Monthly Archives: November 2016

//November

Hugo Swire asks for more funding for social care after all!

By |2016-11-29T09:19:00+00:00November 29th, 2016|News|

East Devon’s MP has joined a rebellion demanding more funding for social care.

Mr Swire didn’t admit that he was planning to join a rebellion on this in his letter to me .....but I did ask him to ask for more money for health AND social care, as Devon’s budget is around £5m in the red.

It’s excellent news that Mr Swire is starting to oppose more unacceptable government policy. There are few government policies more contemptible than starving the NHS of money and plunging the most vulnerable people in society into difficulties, potentially leaving them without adequate personal care.  There are too few carers who are paid very little. This is a big part of the problem.

Otherwise the deficit is largely down to rapidly rising demand - more older people with complex health and social care needs - and massive cuts to council budgets.

Here’s the article - https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/29/tory-mps-press-philip-hammond-over-nhs-and-social-care

And here’s my email to Mr Swire, sent earlier this month - https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_please_back_sarah_wollaston_and_urge_chancellor_for_more_nhs_and

Here’s Mr Swire’s reply to me, received last week - https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_disagrees_with_colleague_dr_sarah_wollaston_over_nhs_funding

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Hugo Swire disagrees with colleague, Dr Sarah Wollaston over NHS funding

By |2016-11-23T22:14:00+00:00November 23rd, 2016|News|

This is Hugo Swire’s letter in reply to my email asking him to back Sarah Wollaston on the NHS, which I received this morning.  It was welcome to receive a letter that obviously reflects his own thoughts and not simply a minister’s standard reply, which is what I asked for.

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East Devon MP ignores my query on backing his colleague over NHS

By |2016-11-22T18:34:00+00:00November 22nd, 2016|News|

I am disappointed that MP, Hugo Swire has opted to ignore my email to him, urging him to back his Conservative colleague, Sarah Wollaston.

I sent the message to Mr Swire on 3 November (link below), asking him to urge chancellor, Philip Hammond for more health and social care funding in tomorrow’s autumn statement.

Dr Wollaston, chair of the health select committee has asked the chancellor for more money when it became clear that the £10bn pledged by the government to be ploughed into the NHS, was actually not £10bn at all. It was more like £4bn.

It was a serious request and one that is very relevant to Mr Swire’s constituency, where a number of local hospitals are at risk of losing all their beds in the current consultation - Your Future Care.

The Local Government Association is also calling for more funding for social care as agencies struggle to recruit and retain carers and struggle with the implications of huge underfunding. 

There is a £5m hole in Devon’s adult social care budget.

Health and social services are completely interlinked and if the community hospital beds are cut, social care will have to take up more work to help keep people in their own homes.

I would have thought that Mr Swire would have had the time and the manners to respond to a query that was made about three weeks ago, on an event that takes place tomorrow.

I can only assume that this means that as usual he has not had the courage to break with the party line and that he did not wish to admit it.

What a pity.

The link to my email is below ..... https://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/hugo_swire_please_back_sarah_wollaston_and_urge_chancellor_for_more_nhs_and

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Public meeting in Ottery St Mary to debate plans to shut more community hospital beds

By |2016-11-18T12:30:00+00:00November 18th, 2016|News|

There will be a public meeting at the King’s School in Ottery St Mary on Tuesday 29 November, to consult residents on plans to shut 72 community hospital beds in Eastern Devon - and on introducing a new model of care on looking after more people in their own homes.

Last year NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group made a decision to shut all the general medical beds at Ottery Hospital as well as Crediton and Axminster. We now have 15 temporary stroke beds at Ottery but they are set to transfer to the RD&E in due course.

The CCG was not planning to hold a meeting in Ottery but myself, Cllr Elli Pang and Ottery Town Council all wrote requesting that a meeting be held in the town to update people on the new model of caring for people in their own homes and what plans there are for the hospital.

The meeting at the King’s School is from 6-8pm on Wednesday 29 November.

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EDDC scrutiny committee to examine hospital bed closures plan

By |2016-11-18T12:14:00+00:00November 18th, 2016|News|

East Devon District Council’s scrutiny committee will examine plans to close half the remaining community hospital beds in Eastern Devon.

Beds are at risk at Sidmouth, Seaton and Honiton (which is unfairly excluded from the consultation completely).

Also on the agenda is NHS Property Services, the controversial new private company wholly owned by the secretary of state for health.

NHS PS now owns 12 community hospitals in Eastern Devon, including Ottery St Mary.  It will charge commercial rents from next year, despite the buildings previously being owned by the local NHS and being significantly funded to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds, by local residents.

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Aggregate Industries hold new exhibition on quarry plans at Ottery next Wednesday

By |2016-11-18T11:24:00+00:00November 18th, 2016|News|

Aggregate Industries will hold yet another public exhibition on its controversial plans to quarry at Straitgate Farm, on the edge of Ottery St Mary.

The company will display its proposals next Wednesday (23 November) between 2 and 8pm at the Institute in Yonder Street on a quarry that would take up around 100 acres of greenfield countryside.

Around two miles of hedgerow is proposed to be ripped out.

The exhibition will take place as Devon County Council’s development management committee meets to decide on the Devon minerals plan - and the fate of Straitgate Farm in the overall quarry strategy for Devon.

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Health thinktank chief:  Claims re care at home is better has “mixed evidence at best”

By |2016-11-14T08:51:00+00:00November 14th, 2016|News|

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/14/patients-and-staff-shut-out-of-nhs-transformation-plans-says-thinktank?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

.... In Devon the local NHS sustainability and transformation plan has just been published (see blog of last week) but a much woollier version than than the leaked document that made its way into the public domain in September.

It of course, means cuts cuts cuts.

All over the country the NHS is being shrunk and in my view, downgraded - and we are told that care in people’s homes is not just the only option to cope with demand but it will actually provide a better standard of care.

The King’s Fund chief says that there is only “mixed evidence at best” however, that this is true….

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Sidmouth GPs infuriated at NHS Property Services misrepresentation to health watchdog councillors

By |2016-11-10T15:37:00+00:00November 10th, 2016|News|

Sidmouth GPs are angry after an NHS property company gave a misleading update to Devon County Council health scrutiny councillors, on controversial plans to redevelop Blackmore Health Centre.

A written briefing was circulated to councillors from NHS Property Services on Monday 7 November, claiming that agreement with the practice had been reached on rent and service costs.

But Dr Joe Stych said he was infuriated at the claims. He asked that the committee be put straight at its meeting on 8 November.

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My nature motion agreed by cabinet this morning…. Full council in December

By |2016-11-09T19:24:00+00:00November 9th, 2016|News|

A notice of motion I proposed on tightening up, being more proactive on Devon County Council’s nature policies was agreed by its cabinet this morning.

The motion was prompted by the latest disastrous State of Nature report that was published in September.

I will attend a meeting on Monday afternoon at County Hall to discuss ideas for upgrading the policy.

See below for the motion detail…..

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Proposal to suspend plans to cut 71 East Devon community hospital beds fails by two votes

By |2016-11-09T15:04:00+00:00November 9th, 2016|News|

• CCG does not know how many more staff it needs

• No answer (yet) to public health stated assumption that care at home costs the same as care in big hospitals

My proposal at yesterday’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee meeting to suspend the consultation which proposes to halve the remaining community hospital beds in Eastern Devon, fell by two votes.

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The election of Donald Trump: How is it even remotely possible?

By |2016-11-09T08:42:00+00:00November 9th, 2016|News|

I thought George W Bush was a laughing stock. But apparently even he didn’t vote for Trump.

The last four years have seen a quiet, intelligent thoughtful diplomat inhabit the White House….

Donald Trump’s key policies include repealing a watered down version of the NHS, building a 1900 mile wall in Mexico to keep immigrants out and carpet bombing vast swathes of the Middle East.

He is widely regarded as a sexual predator. And he is widely regarded as a racist, with many race relations organisations saying that in a heartbeat he has undone hundreds of years of good work in healing race relations in America. It wasn’t until the 1960s that this work properly bore fruit.

Even Trump’s Republican colleagues appear rather shellshocked this morning. But he is their own selected candidate. They only have themselves to blame.

Trump has hinted at leaving NATO - which could spell the end of the alliance.

An autocrat - the word being used about him this morning, I suspect is rather polite. Dictator would be more appropriate.

We can only hope that his behaviour will be so intolerable that he is impeached before he can do his worst.

Here’s the Guardian’s view of how he got there - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-white-house-hillary-clinton-liberals?CMP=twt_gu

And here’s the Telegraph’s - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/09/why-a-donald-trump-victory-could-be-good-for-the-us—and-the-wor/

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