I wrote the below to Cllrs in Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge earlier today
Is the Secretary of State being ignored over 228 bed closures at Queens and BHRUT?
On 29 September Councillors Canal, Streeting, Bartlett, Tarry, Dodin and Burton went to 10 Downing Street to say the proposed closure of King George A&E should be scrapped. The Department of Heath sent back the attached letter to me of 17 October. I confess not to even forwarding the letter to Councillors at the time as it had the usual mention of a guarantee from the Secretary of State that:
“...no changes were to take place until he was assured that the quality of services across maternity and A&E within Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust had improved”
“There has been no downgrading of services at the King George Hospital”
Pages 91 Page 92 of the 2010 NHS decision making business case attached shows 740 beds at Queens and 387 beds at King George Hospital in 2010-11.
A Freedom of Information letter from BHRUT of 11 December 2014 shows 620 beds at Queens 279 beds at King George Hospital at 11 November 2011.
This means losses of 108 beds from King George Hospital and 120 from Queens. And a total loss of 228 beds or 20.2% of the total since 2010.
The 2010 NHS target for the end of this year to achieve the closure of King George A&E in 2014 was a cut of 250 beds given at page 91. BHRUT is only 22 beds behind the 2010 target.
NHS statistics cut and pasted to http://savekinggeorgehospital.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/9746-nhs-beds-lost-since-2010-no-more-should-go-from-bhrut/ show 110,568 general and acute beds 2010 being cut to 103,690 in 2014, a reduction of 6.2%. It seems clear local residents are being treated unfairly when it comes a fair deal from the NHS.
These bed cuts at our hospitals suggest the plan to close King George A&E is going ahead without democratic oversight promised by Mr Lansley, the Secretary of State in 2011. The public were told earlier this year there are no plans to close King George A&E in the foreseeable future. These bed cuts appear to undermine this claim.
This large reduction in our local NHS is impacting upon patient care. The BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25055444 report 4 hour waiting times at Queens and King George of 76.4%, the national average is 87.7%, the safe level is 95%. The bed occupancy rate at Queens was 94% on 11 November and at King George it was at 97.1%, both well over the safe level of 85%. The NHS website gives the most recent national average bed occupancy of 87.6%.
Another NHS benchmark is Referral to Treatment within 18 weeks. I wanted to check if BHRUT was also behind average here, but cannot report because BHRUT has not filed the October return, A poor showing here has the ability to impact on death rates.
I have put in a FoI for the number of medical staff employed by BHRUT in our hospitals on 1st January 2010 and how many are employed today using the same methodology used by the NHS when at page 123 of the attached decision making business case. Page 123 of this staff shows 25% of the medical posts to go by next year since 2011 and I am concerned we may have lost a large number of medical staff as well as beds.
I have a meeting with BHRUT on Tuesday 9:30, it seems an ideal time to ask questions about whether Mr Lansley’s promise is being adhered too. Please let me know if you can attend too.
If no evidence of can be provided of these large bed cuts being signed off by Mr Hunt the Secretary of State for Health, then there appear grounds for asking him to reverse the bed cuts as part of the improvement plan for Queens and King George Hospitals.
Both QH and KGH seem to have been "downgraded"