Yorkshire Health Campaigns Together meeting April

1. NHS national news : John highlighted victories in saving Charing X and Ealing Hospitals
2. Updates from local groups
Dewsbury: Christine organised 3 showings of John Furze’s film Groundswell in Dewsbury, Halifax and Huddersfield at which John talked and answered questions. The Save Dewsbury Hospital campaign is also going to cafes and surgeries to share info and collect personal stories about the loss of Dewsbury A&E. They plan to put these together in a bulletin to be sent to the CCG, councillors and MPs.
York : Anne and Sylvia noted that campaigners are putting on a photo exhibition to show people what they have lost with the closure of Bootham Hospital. They have been pursuing the re-purposing of the building as a hub for mental health services without much success so far and chasing what has happened to the antiques and other valuable contents which seem to have disappeared from the building. The building of the new mental health facility out of the centre is delayed. ( This means that plans to shut Harrogate’s Briary Unit and send patients to York are also delayed ) .
Gwen said they have also submitted a question to the CCG re closures in Scarborough and Bridlington which she described as part of the “death of rural health”
Bradford: Ann West Said that Unite the Community were proving to be good allies in the fight to save the NHS and the rest of the welfare state.
Barnsley: Nora said that South Yorks had a meeting on Digital services with someone well informed from which it was clear to her that NHS Digital are not bothered about the rules re info sharing.
The mental health forum are writing to the DWP re serious concerns re proposed plans to set up a team in the Dept. of Work and Pensions which will create a system to more quickly access people’s health data to help them to determine how much welfare support they are entitled to.
The 5 South Yorks and Bassetlaw CCGS are now developing a joint plan to delegate more decision making to the relatively newly formed Joint CCG. South Yorks and Bassetlaw NHS Action Group are working with Rotherham campaigners to challenge the CCG over the total lack public involvement.
Showings of John Furze’s film Groundswell have been arranged in Sheffield and Rotherham.
Nora has gate-crashed 2 webinars on patient involvement and suggested others might do likewise.
Leeds Hospital Alert: Sylvia noted that Leeds and York ( mental health ) Partnership Trust have cut services and are charging for groupwork. New models of provision exclude people with long term mental health problems such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Cases get closed when patients are too easily said to be “not engaging, nearest relatives are not able to request assessments and people are expected to refer themselves for psychological therapies. She is pursuing concerns with MP Rachel Reeves who has promised to raise them with Matt Hancock.
Hands off HRI Chris noted that the campaign is now in its 4th year. They have managed to maintain a lively and powerful presence but are have to keep countering the notion that the plans to close A&E and other provision at Huddersfield are a done deal. They have specialists examining the latest proposals for HRI in detail and are conducting a People’s Commission.
Chris is also working through the Labour Party and standing for council in the Newsome ward at the local elections in May. NB from Gilda – Colin Hutchinson is doing good work on WY&H joint Scrutiny Committee as a Labour Councillor
Airedale : Judith Joy said that their biggest fight is to keep Castlebury Hospital in Settle. Community campaigners were told that it would be restored and a lift put in but are now battling against the argument that this is unaffordable.
The 38 Degrees group meets in Keighley and are talking to a local cinema about showing “Groundswell”. They have obtained agreement from the local library to show Marion MacAlpine’s recently updated exhibition on privatisation in the NHS from May 7th – 25th. They have tried other places in North Yorks without success but there is potential for keeping the exhibition up north for a while if other groups are interested.
G. said Leeds would be keen and would like to add some local examples. York may also be able to use it.
Judith and Viv noted that it is hard work trying to get people interested and fired up about campaigning for the NHS or even seeing what is going wrong. This sparked some discussion about de-politicisation and lack of info. which Anne put in some historical context. We also had more discussion and some disagreement about the trade unions and at least agreed that they are much weakened but we are keen to involve health workers and campaign together where possible. The issue of involving conservatives particularly in rural areas was also raised.
Sheffield : John Carlisle noted that he has been involved in helping to set up a Yorkshire Branch of the Socialist Health Association. They are going to focus on Economics, highlighting the cost of waste, including PFI. They would also like to assist groups and have an excellent expert on modern monetary theory- Frances Hutchinson from Keighley. They are planning to put themselves about, prepare questions and populate various debates, starting with Sheffield Festival of Debate !9th April – 1st June see https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58b55bf2197aeabd5a9d1604/t/5c86677753450a49a40deb08/1552312224055/FofD+2019+Brochure+for+WEB.pdf They are also aiming to focus on Simon Stevens – bringing him down! This prompted some discussion on the importance of pushing the economic argument that we can afford the NHS, the multiplier, MMT etc.
Leeds: Dawn noted that her community arts organisation SPACE 2 obtained heritage lottery funding for putting together an exhibition around the NHS 70th birthday (“Many Happy Returns”) based on people’s stories. They have been working closely with Leeds KONP and the stories are printed on to an armchair, screens, banner etc. Part of the exhibition is currently on show at the Thackray Medical Museum which closes shortly. The full exhibition will be on show at Leeds Central Library 13th June to 5th July.
Gilda noted that Leeds KONP have arranged to have a stall at Mark Thomas show “Check Up : NHS at 70” at Wakefield Theatre Royal on 18th April and would welcome material from other groups. The show is being filmed and Mark’s team have said it is Ok to bring banners etc.so we hope to have a lively presence both inside and outside the theatre with a spot of melodeon playing and potential singing as well. The show is at Sheffield on April 16th and 17th. Leeds KONP has also had some discussion with Unite and Leeds TUC re the possibility of bringing Banner Theatre’s NHS show to Leeds. It costs £800 so would need joint funding.
West Yorkshire County Association of Trades Councils : Pete Keal said that they are trying to instigate and co-ordinate joint action across the different TUCs and thought that at least one focus should be West Yorks and Harrogate STP/ICP/S . One place to start might be a workshop or mini Conference for TUCs but they are open to suggestion. Pete also mentioned that local TUCs can get development grants of up to £300 which might be relevant for Banner theatre or other such initiatives.
3. Update on the severe restriction of 17 interventions deemed to be of low value.
John Puntis reported that he has been challenging NICE re their guidance and involvement and had a letter printed in the British Medical Journa . This notes that some recommendations contradict NICE guidelines and concludes
“NHS England’s cost cutting approach enforced through financial levers disregards the principle that “at the centre of medicine, there is always a human relationship between a patient and a doctor.” Moreover, the essence of evidence based medicine as the integration of clinical experience with the best available research information and patient values is undermined if the view of the patient is ignored.”
Meanwhile local areas continue to impose their own rationing. IVF is severely restricted and subject to a post code lottery and the thresholds for cataract surgery have been raised so high that people are going blind before they can get treatment. Orthopaedics, particularly joint replacements are expected to be high up on the next list of treatments rationed.
We agreed that the private sector will thrive on ops the NHS rations and NHSE has been actively pushing CCGS to commission private providers to do ops to cut waiting lists. Nora noted that where clinicians did speak out against rationing in South Yorkshire they have experienced a backlash.
4. Brief Review of the Yorkshire March for the NHs and any ideas arising from the experience this year.
There was general agreement that the march was useful in getting our messages across via public and social media, bringing campaigners, trade unionists, Labour Party branches et al together and boosting the confidence and morale of campaigners which has been somewhat eroded by the Brexit smog. Many members of the public clapped and took pics.
In terms of what we might learn for the future Anne Leonard said , to general agreement , that given we have a national network there should be the opportunity to make such events happen up and down the country at the same time which would increase impact
5. HCT Northern Conference
Gilda noted that The NHS section is sorted. We need at least one more speaker on Social Care, ideally from the Disabled Rights movement, which she will chase. We have given mental health its own slot but only 45 mins as trying to cover three bases. KONP is putting together a very short video piece on mental health, Sylvia is sounding out a local consultant psychiatrist and we hope York Mental Health Action group will contribute. The aim in all sections is to have short, thought provoking contributions which leave plenty of room for discussion on the floor and formulating ideas for action.
6. Consultations on the NHS long term plan
NHSE’s short survey on legislation in the long term plan closes 25th April. You can complete at https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/nhs-long-term-plan-legislation/ Healthwatch are also running consultations, not just in Leeds. John wondered if other areas have positive relationships with or experiences of Health Watch but this doesn’t seem to be the case in Yorkshire.
John also noted that We Own It and KONP are joining forces to encourage people to say they want rid of S75 but want NHSE to go further and get rid of all privatisation in the NHS. People agreed that it was important not to give any illusions that getting rid of S75 would end privatisation.
7. Charging ‘migrants’
John is pursuing his FOI re migrant charges in Leeds. It is understood that Unison have a motion to their national Conference against the charges. If someone owes more than £500 for health care they can be reported to the Home Office. Quite apart from the deliberate intent to create a hostile environment for migrants, the unfairness, risk to life and health of a particularly vulnerable sector of society and dangers to public health, charging migrants is the thin end of the wedge to charging all of us in for health care. Sylvia said that charges in Social Care have been ratcheting up and debt collectors employed to pursue non payers.
8. Other upcoming events
1. Stacey Booth, GMB, advised that there is a protest outside Barnsley Hospital on Wed 17th April 10.30am organised by GMB to protest the change in payment system for ISS catering staff .
2. Sat. May 4th: Many areas have Mayday Marches. Groups will be taking NHS campaign banners.
3. Sat. 18th May in Wakefield : Banners Held High celebration of working class and labour history takes as its theme “A Land Fit For Heroes? “ in the aftermath of World War One. The parade assembles at 11am at Smyth St then there are films, theatre, talks, exhibitions and stalls. The event looks at the resonances for today and also welcomes the Labour Party pledge to repeal the Trade Union Act 2016.
Summary of shared ideas and action arising from our discussions
1. Film, theatre, comedy, exhibitions are a good way to expand our audience and reach out beyond a small circle of people already interested.
ACTION:
Judith Joy will check out and advise whether we can keep Marion MacAlpine’s photographic exhibition on privatisation : “How come we didn’t know” in the north after their showing at Keighley library 7th – 25th May. Leeds interested late June and maybe for our Conference 29.6. York might be able to use it. Anyone else interested please liaise with Gilda.
2. Preparing questions to intervene in debates, webinars, public meetings as well as at LA and NHS Boards and forums is worth a go.
ACTION
John Carlise and SHA Yorks can offer help and support. Nora is an expert on the duties on the NHS to engage with the public and will provide us with relevant info. She will also forward useful highlights from the meeting on digital services and suggested that if anyone wants to consider joining possible webinars , they see “ In Touch” magazine
3. It is worth focusing on simple messages aimed at what is important to people eg. highlighting rationing, the loss of the patient –doc relationship, continuity and face to face time, increasing distance to travel for GP and hospital care etc. along with challenging the notion that we can’t afford decent care and challenging the ideology which tries to turn the citizen into consumer and pits us against instead of for each other. People’s Commissions can be a useful tactic.
ACTION:
Where people have useful leaflets, please send to Gilda for sharing
4. Trying to keep inclusive : involving Conservatives, looking for joint action with the TUs and local TUCs.
ACTION
Chris offered to share a talk/ paper on involving Conservatives in campaigning which he could circulate
John could add info from Shropshire KONP where activists have managed to run a powerful campaign in a a very Tory dominated area so we should take heart.
Pete Keal will be talking to the West Yorks network of Trades Councils and share their ideas with us.

5. We should seek to for alliances with health workers eg over migrant charges as well as safety, conditions of service etc.
ACTION
Gilda to speak to Unsion re their motion on migrant charges and how to take this forward locally. .
John suggested we circulate the Medact charter.
Further action to be discussed at the Northern Conference – the issues is tucked into discussion in the morning
Anyone who can please send info to Sylvia re the vast hikes in charges for Social Care services

6. We should seek and plan for more co-ordinated days of action on various issues. G thought that there might be potential to do something collective over migrant, indeed all health charges but agreed with others who suggested that this that this might not be the most unifying place to start a series of co-ordinated actions.
ACTION
All think about potential areas for shared days of action Motions can be put to KONP and HCT

G : In retrospect I wonder if mental health , particularly children’s mental health or out of area mental health placements would be a good focus for co-ordinated action ?

7. We need to finalise the programme for the Northern HCT Conference on 29th June, get a final flier out at the beginning of May and publicise as widely as possible
ACTION : Gilda, John and Mike Forster with support from all groups

NEXT YORKSHIRE HEALTH CAMPAIGNS TOGETHER NETWORK MEETING :
Friday 12th July pm : Venue and time tbc.

Minutes April 2019

Pdf version: LHA Minutes April 19

Reports: Guardian Report , Service User

We were pleased to welcome Phil Corrigan to the meeting. Phil retires this summer and we wanted to say thank you for all the help and advice she has given us over the past20 years. Her successor Tim Ryley takes over now. He has worked in the Manchester CCG. Hopefully we will get to know him. How long the CCGs will exist is anybody’s guess but certainly changes are coming —-again. Might we go full circle and end where we began? We all enjoyed an informal chat with Phil with Joan’s lovely cranberry and apple fruit drink. We then gave Phil some flowers and wished her along and happy retirement but after her holiday in Canada Phil will be returning to her first love and will be working part time as a nurse at Airedale Hospital.

Mental Health Services: Sylvia then brought us up to date with changes in Mental Health services in Leeds (See the attachment). All 5 day hospitals are now closed. Some Day Centres are still open but charges plus the cost of transport are now in place. Those in greatest need are referred to the Intensive Care Service. LYPT depending on Voluntary Services but provision is patchy. There is little care planning and carers are not being involved. Confidentiality being the reason given. Nuwan Dissanayaka, one of the Psychiatrists in LYPT, gave an interview to The Guardian.( see the attachment). It was agreed that we need to prepare a leaflet or some publicity to highlight this enormous problem. Maybe it can be an item at the June Conference?

KONP: Gilda brought some leaflets with information about the Conference in June. WE hope LHA will be able to help and give positive support. I will forward Gilda’s e-mail highlighting KONP’s programme for the next few weeks.

M reported on the meeting with Richard Corbridge at the Forum 200. Not at all convinced about the use of an App for hospital or surgery appointments. Concern raised with the support of most of the people present. He agreed that there will have to be some training for patients. Can’t help wondering when and by whom or who is going to provide the i-phones for those who have no connection with the internet. January 2020 D Day for widespread introduction. NHS England determined that it will happen.
Maureen also happy to report that she received wonderful care for her cataract operation.
Next meetings Tuesday May 21 and Tuesday June 18

Leeds Hospital Alert minutes March 2019

Care Homes warning in the Guardian if Interserve go into administration on Friday

Outsourcing: – full discussion postponed until next time but the report from the New Economic Foundation has been e -mailed to everyone. Also, Jenny Shepherd and 999 NHS are keeping up the pressure.  The sheer volume of contracts with Interserve as, it was with Carillion; highlights the dangers of current policy. (update cf. the Guardian Saturday March 16)

NHS 10 Year Plan: – many good things in the plan but a glaring omission is services for children. The plan has scant regard for how it will relate to schools.  Mental health support teams will work in schools but will be managed by clinical commissioning staff.  The conclusion of the first Children’s Commissioner for England is that we cannot continue to fail so many children.  Beatrice to contact Lisa Mulherin.

No deal Brexit:  letter sent to Theresa May signed by the great and the good of the NHS.

Alex Sobel is continuing to ask questions in Parliament about insulin supplies.

Digital services in the NHS: – patients will have the right to online and video consultations by April 2021. For further information see Specific Improvements – primary care on line. 8 specific improvements in total. An app a day will keep the doctor away. 25 % of doctor’s appointments will be via app by July 2019.  The accent is to be on DIY healthcare.

Already experimenting with robot doctors!!

IN addition, by 2023 – 2024 an army of social prescribers will be handling approximately 900,000 patient appointments a year.

NHS agreement to extending the Babylon service outside of London to Birmingham is cause for concern.  Believed that Leeds will be its next target.  Richard Vautrey chair of the BMA’s GP committee said ‘ We are incredibly disappointed with this decision, which is not only premature but flies in the face of place based care delivered by practices embedded in local communities, which the recent changes in the GP contract are committed to deliver’   Are patients going to be warned that by signing up to Babylon they will automatically lose their local GP service.  Who is going to monitor Babylon?

N.B. it is estimated 90,000 people in Leeds have no internet service

Questions are being asked about the role of OPTUM which is a subsidiary of United Health (another big American Company) Leeds CCG doesn’t have any contracts with them but NHS England has a contract with them for 4 sites across England to develop staff capability in the use of data to better support front line teams and planners.

Yet another new name.  This time Accountable integrated Care Partnership. WE must monitor developments.

GP At Hand complaint

Babylon GP at hand – please be aware of Dr John Puntis and many other doctors’ complaints:

The leaflet from ‘GP at Hand’ is being distributed through letterboxes in parts of London. As you see, it promises an instant recovery (“Get well now”) for patients with symptoms. GP at Hand has been destabilising practices by taking out young, well individuals from GP lists, and reducing practice income needed to look after complex and chronically ill patients. Despite an ongoing independent evaluation of the service not yet being completed, Babylon Health has recently had the go ahead to expand from London into Birmingham. GPs have expressed concern over fragmentation of care and patient safety and have pointed out that the service flies in the face of the place-based care delivered by a practice embedded in the local community that is the focus of the new GP contract.

I have lodged the following complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority:

‘Babylon GP at Hand’ have produced a flyer being hand delivered to residential addresses in Islington. I was given a copy of this flyer yesterday. It implies that symptoms will resolve instantly (“Get well now”) with a telephone consultation. It does mention that to register with the ‘GP at Hand’ service patients will need to de-register from their current GP, but does not explain that this will cause considerable problems if the need for urgent care arises.

The flyer also states: “prescriptions delivered to the pharmacy of your choice within an hour” which disguises the fact that prescribing without seeing and examining a patient is extremely poor medical practice and fraught with risk for both doctor and patient. My complaint is that this flyer gives a mistaken impression of the benefits of using ‘GP at Hand’ and fails to point out inherent risk. There are also wider risks to the NHS from young, well and tech savvy patients being registered with ‘GP at Hand’ and removed from GP lists thus reducing the practice income that is required to look after older and more complex patients with chronic conditions.

Babylon GP At Hand leaflet

Leeds Hospital Alert Minutes

pdf version LHA Feb 19

We have received a fun thank you card from Nicola.

Bronwen received a reply from Simon Stevens in response to the letter expressing our concerns concerning further privatisation of the NHS and expressing our support for changes to the Lansley Act.

Alex Sobel asked at PM Question Time about the supply of insulin post Brexit.  It is all in hand he was told but we must keep a sharp eye on what happens next.

Concerns about the lack of staff in the NHS causing real problems in all services.

Must keep track of NHS England’s demand for increased use of electronic consultations and services.  We especially need to know what happens for those who do not have internet access.  Many GPs unhappy about recent developments. They could be dangerous.

Social Care Report:  Bronwen, Sylvia, Jeremy, Gilda attended the Social Care meeting at the Central Library. Time was spent looking at the Preston Model, the Foundation Economy Unit at Manchester University, the Sheffield Civic Society model.  All concerned about the cost of outsourcing, its effect on budgets and on patient services.  Good contact was made with Charles Dannreuther at Leeds University.  He would like to know more about LHA.  Sylvia to contact him. We need to know how to move the Council on from their current entrenched position.  Ought we to contact the Centre for Disability Studies at the University?  There will probably be a Northern Conference as follow up to the Birmingham Conference.  Gilda will keep us up to date.

Community Mental Health Services.  Sylvia gave a brief report. The Service is returning to working in teams with the aim of keeping patients out of hospital and in their own homes.  All day units have been closed including Malham House. Intensive home care treatments go live March25. There will be a transition period with re-design of homecare teams.  There will be an on line questionnaire for service users but not for their carers. Further report at our next meeting.

Leeds CCG would like your views on the proposal for urgent treatment centres in Leeds.  Closing date for feedback 15 April 2019.  Contact the CCG on 011 3 843 5470 on leedsccg.comms@nhs.net

KONP: Urgent Care- 111 Service- to be provided by Yorkshire Ambulance Service.  New targets from April.  Could be put through straight to a GP.

Vascular services.  Lack of trained staff means either Huddersfield or Bradford will lose their department.  Leeds working to full capacity.

Combating loneliness.  Aim to rekindle community spirit.  See the e-mail forwarded   from John.  Jan’s cautionary tale about   the threat to her tai chi class not very encouraging. To discuss at the next Yorkshire meeting the possibility of a Northern Conference probably in June.

There will be a workshop at SUMMAT March 9 in Notre Dame Sixth Form College

NHS March 30th March.  Please help with distributing postcards as widely as possible. Cards available from Gilda.

Next meeting Tuesday March 12 Muir Court 7.30

April 9 come to say thank you to Phil Corrigan before she retires in July.  Would be good to have as many members as possible at this meeting.

NHS Vision from Doctors in Unite

Their vision for the NHS

Full working document

Their principles:

We believe in

  • A society that promotes good health.
  • NHS and social care which is publicly funded through general taxation, publicly provided, publicly accountable, free at the point of delivery and comprehensive in its scope.
  • Addressing the social determinants that lead to poor and unequal health experiences.
  • Healthy ageing as essential to contain health and social care demand.
  • Welcoming migrants.
  • Democratic control of the NHS by neighbourhood health committees,
  • Parity of esteem and funding between mental and physical health.

What the NHS 10 year plan means for Leeds – Dr John Puntis

Stephen Hammond MP (Minister of State for Health) writing recently from his Wimbledon constituency to the good people of Leeds

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/yorkshire-post/20190112/282041918287291)

claimed: ‘The NHS Long Term Plan’ “will preserve the nation’s most prized asset”.

The ‘plan’ aims to keep people well and identify illness earlier, and is an amazing uncosted wish list of wonderful things that could be done if only the government could be persuaded to give the NHS enough money and staff:

  • community health crisis response services to swing into action within two hours of referral? – no problem sir;
  • home-based and wearable monitoring equipment to predict and prevent events that would otherwise have led to a hospital admission? – of course madam;
  • assessment and treatment of frail elderly patients by multidisciplinary teams delivering comprehensive geriatric assessment in A&E and acute receiving units? – definitely, every hospital medical and surgical department will have them.
  • One in three women experience urinary incontinence after childbirth – fine, we will have multidisciplinary pelvic health clinics across England, etc., etc.

The current reality, however, is that/ two thirds of acute Trusts are in the red, compared with 5% in 2010. Cancer waiting times are the worst on record, huge problems exist in A&E, and the average wait for a GP appointment is up 30% to two weeks.

This is all because of chronic underfunding. Until eight years ago, the NHS budget annual increase was 4% to meet rising demand, before being savagely cut to 1%. The Office for Public Responsibility estimates a 4.3% increase in spending is needed. The amount of extra funding which is supposed to pay for implementation of the ‘plan’ is a meagre £20.5 bn. It does not make up for the accumulated financial deficit, and increases the overall budget by only 3.4% – and not until 2023/4!

The ‘plan’ also sets out intentions to implement a top down reorganisation, with 44 ‘Integrated Care Systems’, lacking in public accountability (i.e. everything about you decided without you) and unprotected from takeover by the private sector.

Forced mergers of GP practices will cover populations of 30-50,000, causing accessibility problems for many. Whereas most of the 60+ uncosted commitments in the ‘plan’ to improve services would be very welcome, they are completely unrealistic given the funding offered.

An obsession with non-evidence based digital solutions, lack of a workforce plan to tackle the current 100,000 vacancies, absence of information on how much capital will be available for new projects, and ignoring the crisis in social care (“when agreeing the NHS funding settlement the government therefore committed to ensure that adult social care funding is such that it does not impose an additional pressure on the NHS over the coming five years” – so that’s alright then!) all spell further misery for patients. £20.5 bn may help keep the lights on, but this ‘plan’ is in reality a recipe not for the preservation but for the destruction of our most prized asset.

The lack of detail on manpower despite many trumpeted innovations that clearly would need more staff is astonishing. Perhaps they see unpaid volunteers as the solution, since £2.3 million is being committed to the Helpforce programme?

Helpforce is a charity that aims to boost the 74 000 volunteers in the NHS to “millions”. It was set up by Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, educated at Eton and Oxford before becoming a barrister and investment banker (giving him his soubriquet – ‘Thomas Huge-Wallet ‘). Apparently Sir Tom can often be seen waiting for a GP appointment or queuing in A&E. Billed by the Daly Mail as “one of the UK’s top health experts” (surely some mishtake? – Ed.), his insightful pronouncements on the NHS include: “to keep it on the road it should – like a garage – charge for extras”.

‘Leeds Keep Our NHS Public’ invites the people of Yorkshire to join a demonstration demanding proper NHS funding at 11.30 on March 30th 2019, outside the art gallery in Leeds.

Find the NHS Plan at: http://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-long-term-plan/, write to NHS England, PO Box 16738 | Redditch | B97 9PT, or email at
england.contactus@nhs.net to request a paper copy.

Briefing for Rachel Reeves MP

pdf version

Young people’s mental health is a ‘worsening crisis’. 

Action is needed writes Mary O’Hara in The Guardian 31/7/2018 ‘Whatever the language deployed to describe the scale of mental health challenges facing Britain’s young people, it has to be addressed immediately.’

NHS figures published last month revealed that almost 400,000 children and young people aged 18 and under are in contact with the health service for mental health problems. According to the figures, the number of “active referrals” by GPs in April was a third higher than the same period two years prior. Those seeking help for conditions such as depression and anxiety showed a sharp increase….

Demand for help is up, but services are diminishing…. The revelation in November 2017 that two-thirds of children referred for specialist mental healthcare are not receiving treatment ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Current situation in Leeds:  Children and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) are provided by the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust says the CAMHS website. CAMHS is a specialist mental health service for children and young people. Staff are highly trained in a range of different assessment techniques and evidence-based therapies. Staff work closely in teams so that they can offer services tailored to the needs of children, young people and families.

For a very small number of young people, highly intensive assessment and treatment packages are needed. Leeds CAMHS has both intensive outreach and inpatient services. Little Woodhouse Hall is the adolescent inpatient unit in Leeds. It is for young people up to the age of 18. There are 8 residential places there but there is are no Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in Leeds. Some years ago, 16 and 17-year-olds even 15-year-olds with challenging behaviours used to be put on adult mental health in-patient wards but we campaigned against that.

More recently young people are sent to Out of Area Treatments (OATs), mainly to the Cheadle Royal Priory, a private hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester or to an NHS adolescent unit at Middlesbrough if they need to be in a PICU, both of which are about 50 miles away from Leeds. This distance must put great strain and cost on families, as well as create difficulties in continuity of treatment and care planning.

Plans for new £13m CAMHS unit to be shared with public

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust is inviting the public to a drop-in information session where proposals for a new inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) unit will be unveiled.

The proposed new unit will provide crucial specialist support to young people with mental health problems on the St Mary’s Hospital site in Armley.

The drop-in event is to be held between 3.30pm and 7pm on Thursday 13 September in the Class Room, Holly House, St Mary’s Hospital, Green Hill Rd, Leeds, LS12 3QE. Free parking, including disabled parking, is available directly outside the Holly House building.

It is an opportunity for people to view and comment on plans prior to submission of a planning application. Service, construction and design representatives will be on hand to answer any questions.

Earlier this month it was confirmed that Interserve Construction Limited had been appointed as the Trust’s construction partner for development of the prospective £13m unit – which got the go ahead following a successful bid for NHS funding led by Leeds Community Healthcare.

Thea Stein, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust Chief Executive, said: “It is very important to the Trust that the voice of young people, families, staff and the local community has a strong presence in the development of the new unit and we will continue to work together to make sure we get it right.”

If you can’t attend the event but would like further information, or if you have any special requirements, please contact Samantha Hirst, Communications and Engagement Manager on 0113 843 1204 or email Samantha.Hirst2@nhs.net

You can also keep up-to-date with the latest on the project by visiting: https://www.leedscommunityhealthcare.nhs.uk/

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

What is proposed. This is fantastic news for the development of children’s and young people’s mental health services in West Yorkshire, at last. The new residential unit, proposed for the Leeds and York Partnership Trust’s site, but run by the Leeds Community Healthcare Trust and funded by £13 million from NHS England, will have 18 residential places and 4 in a PICU, totaling 22 for West Yorkshire. It is to be built on part of the St Mary’s Hospital site on Greenhill Road in Armley which has mainly been cleared of services in recent years. It is likely that the old hospital in the centre of the site which is a listed building will be sold for apartments, perhaps for hospital staff. Unfortunately, although space has been provided there is no funding for a crisis assessment unit for children and young people.

I attended the public drop-in for the new in-patient CAMHS unit and met the architects and various professionals and was impressed by the building, but I had some concerns about it being institutional, overlooking the cemetery, and isolated from the local community. Young patients had been actively involved with planning the interior and facilities of the building.

Opportunities for the local community

  1. This must be a good opportunity for employment in the development of jobs in both building and running the new unit. How can we promote this to ensure local people are trained to take up work?
  2. Young people and their families, and workers, are likely to travel to the unit from across the north of England, with consequent opportunities for the improvement of transport to St Mary’s Hospital. What financial support will be available to carers for traveling?
  3. The multinational out-sourcing company, Interserve, has been chosen to both build the unit and provide the staff to run it. I am concerned that Interserve appears to have financial difficulties, reminiscent of Carillion.

Interserve shares dive on rising concerns over future

Simon Jack, Business editor @BBCSimonJack 13/11/2018

“A former big shareholder in construction and facilities management company Interserve has told the BBC he is doubtful the firm can survive. Shares hit a 30-year low on Monday and are down a further 15% on Tuesday. “We could be looking at another Carillion. I don’t see how they can raise the £500m or so needed,” he said. However, two different sources close to the company denied the firm was close to bankruptcy and said it was set to ask new investors for more capital. Interserve, a major UK government contractor, sells services, including probation, cleaning and healthcare, and is involved in construction projects. The company is making more than £100m in cash and although the construction business has got a few problems, the core facilities management business is doing well, according to people who attended a recent management meeting. One source added that the sharp falls in Interserve’s share price reflected the growing realisation that existing investors will get a worse deal than those prepared to commit fresh cash.”

  1. The young people who are admitted to the unit will be some of the most distressed; experiencing for example, initial onset of schizophrenia, severe eating disorders and be at great risk of suicide and self-harm. I propose a local community centre, preferably on the hospital site which does not have a workers’ café anymore.  HMP Leeds has the Jigsaw voluntary organization on-site to welcome families at a distressing time, with activities for adults and children and food and drink. This might be a useful model.

14/11/2018