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!


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.

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.

Another report from the NHS frontline…

This is from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page – We make no apology for posting up these reports as the message that the NHS is being run into the ground and as a result, patients lives are at risk needs to be got across ahead of the march and rally on Saturday 27th January.

With great sadness, #SaveSouthend bring to you yet another in a long line of devastating reports from the coalface of emergency care. The following is written by a local frontline nurse and one with a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and experience. Is this REALLY what modern healthcare should look like in a first world country? #NHSCrisis #Southend #STP

“I leave shifts feeling at once decimated by the fact I can’t deliver the standard of care I feel I could and should to my patients because you are constantly running from case to case to keep on top of the workload – but at the same time elated by the standard of care we DO deliver under impossible burdens… AND we have newly qualified nursing staff that are working alongside the more experienced staff – their hearts and souls go into their care and they will all make excellent emergency nurses – assuming they don’t burn out first.

Then there are the doctors who work with us – ranging from some very junior to very experienced individuals who generally feel the same way – frustrated we can’t keep on top of the workload as we get exit block from the department.

We feel guilty that patients have to wait in the department for so long, we feel guilty that the ambulance crews can’t unload and head off to the next job – whose relative is left laying on the floor after a fall for hours because the crews can’t unload? Who is deteriorating and will then come to us sicker because of a delay in care?

And the support staff that help us juggle patients and keep the department afloat – porters, domestics, reception and clerical – we couldn’t do half of what we do without them. Your A&E has an amazing team that struggles daily to deliver high quality care – yet no other healthcare system in the world is trying to deliver the quality and quantity the NHS does on the level of funding it does…

The UK has 2.7 hospital beds per 1000 people – compared to 4.5 average in the rest of the EU. We have 2.8 doctors per 1000 people – EU average is 3.8. We have 8.2 nurses per 1000, EU average 9.4. The UK spends on average E3000 per person on healthcare – the EU average is E3304, though Germany, the Netherlands, France and Sweden all spend over E4000

If the Danes, Swedes, French and Germans can spend more on health care without apparently bankrupting the rest of their economy, why can’t we?”.

The team at #SaveSouthendNHS once again want thank and praise all of our NHS staff for the amazing care they deliver despite these most trying times. March with us on Saturday 27th January 2018 12pm assembly at Pier Hill for #OurNHS – the Government sanctioned Mid and South Essex STP are set to slash £30 million annually from Southend’s budget. Our voices MUST be heard. The NHS belongs to the people. Southend on sea requires a GENERAL HOSPITAL able to fully meet the needs of the local population.


In light of the previous post, if you’re in or near Southend on Saturday 27th January, please do your level best to get along to this march and rally…

A printable / downloadable version of this poster is available from here:


Southend Hospital – FRONT LINE UPDATE

This is from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page:

Our local #NHS staff have provided another confidential update from the front line and we thank them for speaking out in order to help us fight for our local communities.

“Yesterday there were only a handful of discharges from the hospital – needless to say there was no respite from ambulances arriving. During a recent shift (I won’t say which as it narrows the options of who was on duty if days and times are given), every cubicle in the main department had a patient in it awaiting an inpatient bed for either the medical or surgical teams and ambulances were lining up 10 deep. We were treating some patients in the minors cubicles that should have been in the main area of the department and one or two of those arguably should have been in Resus. Nurses are frequently not getting breaks, cutting them short or staying beyond their finish time in a desperate attempt to keep on-top of the workload. We had paramedics looking after patients in the Paediatric ED overnight, just so they were not all in a cold corridor and patients were waiting too long for basic investigations because there simply was no physical room in which to do them, that didn’t already have someone else just as sick or even sicker in it already”.

We have no words. Our campaign would love to say these kind of shifts are one-offs but they are becoming a regular occurrence thanks to the appalling lack of investment in the NHS and social care as a whole. Despite these appalling front line reports, the Mid and South Essex STP are set to slash a further £30 million annually from Southend’s budget.

Our hospital ( and all of the hospitals within the STP footprint) require investment to EXPAND instead of carving them up and transporting Southend’s most sick and acutely unwell and vulnerable patients out to Basildon and Broomfield using a ‘transport service’ that the STP have not even detailed how they will recruit into, fund vehicles or supply the appropriately trained Drs, nurses and support staff plus equipment to manage critically ill patients en route to elsewhere.

There are already pathways in place and operational for certain types of acute trauma emergencies to transfer out but they want to implement more and more – many of which are dangerous and not in the best interests of patient care in our opinion.

Their ill conceived and mostly premature plans have to be stopped.

We do not currently have the community health and social care systems in place to prevent such high A&E attendances and hospital admission rates, nor the social care bed space or staffing capacity to facilitate early discharge once patients are medically fit… and by that, we don’t want your CareRooms AirBnB schemes either.

Until the STP provides black and white evidence of primary care investment capital and concrete plans where they will magic practitioners from, bearing in mind the massive GP, student nurse, paramedic and allied health professional crisis – then we will fight the proposed changes to acute hospital services unless the ‘on the floor’ clinicians and leads deem them safe and beneficial to patient outcomes.


– We demand a properly funded, properly staffed, public NHS service.
– We want our busy general hospital expanded – not downgraded.
– We don’t want private bed allocation in our NHS hospitals.
– We don’t want to be cared for by staff who are running themselves into the ground and faced with their own health suffering in order to provide a basic level of care. This has to stop.

#SaveOurNHS #SaveSouthend #NoSTP

No To £400 Million Local Health Cuts – Save Our NHS

This is from the Defend Our NHS – Chelmsford, Mid-Essex Facebook page – The proposals from the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’ affect Southend, Basildon and Broomfield – this Facebook page is part of a coordinated response to what is essentially a programme of cuts.

Saturday, 17th February, 12noon – 2pm | Outside Waterstones, 78 High Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1EJ | Facebook event page:

The bottom line is these proposed STP (now renamed the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, though Slash, Trash, and Privatise is perhaps more appropriate?) changes are not clinically driven. These proposed changes are being driven by huge government cuts.

Basildon has not been able to deal with demand in recent years as it is, so how will it cope as the specialist emergency centre for mid and south Essex? Their A&E has regularly been on black alert. Does it really have the capability for all this extra demand? It will be overwhelmed.

Furthermore, with public transport links so poor between Chelmsford and Basildon, there will be those who find it very difficult to impossible to visit relatives and friends in Basildon. And such support networks are vital to patients in recovery.

We are also worried about how the victory we gained in the summer will be maintained. By losing many of the services currently being offered at Broomfield to Basildon, Broomfield will inevitably also lose medical staff to Basildon. Without these medical staff, can Broomfield continue to offer a full A&E service? It looks like it will be a downgrade of blue light emergency services by stealth.

Please join us in the High Street (by Lloyds/Waterstones) to say no to NHS cuts and privatisation.