Boots Opticians in a boiler room – the NHS this week

By Richard Grimes

Staff shortages

A lack of specialist neurologists at Whipps Cross Hospital poses a risk of future patient deaths, according to the Assistant Coroner for Inner London.

A GP surgery in Carlisle has blamed its decision to stop allowing appointments to be booked in advance on a shortage of GPs and rising demand.

GP practices in Lincolnshire will be allowed to offer doctors £8,000 in relocation expenses in a bid to attract them to the county and to make up the shortfall of 75 GPs.

Campaigns

The campaign group Save Our Services Darlington is in the process of organising a rally in early July in support of Darlington Memorial Hospital which it fears will lose its A&E and maternity departments in a review being carried out by the local CCG.

A campaign has begun to prevent a wide range of clinics at Doddington, Wisbech and Ely from closure. The services under threat include eye clinics, physiotherapy, women’s scans and first appointments with surgeons.

A new campaign group has been formed to ensure acute hospital services – including the stroke and maternity units – stay in South Tyneside.

There was a protest rally on Sunday against the threatened closures of Minor Injury Units at Hornsea, Driffield and Withernsea.

Cuts

West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust in Sandwell will start a consultation in July to cut 250 full-time staff and another 200 temporary posts, in an attempt to keep to its budget.

Havering Council is looking to cut testing and treatment services for sexually transmitted infections  offered at Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, and reduce the amount of family planning centres from five to one.

Performance

In April 29 sick or injured people were left waiting for more than 12 hours for a bed at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

More than 30,000 patients suffered “appalling” delays stuck in ambulances outside London A&Es last year because of a lack of hospital beds.

Hundreds of cancer patients in Norfolk are waiting longer than they should to start treatment amid a 25 percent rise in diagnosed cases.

A lack of beds at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle has meant that a patient has had an operation cancelled four times.

People in Exeter are being asked to use The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital A&E department only when absolutely necessary after record number of patients attended last week.

Closures

Patients attending the Stourside Medical Centre in Halesowen found the practice closed with a note on the door from a bailiff saying that it had been repossessed.

Wantage Community Hospital is currently closed due to a bacteria infection and the trust running the hospital may decide not to open it. Inpatient care will be transferred to Didcot, Wallingford and Abingdon.

Patients fear that the anticoagulation service at Deal Hospital may be moved out of the area.

Privatisation

The High Court have allowed the privatisation of community health services in Kent to go ahead. The court blocked a complaint by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, the current provider, against the decision by the local CCG to hand the £128.4m contract to Virgin Care.

Boots have applied for planning permission to convert Yeovil Hospital’s boiler room into an opticians, which their agent describes as “helping to move patients away from the hospital and into the community setting in the long term”.

Finances

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust have reported a deficit of £26.9m for the 2015/16 financial year, much larger than the £16.8m deficit it had predicted.

In a sign of the times, Burton Hospital Foundation Trust has reported a deficit of £16.5m for the last financial year, but is ‘pleased’ that this is £500k less than it predicted. Its prediction for the current financial year is a deficit of £19.2m.

Hospitals in Yorkshire will have to make £140m of cuts this year. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust aims to make £65m of savings this year after posting a £30.2m deficit for 2015/16. Mid Yorkshire Hospitals and York Teaching Hospital are each planning to make £26m of savings, while Hull and East Yorkshire will try to save £19m.

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