care Service for everyone . The options that will be discussed are : -Pay for yourself -Partnership -Insurance -Comprehensive -Tax funded
All information about the Green Paper consultation can be found at
On Wednesday 8th April Judge Geraldine Andrews gave a judgement that will prevent us from having a full and public judicial review hearing in relation to the removal of all front-line services from Chase Farm Hospital.
We are utterly shocked and appalled by the Judge's decision not to allow a public hearing of this case. The judgement itself contains many 'factual inaccuracies' and to deny the public the opportunity to present the truth is unforgivable in a case that has been argued for so long by so many. The PCTs have clearly had the opportunity to present their case. They may well state that to keep front-line services at Chase Farm is 'neither financially viable nor clinically safe' but no evidence is included to substantiate these well rehearsed but hollow arguments. The NHS have been asked many times for concrete answers to fundamental questions relating to capacity, finance and accessibility in particular. We know that the maternity departments at Barnet and Chase Farm combined have not been able to cope with the sharp rise in the birth rate. These departments closed on 91 occasions because they were full last year and yet no plans have been put forward by the PCTs to explain how the system could cope without the maternity department at Chase Farm. Similarly targets are not being met at A and E departments nor are they being met by ambulance response times across the borough. The new build at the North Middlesex Hospital was not designed to accommodate the extra patients if Chase Farm were to be downgraded. Successive health ministers have been repeatedly unable to provide answers to these questions and yet they still supported the decision to remove our front-line services. This judgement today is flawed on many levels and we are left horrified by the denial of our opportunity to demand answers to these questions in court.
We would welcome the opportunity once again to ask the Health Minister for a response. It is wholly irresponsible to allow these plans to proceed until responses can be provided to these fundamental questions. Residents of Enfield once again have been treated with utter contempt.
ENFIELD COUNCIL REJECTS IRP FINDINGS
At the meeting of Enfield council on 17th September 2008 Kate Wilkinson proposed a motion expressing SCF's disappointment with the IRP report and the Secretary of State's decision to rubber stamp the plans to downgrade services. The motion was passed by the council. The Save Chase Farm group is continuing to oppose these plans. Watch this space!
Motion Passed by Enfield Council:
The decision to remove all front line services from Chase Farm Hospital shows utter contempt for the democratic process. Public opinion has been consistently demonstrated over the past few years. There have been cross-party, large scale public demonstrations and collectively we have handed in petitions, letters and signed forms in excess of 79,000 during this time. All have stated the need to retain a fully functioning A and E,consultant-led women, children and maternity services at Chase Farm Hospital.
One million people will be adversely affected by this decision. The most vulnerable members of our society will be most affected namely:
Those in need of emergency care; women in labour; very sick children and anyone without their own transport.
This Council mandates the Leader of the Council and the Chairman of the Health Scrutiny Panel to write to the Secretary of Sta