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The government needs to recognise that QA is in desperate need of more support


Residents keep saying this and our Council's response to the problem is to just carry on building 12,000 houses in Fareham and to say that health care is not their problem, it's up to the relevant CCGs to provide the necessary services.

"The NHS defines OPEL 4 as: ‘Pressure in the local health and social care system continues to escalate leaving organisations unable to deliver comprehensive care. ‘There is increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised.’It is the worst rating out of the four OPEL grades".

The News icon Link to The News article


Online advice service for patients eases pressure on GPs


AN ONLINE service offering people medical advice has saved GPs hundreds of appointments in a week. All 10 GP practices in Fareham are now involved in the eConsult scheme, which has been rolled out across the county.

The News icon Link to The News article


is this Junk mail?


Received through the post today, nice glossy flyer printed on good quality (probably 100gsm) paper. When making an appointment at the hospital you are asked which one you want to attend. I needed to make an appointment for a CT scan and was told when trying to make it that there was a waiting list at QA, unfortunately they couldn't tell me how long it was, so I landed up making the only sensible choice possible and went to Southampton, so even though WE can make a choice it's a shame that there is no real choice available. Will it get any better when the additional 120,000 houses are added to their catchment area.

To my mind they would have done better to invest in services within the Health Servicerather than paying it to a private company.

Hospital flyer Click to enlarge image


Voluntary Health Sector Forum


It's taken a lttle while to get this all sorted out but the minutes of the meeting that Michael reported on back in February are now available PDF Icon here.

As this is an invitation only event we shall try and arrange for a representative to be at the next one on the 2nd May in Gosport.

Hopefully a video will eventually be made available but as I know only too well, that involves an awful lot of work.


Bed blocking - again


QA Hospital queue

It's amazing how long it takes QA to actually implement a seemingly simple idea that was first mentioned back in November 2015. At the CCG presentation to FBC the representative from the QA had this wonderfully cunning plan to reduce bed-blocking at virtually no cost. The Baldrick effect certainly works well in our NHS.

Even if this simple solution would save just 10% of the current cost of bed blocking it would give QA another £2.16M a year. The really frustrating thing though is surely that these patients aren't even the responsibiliy of QA but of the local councils involved.

 The video of the presentation to FBC is here

The News icon Article from The News


In memory of those that we have lost


Haslar hospital

"The former military unit, on Haslar Road, saw thousands of people join together to keep it.

But despite their efforts, it was closed in 2009 and planning approval has been given for a £100m project for retirement flats built alongside a care home. The plan is just one of many developments which are taking place at the site. Once finished, it will have bars, restaurants, a doctors’ practice, retirement flats, care homes, stores and a church."

Once again it shows just how immune to local pressure our government is and now we are paying the price for the loss of so many establishments. The News icon Article from The News


Consultancy cost is the ‘economics of a mad house’


And now we know how much the external consultants are making from the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).

Funnily enough this is nationally less than the increase in the business rates increase for Southampton General alone. Tax and tax again for paying outside consultancy firms that ex-MPs can find very lucrative employment at.

One question that needs answering is that the consultancy involved with our CCG is called Vanguard. This is the same consultancy that is advising FBC on how to improve it's profitability. As FBC would love to get their hands on some of the NHS real estate is there any chance of a conflict of interest or do they have a 'chinese wall' in place to prevent any collusion?

The News icon Article from The News


The great NHS gamble


As part of a shake-up designed to fill an estimated national £22bn NHS financial black hole by April 2021, senior figures in Hampshire plan to axe £24m from their estates budget.

It comes as new figures reveal £194m is needed to carry out the sweeping changes to the healthcare system in the county, while only £119m has been earmarked – but not yet awarded – by the government.

The News icon Article from The News The Great NHS Gamble: Fears over secret list of buildings which could be sold off as part of healthcare shake-up


The News icon Article from The News Hampshire’s hospital services ‘under review’ in bid to make them ‘sustainable’

Before the meeting of the Voluntary Sector Health Forum took place I enquired as to whether we could video it for the record. I was informed that the meeting would be videoed and that the organiser felt that there could be difficulties about us getting permission to record it as well.

Quote from e-mail received from Community Action Fareham "With regard to your initial enquiry about video, we will be making a video of the meeting but would not want anyone else doing that without us first discussing it with the forum members and getting strong majority agreement first."

To date I haven't been able to find the video or any minutes of the meeting and I just wondered whether the lack of the video or minutes could be tied up with this article from The News.

I received this pdf file a few weeks ago but unfortunately it was during a very busy period and I mislaid it in my in-box. It does attempt to explain what Better. Local. Care. is supposed to mean. It seemed fairly straight forward when it was originally written in May last year, but with the massive budget cuts it doessn't seem quite so straightforward any more.

PDF Icon South Hampshire Multi-speciality Community Provider (MCP) or VANGUARD described as Better. Local. Care.


Voluntary Sector Health Forum


Fareham Community Church
Tuesday February 7th 2017.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation by a Gosport & Fareham Care Commissioning Group representative outlining the CCGs STP – the five year plan to get to grips with a huge deficit and to plan for the future. Nothing I heard today varied much from the CCG meeting I reported on just a little while ago. Frankly, one always gets the impression that these problems are almost intractable and insurmountable and even when these organisations do begin to get any sort of grip on the situation the government comes along and imposes yet more savage cuts and difficulties. He claimed that there were more than enough acute care beds (at QA). This brought murmurs of disbelief. However, from my experience it was probably a statement of fact. In this context he also spoke about the integration of services to provide a better joined-up overall care. For example, I guess, getting community care better organised to stop bed-blocking. I was reminded whilst listening to him that this was a problem even when I was working in the NHS forty years ago. I was wondering how they might be more successful now than they were then, when money and resources were less of an issue. I’m still wondering. It is worth noting that when Knowle Hospital, Fareham, was open it provided 100s of elderly/continuing care beds which were lost when it closed. Multiply this throughout the county and it is not too difficult to see how much of the problem arose in the first place. He also spoke about the ‘digital transformation’ – getting everyone’s health records online so that all health- practitioners can access them. This costly exercise has been going on for years to my knowledge and is still a long way off. I guess in this respect the minds of many listeners may have been thinking about data protection – or the lack of!

This theme was continued by the next speaker who talked about the MSP (Multiple Speciality Provider). This too was really about moving towards joined-up thinking. She talked about support services that would be needed to help prevent people turning up at A&E departments. She also mentioned the £3.5billion ‘Better Care’ fund which the government hoped would keep more people in the community. Although this is working in some respects it hasn’t led to a reduction in hospital workloads. GP surgeries and appointments were spoken about and how much (or little) time GPs can give to their patients. In this context she spoke about having a GP ‘Same Day Access Hub’ at Coldeast (the so-called Community Hospital) to cater for those who needed emergency appointments. Leaving aside any obvious concerns and questions she did at least admit that the community hospital was not always easily accessible stuck out at Park Gate. Amen to that statement.

After lunch there was a very interesting representation about the NHS 111 service. The contract for this service is up for renewal soon: It is currently being operated by SCAS (the South Coast Ambulance Service). A recent survey done by the CCG showed that people were generally happy with the 111 service. It must be said, though, that the number of people questioned was just 350 and the lady acknowledged that this was a very small sample: One of the questions asked was ‘would people be happy for their medical records to be accessed by the 111 service?’ Of those asked 71% said yes, 15% said no and 9% were undecided - yes, somebody did ask what happened to the missing 5% but I cannot recall the answer. This was a little bit of a shock to me. Once again though, I suspect that many people would have concerns about data protection and patient confidentiality, a point acknowledged. One matter of this presentation me sit up and take notice - the idea that doctors appointments could be made through the NHS 111 service and indeed the idea of having just one number for all NHS services. Wow!!

There were also interesting and informative talks on diabetes and COPD.

This is only a potted view of the meeting which went on for over two hours and indeed over ran. It was a very ambitious agenda and some of it got lost out of time. That is not a criticism in any way and I’m sure those involved will take that onboard for the future. It was a very interesting Forum organised by Community Action Fareham who also provided a light lunch and tea and coffee: So many thanks to Paul O’Beirne and Laura George and many others who must have worked very hard to get it all together.

Report by Michael Stephenson


£1.3m pilot scheme unveiled to boost services at Fareham Community Hospital


The News article If you read the article it makes you wonder just how many more levels of profit taking there are in our publically funded National Health Service - The building is owned and managed by LiftCo, a private company (how much do they charge to change a light bulb?) - The Community Health Partnerships – a Department of Health body - who work with Solent Community Solutions (SCS) another private company, pay rent to them and then the services are paid for by the Fareham & Gosport Clinical Commisioning Group. I wonder how much would be saved if the building were actually owned by the CCG and all of the intermediate profits were saved?

Considering the fact that our CCG is already £10M in debt (see the article immediately below this one), how much of this £1.3M will be siphoned off to help clear the deficit, possibly like Southampton General having their rates hiked by 30% or £610,000. As an NHS hospital they pay FULL business rates, had they been a private company they would have received an 80% reduction, See the article lower down

The News icon Link to the The News article
The News icon Link to the The News article




Governing Body Meeting
January 18th 2017 – Ferneham Hall

This is the first time I have ever attended a public meeting of the CCG and I have to say it is not something I would like to do frequently. It went on for approximately four hours and was full of jargon and often unfathomable abbreviations – even with my NHS background. The governing body is well populated – at least 20 members representing different bodies and interests. Just for the record FBC was represented by Cllr Bayford - so there is no excuse for FBC to not knowing what is going on! Most of the ‘public’ attending – less than 20 – seemed to have an interest professionally or through voluntary services. The number of merely interested spectators you could count on one hand.

The meeting started with a member of the governing body outlining something called an STP – a Sustainability Transformation Plan. The object of the STP is to try to bring under control a CCG deficit of a projected £10million over the coming year or so. This will eventually have to be paid back so the implications of that are obvious – Cuts and big changes are in the pipeline under the five year STP. Even the CCG admit that this plan is extremely ambitious with no guarantees of success. After what I sat through you can say that again. To be fair to the CCG, I think they are faced with an impossible task. It would seem that the CCG largely hope to achieve this by redefining roles and by making better use of resources. The representative (Richard Samuel) went on to explain that there is a shortfall of human resources in many disciplines – not the least in GPs. Other specialities suffer too – like specialist nurses etc. These comments also encompassed a lack of training in many sectors of the NHS. GPs are leaving in quite large numbers and many are going overseas. I did discuss this with a GP. Not wishing to be too controversial he virtually acknowledged that many good UK doctors are being lost overseas and may be replaced by less than adequate doctors coming the other way: Hmm. Richard Samuels admitted that needs are not being met. He went on to say that it was the wish of the CCG to engage local people in the process. I think he probably had professionals and voluntary workers in mind rather that the general public. He spoke about aspects of services going online whilst acknowledging that this would not suit everyone. He expressed the concern that people are not being cared for appropriately. Children with mental health issues were specifically mentioned when they are moved around the country because of the lack of places in their locality. I guess this is one of the downsides to centralising some aspects of care in certain hospitals or areas. This bought an interjection from a CCG member who expressed her concerns about patients/clients, call them what you will, being moved up and down the M27 with its associated problems concerning congestion etc. Concerns in acute services remain unresolved. There is an acute lack of mental health care beds. I asked about this and it was talked about with reference to the governments promise to put more money into health care. There was much scepticism about this and to be honest things do not look good in this respect. Welborne was brought up by a member of the public. Welborne will come under the West Hants CCG - whose headquarters are currently in Eastleigh. Nevertheless, it was acknowledged by the Fareham & Gosport CCG that Welborne WILL have an impact on acute services –

and that must mean QA and the like.

One member of the CCG expressed concerns that government policies are actually making people ill: I assumed by that she was talking about cutbacks in welfare payments – such as to the disabled etc, and withdrawing support where it is desperately needed putting added pressure on those already at risk. It was also expressed that Housing Associations are not helping by cutting back on help for what they deem to be undesirable tenants – at least I think that was being implied.

Southern Health Foundation Trust also cropped up. An outside consultancy has been employed to undertake a review of their services. So still problems there. There are problems at Elmleigh Mental Health Care Unit at Havant. This is run by Southern Health so no further comment required methinks.

QA was talked about. Whilst A&E has improved it was still at risk. There was also a report about SCAS – the South Coast Ambulance Service. The lady delivering this report tried to put on a brave show but this brought scepticism from one CCG member. I don’t think it helped when she made comments like ‘ambulances queuing outside A&E could be just waiting for their next job’. She didn’t mention lack of ambulance staff and the need to employ private ambulances - nice try lady!! Bed-blocking was mentioned. It was acknowledged that care beds in the community are just not there. This was a social services issue (Nobody was there to speak up for them) but again this was laid fairly at the door of cutbacks.

The 111 Service. The feed back from this service was very, very small and this seemed to cause concern.

This has really been a very brief summary of what was a lengthy meeting. Overall, I don’t think it is unfair to say that the picture painted was, in many respects, quite dire. Any hopes some may hold that the clinic at Park Gate – often referred to as the Fareham Community Hospital – will expand are fooling themselves, it will remain just that, a glorified clinic. There is NO money: By saying that I imply absolutely no criticism of the people who work there currently. I think generally, government claims that more money is being ploughed into the NHS was largely discredited insofar as the figures they often give are far from the truth. A figure of .3 million pounds was quoted as being invested (somewhere) by the Fareham & Gosport CCG. Sounded good, but as one member of the public pointed out this is actually £330,000 set against £500,000 of under-investment in the past in the particular area. At those figures the CCG is not even treading water. There are so many unfunded costs it is difficult to see how any services could function effectively – and they patently don’t. I think it is quite obvious that in many areas of the NHS – locally and elsewhere – the services are kept going by the sheer hard work and goodwill of those that work in them –

with little support from government.

How they keep going at the level they do is a minor miracle.

  1. The CCG is under funded (their comment not mine) and needs are not being met. For some reason – not fully explained – this CCG receives less funding than CCGs elsewhere. This appeared to have nothing to do with demographics.
  2. Welborne WILL have an impact on acute services (again their words not mine). There is a shortage of GPs nationwide and that will not change to any helpful degree in the near future – if ever. The CCG will have to work with what they have by redefining the role of GPs and offloading some of their workload elsewhere. GP services are expected to be cut by 30% in the future. So this really doesn't bode well for Welborne.
  3. Despite improvements at QA A&E is still at risk. Discharging patients is a problem because there is nowhere to discharge them too. Beds in the community and in care homes are just not there. Interestingly, as far as I was aware, Social Services do not have a representative on the CCG: Seems a bit odd. One member of the CCG even went as far as to blame government polices for actually making people ill!
  4. Mental Health care is woeful. Despite the government promise to put money into mental health care it seems the universal response to this is one of scepticism and disbelieve. And that is from the professionals.

Overall, despite the CCGs efforts to put as much gloss on proceedings as they could, it was fairly plain that local health services are in a great deal of difficulty – and that isn’t going to change at any time soon.


Did you know that hospitals paid rates?


"The national tax hike is expected to have a serious impact on hospitals such as Southampton General. Its annual bill will jump from £1.92 million to £2.53 million, leaving it with £600,000 a year less to spend on patients.

Last night Cllr Dave Shields, Southampton City Council’s Cabinet member for health, said: “It seems bizarre that private hospitals are exempt from business rates and NHS ones aren’t - it’s an anomaly the government needs to sort out.

“I believe NHS hospitals should be treated in the same way as private ones that have charitable status.”

Personally, I find it bizarre that they pay any rates at all - talk about giving with one hand and taking with the other, it's not in it. Daily Echo icon Link to The Daily Echo article


Now is our chance to have our say on Fareham’s NHS service


Survey to have say on Fareham’s NHS service

Whether it will have any effect waits to be seen. The survey actually seems more about how many of the GP services can be passed onto the now underfunded pharmacists.

Interestingly 25% of the questions relate to ethnicity, religion, sexuality and whether or not you have a disability. Why is it important for them to know your ethnic origin, sexuality, religion or disability - do these have an effect on health provision? If you need to see a medical professional then you need to see a medical professional no matter what your colour, creed or sexual orientation.

The ten GP practices in Fareham, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Fareham and Gosport CCG and the voluntary sector are working together to improve local services. Your views can help us to ensure these services meet your needs.

Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and the voluntary sector have joined forces to produce a 20-question online survey.

The survey is available NHS icon here

The News icon Link to The News article


Plan shows how Hampshire will plug £577m funding gap for healthcare


"Richard Samuel, who is leading the Hampshire STP, said: ‘The STP is effectively the coming together of all the local plans that have been developed in local places. It’s about trying to fix the things that can be fixed on a bigger scale.’

"Dr Iain Maclennan, a former GP in Portsmouth, said the plan was a roundabout way of delivering more cuts to health services.
‘Overall, I am not encouraged by it,’ he said.
‘It is the last in a long leg of stages that will lead towards the full privatisation of the NHS. I appreciate that times are changing and we have got to move with the times and the situation we have today with people getting older and sicker is quite different.’"

The News icon Quotes from article in The News


MPs meet with Southern Health


Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said: ‘Southern Health has faced huge challenges. There were serious doubts about its governance so I welcome the news that improvements have been made and I hope this will continue.

So that's alright then but no information on what improvements have been made.

The News icon Link to The News article


The new A&E Delivery Board


The News icon Link to The News article

One heading in the article is FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE HEALTHCARE IS IN THE COMMUNITY but the thing that seems to be missing is how they intend to address the problem of another 60,000 plus houses due to be built in its catchment area.



Fareham MP wants investment in community hospital


Quote from Cllr. Woodward "As previously reported in The News, leader of Fareham Borough Council Sean Woodward is keen to see the hospital used for more services.

He said: ‘In Fareham we have seen a lot of hospitals closing.

‘Fareham Community Hospital is probably the most under-used, under-utilised health facility in the south.

‘Half the hospital isn’t used and there is space about the same size of the site right next to it which I want to see used for expansion."
The News icon Link to The News article


QA has a duty to cope


Fareham council leader says NHS has a duty to provide healthcare even when more houses are built

How arrogant can one man get?

The News icon  Link to The News article


Ambulances queuing again at QA Hospital


44% of East Hampshire's ambulances now queuing outside QA

What a shame that QA couldn't keep up the service levels that they achieved on 16-08-2016 for very long and now it looks as if it is actually causing problems on the roads as well. "The road leading to the emergency department in Cosham has been closed except to allow ambulances through"

This doesn't bode well for the winter

The News icon  Link to The News article


QA Hospital placed on black alert as A&E sees rise in attendances


and of course we can cope with another 120,000 houses

"...there are also minor injury units available if your injury is not serious.

‘This will allow our emergency department staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save a potential long wait.’

And of course we have a building that is underused and could well offer another minor injuries unit sitting at the 'Fareham Community Clinic Hospital' but they can't afford to open it. Quote from the last page of the minutes of the Friends of Fareham Hospital meeting
"Apparently there were originally plans for beds but it was felt that there would be insufficient call for them when the unit was first developed. There is though, a facility for a minor injuries unit but it would is too expensive for services to use, apart from which there would need to be a few beds for overnight stabilisation. Sara Tiller said that if they can become the sole lessee then that could be unlocked and the costs could then be charged against Southern Health."

The News icon  Link to The News article


notes from the Friends - CCG meeting on 29-09-2016


Community Hospital

Having attended the meeting sans recording equipment it was pretty difficult to give an absolute true record of what was said but I have attempted to do my best.

There were a lot of interesting comments made by the two presenters but because of this there was only time for a few questions. One of the prime questions to my mind that was missed was the inaccessiblity of the place with absolutely NO public transport available. So it's fine for those that are capable and have a car but anybody else is going to need a taxi - joined up thinking or what.

My report is available here PDF Icon PDF File 947KB


refusal to video meeting


I have been refused permission to video the presentation by the CCG at the Friends of Fareham Community Hospital meeting on 29th September. Whether this is at the behest of the Friends or the CCG I am not sure, but it does make one wonder if somebody, somewhere is afraid that their words may go on record - rather like their bed blocking and patient discharge videos or for some other reason I know not.  Youtube icon(see the various videos on the videos page).

Shame really that we will be deprived of the record but ce'st la vie.


38 Degrees investigation into health cuts


38 Degrees icon Link to the 38 Degrees petition

Here's what our investigation found for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight:

BREAKING: our people-powered investigation has uncovered Jeremy Hunt’s secret plans for our NHS. [1] So far, these plans - drawn up for every single area across England - have been kept under wraps. That changes today.

Here's what our investigation found for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight: These plans are huge and complicated. Together we’ve started to shed light on them. But we just don’t know enough yet. [2] If we want to have our say on our local NHS services before it’s too late, we need to see every detail.

The next step is to take this to our MPs. They’ll be concerned about changes to the NHS too. If MP after MP puts pressure on Jeremy Hunt, it could be enough to force him into publishing his full plans for our NHS.

So will you sign the petition asking Suella Fernandes to lift the lid on the plans for the NHS in your area?

Right now these plans force local NHS leaders to make impossible decisions to save money. But they could be so much better. Imagine an NHS with state-of-the-art technology, and doctors and nurses who have the time to look after every single patient properly. An NHS that puts patients before budget cuts.

So 38 Degrees members are building a massive people-powered campaign across the country. From Liverpool to Canterbury, York to Leicester, 38 Degrees members in every area are demanding we see the full plans and get the chance to have our say on them. Together, we’re saying that patients - not politicians - should decide the future of our NHS.

Will you join thousands of other people and call on your MP to demand that these secret plans for our local NHS are out in the open?

We’re already making progress together. Already, a quarter of a million of us have signed the petition calling on Jeremy Hunt to lift the lid on the plans. [3] And thousands of us chipped in to fund the people-powered investigation that’s splashed all over the media today. [4]

38 Degrees icon Link to the 38 Degrees petition

Some of these plans for our NHS are downright scary. From the proposed closure of an A&E in The Black Country to hospital wards in Leeds, these plans will mean a different NHS for all of us. [5] A lot’s still unknown - and it’s up to us to find out the truth.

PS: Thousands of 38 Degrees members chipped in to pay for an expert investigation to get the scoop on what the plans look like. The experts looked at everything they could find about the plans in every single area, to give us the information you see in this email. But lots is still unclear, and some areas haven’t released any details about their plans to the public.

  1. 38 Degrees blog: Is our NHS at risk of cuts? NHS England’s “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” explained:
  2. 38 Degrees blog: The 38 Degrees crowdfunded investigation into secret NHS plans:
  3. 38 Degrees petition: Jeremy Hunt - Reveal your plans for the NHS:
  4. BBC: NHS cuts 'planned across England':
  5. The Guardian: NHS plans radical cuts to fight growing deficit in health budget:


good news from Queen Alexandra Hospital.


At least there is some good news from QA - triage times have been reduced thereby reducing the waiting times for unloading ambulances.

The News icon  Link to The News article

Unfortunately to offset this, waiting times for patients for May and June never managed to get above 82% despite the Government set target of 90%. At least the Government have, I believe, stopped fining them for missed targets so the money that they would have taken from the ratepayer funded Trust will now be able to be used to try and improve their performance.


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