The #MidandSouthEssexSTP (formerly known as Success Regime who dropped that name after they were defeated on the disgracefully dangerous A&E downgrade plans) are ‘selling’ their scheme to the public by stating that separation of emergency and planned (elective) care will relieve the burden on the three hospitals in the Government STP’s footprint for our area, improve patient outcomes and relieve the recruitment crisis.

The actual bottom line is that they need to slash the £400-500 million estimated financial deficit by 2020/21.

Whilst we do indeed see a few sparce glimmers of real improvement to acute hospital care and patient outcomes in their ‘proposals’, there are a huge number of concerns that many of the new pathways they are proposing are detrimental to patient care and well-being and will enforce a postcode lottery for NHS services.
For those unaware – the three hospitals which are merging under the direction of the very driven CEO Ms. Clare Panniker are Southend (SUHFT) , Basildon (BTUH) and Broomfield – which is also known as Mid Essex Hospital Trust.

The STP had to shelve their dangerous scheme in July 2017 for the A&E downgrades and blanket re-direction of 999 ambulances from Southend and Broomfield Hospital to a ‘super A&E’ at Basildon, following exposure that the ‘on the floor clinicians’ were NOT behind the plans and there was the mass public pressure, led by our campaigns, on local MPs and Councils.

The STP public consultation was launched at the end of November 2017 and will run until 9th March 2018 but unless you actually read the 400 page Pre Consultation Business plan (PCBC) document or have any sound clinical knowledge of the clinical implications of many of the proposed changes which include the transfer of over 1000 patients per month from Southend Hospital alone to either Basildon or Broomfield, the average member of the public would be easily fooled into believing this is all a ‘good thing’.
It isn’t. http://www.nhsmidandsouthessex.co.uk/…/proposals-for-hospi…/
You can read the full PCBC here – http://midessexccg.nhs.uk/…/2703-full-part-i-papers-29…/file

The Mid and South Essex STP are on a Government led timeframe to achieve massive financial savings and the whole STP proposals are built on mass improvement in primary care services (access to GPs, community nurses, physios, specialist practitioners etc) in the community via ‘locality ‘HUBS’ which allegedly will PREVENT many unnecessary hospital admissions. There is also a huge focus on ‘self care’ and the increased use of web-based apps for self diagnosis and treatment. Currently and historically, there is a HUGE GP crisis in South Essex and the numbers of nursing applicants and unfilled vacancies across the whole of the healthcare sector is rising by the month. Then there’s the issue of actual investment in the creation of these locality hubs and small matter that these will take YEARS to actually significantly reduce the hospital admission rate in an area with an increasingly elderly population group and massively growing commercial and residential infrastructure.
So the STP team still feel it is your best interests in the mean time to completely re-structure acute hospital services and ‘centralise’ emergency care for acutely unwell medical and surgical patients – mostly at Basildon Hospital but a good chunk at Broomfield too.
Following stabilisation at your local A&E ( think about the current crisis both locally and country wide with Ambulances unable to offload and people queuing into the car park to be triaged https://www.theguardian.com/…/nhs-winter-crisis-nurses-leav… ), over 1000 patients from the Southend area alone will be transported by their proposed ‘internal transfer service’ where there will be teams of Doctors and other specialists to keep you alive and well en-route to this shiny new ‘specialist’ care facility where your survival rate and outcome will be improved (if you actually make it there). However, there are NO details of how much this will cost, who will be providing the service (VIRGIN/ARRIVA etc) or how it will be staffed (and by who?). The £41 million spoken about in local press by our MPs has been granted so they can push forward with these dangerous plans – spend £41 mil to save £400-500 mil – spun like it’s a good thing yet again!

If we are honest, we do not think that they have ANY intention of such provision for a large, complex and expensive internal transfer service and the long term goal is to return to the downgrading of both Southend and Broomfield A&Es, redirecting most of the 999 emergencies to Basildon or Broomfield according to their medical or surgical pre-hospital diagnosis. Watch this space.

Then there’s the HUMAN factor – that our loved ones won’t be in our local GENERAL HOSPITAL at their time of crisis, where we can pop to see them (emotional well-being and support from family plays a huge role in patient improvement) or how do we get there ‘in time’ if we get ‘the call’ to come quickly. The Mid and South Essex STP also suggest they will be providing a free bus service between the hospitals but once again, there are NO details on this in their consultation survey. Is it 24 hours a day? What is the frequency? Who is providing it? How much will THIS cost?

As you know by now from the way we led our campaign to stop the A&E downgrades, we are not here to scaremonger and we are all for any modernisation of health services IF there is a CLEAR, CLINICALLY EVIDENCE BASED CASE FOR CHANGE supported by adequately staffed community health services, early GP access and increased provision of social care beds and home support to assist discharging patients from hospital to free up bed space (and we do not mean #CareRooms!).
There are already pathways in place that have been in operation for years where certain emergencies bypass local A&E and head straight for a specialist trauma centre etc. This won’t change and it indeed works to improve patient outcome but some of new pathways the STP are proposing for certain patient groups are DANGEROUS and purely financially motivated.

It is our view that their ‘spin’ of separating emergency and planned (elective) care and centralising of services for the acutely unwell will FAIL and this will give the government the evidence they need to further privatise chunks of our NHS. It is documented that the three hospitals involved will all be increasing their private bed capacity and creating the 2 tier health system we all fear. This is fact.

So all in all – the glossy, shiny, Mid and South Essex Public Consultation document you will see on their website and leaflets has been produced to fool you in to a false sense of security that this is in your best interests.

Our NHS is in crisis for many reasons including per head underfunding of our expanding population, community hospital closures, social care cuts, mental health cuts, community care cuts, stopping the training bursary for students and a workforce that are leaving in droves as they are simply burnt out.

#SaveSouthendNHS will fight this STP alongside all of the other campaigns in the country who are subjected to similar cuts, but we need YOUR help. We saved our A&E and now we need to fight to keep a General Hospital in Southend and fight for adequate investment in our health services in a town which is rapidly expanding!
This is not the time for any political argument or point scoring – our community has to unite to fight the very real demise of our local NHS services.
Help us prevent a postcode lottery for care. Help us to fight to £90 million of annual cuts from Southend, Basildon and Broomfield Hospitals. Stop our local population becoming ‘collateral damage’ before it’s too late. Join us at Pier Hill 12pm on Saturday 27th January for our rally and to hear more about the proposals. Follow our page and share our posts, scroll back and read our past posts to help you understand the complexities of the STP and invite your friends to do the same. Write to your MP and local Councillors. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.#OurNHS#Southend #Broomfield #Basildon #MSESTP

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