Service reconfigurations = CUTS!

This is from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page –


Dear supporters. Southend currently has a GENERAL HOSPITAL but under the proposals by the Mid and South Essex STP, not for much longer – here is the list of all the service relocations. In case they wish to argue, these are from their web site (which is exceedingly hard to navigate – even for us)

Patients in need of emergency general surgery that require a hospital stay to be at BROOMFIELD Hospital.

Gastroenterology services for people with complex gut and liver problems requiring a hospital stay to be at BROOMFIELD Hospital.

Patients requiring a hospital stay for complex lung problems to be located at BASILDON Hospital.

Patients with complex kidney problems who need a hospital stay to be located at BASILDON Hospital.

Patients diagnosed with acute stroke would be transferred to a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit at BASILDON Hospital.

Patients with vascular issues requiring a hospital stay for diseased arteries and veins to be located at BASILDON Hospital.

Patients who need a hospital stay for treatment of complex heart problems to be located at BASILDON Hospital.

Patients who require emergency Orthopaedic surgery which require a hospital stay (e.g. for broken bones) to be at BASILDON Hospital ( BROOMFIELD for Mid-Essex).

Patients who require a hospital stay for Urological surgery (e.g. for kidney and bladder problems) to be at BROOMFIELD Hospital (except for urological cancer operations which are already located at Southend Hospital).

Patients who require PLANNED orthopaedic surgery (e.g. for bones, joints and muscles) to be at SOUTHEND (though at Basildon if the patient has other complex health issues).

Women requiring gynaecological surgery who need a hospital stay and gynaecological cancer who need a hospital stay to be located at SOUTHEND Hospital.

Allegedly, you will be seen if an emergency at Southend A&E under a ‘treat and transfer’ plan and then transferred on by their currently non-existent, un-planned, un-staffed internal transfer service. They state: “If you needed to transfer to a specialist service, where you would have a higher chance of making a good recovery, we propose to invest in a new inter-hospital transport service with full clinical support, travelling with a doctor or a nurse for a safe and rapid transfer to the care you need.”

There is no documented plan of providing (or costings of) a fleet of vehicles, how they will staff this with Drs, nurses, paramedics (remember that one of the reasons for the whole STP is that there are recruitment problems) and very scant clinical evidence that is a few cases this will improve outcomes or be cost efficient. The ‘on the floor’ clinicians have stated most of these plans are dangerous and will not achieve either desired improvement patient outcomes OR financial savings OR improve staffing issues and this is backed by a wealth or clinical evidence by research organisations such as the Kings Fund who have conducted research on centralisation of hospital services. Plus they need to slash £400 million by 2020/21 therefore do you honestly think that this will be BETTER for us? Our NHS is in crisis as it is let alone with more budget slashing. This is an enforced postcode health lottery for the good people of our community and the majority of these plans are dangerous and a downgrade by stealth to our local GENERAL hospital. This is why we must fight!


The highest stakes with our money!

SKIPP press release (15-01-18)

Has Southend Council got a gambling addiction? After years of gambling with millions of tax payers money on the proposed seafront museum, they are staying in for yet another hand with a high stakes bet of £1.3 million on new architects for the proposed carbuncle; which has no backers from wherever they have looked for them. Now this! £750,000 for the Queensway proposal where again there is no assurance that any more money will be forthcoming from whatever sources. Trouble is they are gambling with OUR money.

And who wants to get rid of the Porters Grange roundabout anyway? Tony Cox says he has listened to complaints about it but these involve the underpass and the lack of safe pedestrian crossing. No one wants another fouled up junction like Victoria Gateway!

Well maybe John Lamb and the council do. It has also been noted that traffic to the east will no longer be going through Queensway putting unacceptable and unnecessary pressure on Priory Crescent. Is this another attempt to dual Priory Crescent? This was and always will be a rejected idea of astronomical cost because another railway bridge would be compulsory. If Victoria Gateway worked properly these foolish ideas would not arise.

From Saxon King In Priory Park

Newham council we are watching you

Our friends from Focus E15 getting 2018 off to a flying start by challenging Newham Council on their turf over their appalling record on housing and social cleansing from the borough… Looking forward to getting out on the streets with Focus E15 during 2018:)

Focus E15 Campaign

Focus E15 campaigners started the new year as we mean to go on, as thorns in the side of Newham Labour Council. This is because Newham council continue to prevaricate about dangerous cladding, keeps hundreds of homes empty on the Carpenters Estate and continues to move people out of the borough and out of London, with no regard for the health and well being of adults or children.

On Thursday 11 January, Mayoral Proceedings were held at East Ham Town Hall. Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, due to contest his seat in May this year, opened by saying what a fair place Newham borough is, giving an example that all children, rich and poor, receive free school meals. He didn’t mention that 1 in 25 people in Newham are classified as homeless and many poor, vulnerable and immigrant families are being sent out of Newham and out of London for housing – which is not fair…

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What’s the difference?

On the left is a spread from the Basildon Council free rag, the Borough Diary, showing what their Pride team has managed to achieve during last year. On the right are a couple of images shot on the community clean up facilitated by Basildon & Southend Housing Action (BASHA) on the ¾ estate in Vange back in December.

We’re not knocking the Pride team because when they go on to the estates to tidy things up, they do a pretty good job. However, the team only has limited resources and we’ve heard anecdotal evidence from people in the know that they’re stretched to the limit and can only do so much. That means that however hard the Pride team work, there any many areas in Basildon that will remain untouched by their hands for some time to come.

BASHA are a community based action group. A key part of their remit is empowering and facilitating groups on the estates to start taking an active role in making their neighbourhoods better places to live. Which is why on December 2nd, they found themselves alongside members of the Vange Hill Community Group facilitating some tidying up and gardening on parts of the estate: Doing it for ourselves on the ¾ estate in Vange

BASHA are not in competition with the Pride team from Basildon Council and in no way want to deprive any of them of a job. All BASHA want to do is work in partnership with the Pride team to help residents who want to improve conditions on their estates. As we’ve written more times than we care to remember, attempts to deal with the hierarchy at Basildon Council when it comes to building an effective working partnership have generally been re-buffed. This is in total contrast to the council teams on the ground who genuinely appreciate what BASHA does and have always helped them out on clean ups by taking rubbish and cuttings away.

Tenant and resident led initiatives on the estates aimed at improving conditions on the estates through activities such as clean ups should be getting the full support of the council instead of having obstacles constantly thrown in their way. Resident involvement in running and maintaining their estates should be hard wired into the council’s thinking and planning. The problem is that there are elements in the hierarchy of Basildon Council who cannot even begin to contemplate letting go of their control…

So, once again, BASHA would like to offer the powers that be at Basildon Council the opportunity to have a rethink, relinquish a bit of control and let tenants and residents at the grassroots get involved in making their neighbourhoods better places to live. It’s a new year – let’s have a new start from the council and some positive thinking for a change!

No Merger!

From the Save Southend NHS Facebook page –

Members of Save Southend NHS, Save Our NHS Basildon, and Defend Our NHS Chelmsford joined forces, with just hours notice, to protest outside Broomfield Hospital this lunchtime prior to the meeting of the hospitals’ Joint Working Board who were considering the plan to merge all three hospitals.

We find it incredible, that mid way through a public consultation on the STP plans on how the three hospitals can work better together, that out of the blue and with no warning, this merger has been announced.

The STP and NHS England have kept these plans hidden from us and it makes a complete mockery of the consultation.

This merger could sound the death knell for local hospital services. The documents also talks about creating an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) in tandem with the merger which is often seen as the precursor to privatisation and the selling off of health care provision to a large large multi-national, like Richard Branson’s Virgin Healthcare, where the driving force is profit and not the well being of the public.

Save Southend NHS are very much opposed to the merger of the three hospitals. This would inevitably lead to a reduction in the number of services available locally to patients plus the potential implications for staff contracts, conditions and pay are huge too.

We want to see a fully operational General Hospital kept at each site and not one hospital with three sites. If a merger happens we have no doubt that individual specialist services will be concentrated on one site, meaning patients will have to travel much further for treatment. It would also mean that the three hospitals would no longer all be able to each keep open a Type 1 A&E department with 24/7 blue light admissions. In all likelihood NHS England would create an A&E ‘super-centre’ at Basildon and downgrade Southend and Broomfield to walk-in centres; exactly what we and the vast majority of local residents have been fighting so hard to resist.

Stirrer No.4 is back from the printer

The fourth print edition of the Stirrer has come back from the printer. Firstly, many thanks to our friends at Oxford GreenPrint for doing their usual superb job on printing the paper. As we’ve mentioned previously, there are going to be some changes to how the paper will be getting distributed – this is how we intend to do it…

Handing the Stirrer out on the high streets / town squares. So far, we’ve lined up Southend and Basildon as definite venues and possibly Romford. If any of our supporters want to join us in distributing the paper to the public in these areas, let us know and we’ll sort out a mutually convenient date.

Handing the Stirrer out on protests / rallies and at fairs. There’s a few events coming up we’ll be supporting and handing out copies of the Stirrer in a way that respects the event and helps with our aim of networking and alliance building.

Leaving bundles of the Stirrer at venues that are sympathetic to our politics. We’ve got a couple of such venues but we can always do with some more. If you run or know of such a venue, feel free to get in touch with the details and we’ll take it from there.

Door-to-door distribution. We still intend to do this but to a much lesser extent than in the past…

Lastly but by no means least, we would love our supporters across the region we cover from Havering in the west through to Southend in the east and up to Brentwood, Billericay and the Dengie Peninsula to take a small bundle to hand out to their friends, neighbours, colleagues and families. We know you’re out there:) Feel free to get in touch and we’ll sort out a way of getting the Stirrers to you.

As we can only afford a small print run, we’re making all the print editions of the Stirrer available as downloadable PDFs. This is the one for Stirrer No.4:

Mergers and cuts…

This is from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page –


Plans are being considered to merge Southend, Basildon and Brookfield Hospitals in a bid to save money. SEE ARTICLE BELOW!

Huge implications for Southend and the staff at all three Trusts. Could this lead to the downgrade of our A&E that we all fought so hard to stop last year? The merger will make it far easier to reduce services available at each individual site and centralise care – further away from resident’s homes. This is another blow to the populations of Mid and South Essex and especially Southend on sea locality who are set to lose the greatest amount of acute hospital services under the STP. Staff will be shunted all over to accommodate the restructure of acute services at different sites – many experienced staff will leave, paving the way to recruit less qualified, less experienced cheaper alternatives and the patients will have no choice where they are seen due to the removal of some key specialities from each site ( mainly Southend) and the merger will open opportunity for more commercial private investors to be involved in NHS service provision.

Now more than ever the people of #Essex need to wake up and realise that our local hospital in under severe and imminent thread and you need to make your collective voices heard! #SaveSouthendNHS

EXCLUSIVE : Senior leaders of three trusts to recommend merger

By James Illman (Health Service Journal) 9th January 2018

· Chief and senior team of three Essex trusts to recommend full merger to boards on Wednesday

· Merged trust would be one of biggest providers in the NHS

· Trusts previously said they had “no intention” to merge and campaigners will oppose move

The joint chief executive and senior team of three Essex acute trusts will recommend controversial plans to merge next year to create one of the largest trusts in the NHS, HSJ can reveal.

Leaders from Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Southend University Hospital FT and Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust will discuss the move at their joint leadership team meeting tomorrow.

Clare Panniker: ‘The recommended option is for our trusts to work towards becoming a single organisation’

The trusts have been developing a “group model” to run their hospitals under one leadership team with a “flexible workforce” since 2016.

However, the original group model agreement said there was no intention to merge the trusts – and the change will face fierce hostility from local campaigners, clinicians and politicians if it gets the green light.

A merged entity would have combined revenue of £945m making it the eleventh biggest NHS provider, based on last year’s turnover figures.

Clare Panniker, who is chief executive of all three trusts in an unprecedented arrangement, is leading the proposals.

A paper for the board meeting, written by other senior executives on the joint leadership team, said: “Our aspiration would be for a new organisation to come into being by April 2019.”

The recommendation follows an “appraisal exercise” in December by KPMG. “The preferred outcome of the options appraisal scoring exercise was for a proposed three way merger,” the report said.

Lobby group Save Southend NHS, which is supported by several local senior clinicians who have spoken to HSJ, said it was “very much opposed to the merger [because it] would inevitably lead to a reduction in the number of services available locally to patients; plus the potential implications for staff contracts, conditions and pay are huge too”.

Save Southend NHS secretary Mike Fieldhouse said: “We want to see a fully operational general hospital kept at each site and not one hospital with three sites. If a merger happens we have no doubt that individual specialist services will be concentrated on one site, meaning patients will have to travel much further for treatment.

“In all likelihood, [NHS leaders] would create an A&E ‘super centre’ at Basildon and downgrade Southend and Broomfield to walk-in centres – exactly what we and the vast majority of local residents have been fighting so hard to resist.”

Ms Panniker said in a statement to HSJ: “A number of options on the way we work together in the longer term have been tested in a rigorous appraisal process carried out by members of the three boards, individual site leadership teams [and] governors/patient council representatives.

“The recommended option is to work as one organisation and for our trusts to work towards becoming a single organisation on 1 April 2019.

“If the boards of each trust approve the recommended option, the next step will be to produce a strategic business case to set out what needs to be done to seek the formal approval of our regulators, our councils of governors, and presents the opportunity to engage more widely with our stakeholders and local community.”

The news comes with the trusts consulting until March on a major acute reconfiguration. The plans have been significantly watered down since they were first discussed in 2016, following patient and clinician opposition.

The East of England Clinical Senate’s review, published in February 2017, warned the plans attemptedto try to retain virtually all the current services on all three acute sites.

The senate said the plans would not deliver long term sustainability and advocated a “bolder” approach, which could involve one of the three emergency departments being upgraded and one downgraded to a minor injuries unit.