Category Archives: Health centres
You may have seen the news already but Monitor, the sector regulator for health services in England, has announced today that it is launching an investigation into the deteriorating financial position at Heart of England NHS Trust.
You can read my statement on the matter below and the full press release further below that.
Statement from Liam Byrne MP
“Heartlands has acted fast to sort the serious care issues I raised last year – but it now looks like the government is simply not giving the hospital enough money to do the job local residents expect. Our A&E and maternity unit are now some of the busiest in Britain and quite frankly we will not be short-changed.”
“Heartlands now needs to get a permanent experienced chief executive in place and get the government round the table to agree a proper financial plan for the future. We expect and demand first class services. And we’re not going to settle for anything less”
Press release from Monitor
Embargoed until 14:00, Thursday 1 October 2015
Monitor opens investigation into deteriorating financial position at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
The health sector regulator has launched an investigation after Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust reported it is heading for a significant deficit by the end of the financial year.
The trust, which provides NHS services for approximately 1.2million people in Birmingham, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield and South Staffordshire, has recorded a £29.5 million deficit in the first five months of this financial year, and has had to use its cash reserves for the day-to-day running of the trust.
Monitor is concerned about the speed of the deterioration and lack of a robust plan to address these issues. Our investigation will seek to understand the underlying financial risks, the challenges the trust faces and what needs to be done to fix it.
Marianne Loynes, Regional Director at Monitor said:
“This trust has slipped worryingly into the red, using its cash reserves to prop up the day-to-day running. A deficit of £29.5 million in five months is simply not acceptable and we want to establish what can be done to ensure the trust continues to provide the services local patients value.”
An announcement about the outcome of the investigation will be made in the next few weeks.
Notes to editors:
- For further information please contact Nick Burke, Media Relations Officer (Nicholas.Burke@monitor.gov.uk) or email@example.com (020 3747 0800)
- Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of people who use them. Information about Monitor’s role can be found here.
· Follow Monitor on twitter @MonitorUpdate
Many of you will have read, in my Winter Newsletter, about the three constituency wide residents meeting that I am holding between now and the election in May. They’re on the 3 big issues residents tell me that they want me to focus on – and I want to hear what you think needs to change in the years ahead.
· Fighting for more and better jobs, especially for our young people who need more to do
· Battling for a better NHS which residents feel is under real pressure. We need it to be world class, especially for our kids and older residents who have paid in for a lifetime
· And of course, changing our immigration system, which I’ve always talked about as long as I’ve been a MP
The second of these is this coming Saturday 14 February from 11:00 – 12:30 at The Beaufort Sports and Social Club. Details below.
Saturday 14 February 2015 11:00 – 12:30
NHS and Social Care: What’s the service we need in the 21st century for patients and carers?
Venue: The Beaufort Sports and Social Club, Coleshill Road B36 8DX
I hope you can join me for the second of these exciting opportunities to discuss the issues that really matter to all of us.
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
With all best wishes
PS. Details for the final meeting are below:
Saturday 21 March 2015 11:00 – 12:30
New Jobs, Fair Pay, Fair Taxes – and Fair Tax Credits!
Venue: Shard End Community Centre, Packington Avenue B34 7RD
Press release from Monitor, Thursday 5th Feb 2015:
Monitor secures extra help for Heart of England to improve services and strengthen leadership
An experienced former NHS chief executive will help Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to improve its services for patients.
Diane Whittingham has been appointed as Improvement Director at the trust. She has over 30 years of NHS experience.
Diane will be employed by Monitor, but will be based at the trust in a part-time capacity. She will work alongside the trust’s new interim chief executive- Andrew Foster CBE -who was appointed last month following the resignation of Mark Newbold.
Diane will provide the trust with expertise, guidance and support while also holding its board to account to ensure that the required improvements are made.
Today’s action addresses concerns that the trust has insufficient long-term leadership capacity. An external review highlighted deficiencies in how the board scrutinises the running of the trust’s services.
Heart of England has been in breach of its license to provide healthcare since December 2013. Monitor imposed a further condition on the trust’s license to provide healthcare in October 2014, enabling it to take further action if its leadership didn’t improve.
The trust has also agreed to a new legally binding commitment that it will develop and implement a wide-ranging improvement programme covering governance, culture, safety and staffing, information technology, performance and leadership.
Heart of England provides health services to 1.2 million people across the West Midlands at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital, Solihull Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic.
Katherine Cawley, Regional Director at Monitor, said:
“This extra support will help Heart of England make the necessary improvements, so that it can provide well organised, high-quality services for patients.
“Diane brings substantial NHS experience to this role. In particular, she has a track record of successfully dealing with the complex challenges that can arise in a large healthcare organisation.
“We will continue to monitor the trust’s progress closely and will take further action if necessary.”
Notes to editors
- For further information please contact, Nick Burke Media Relations Manager, on Nicholas.firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3747 0800.
- Diane Whittingham took up her new post on 2 February 2015.
- Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust was authorised as an foundation trust on 1 April 2005.
- Details on Monitor’s previous regulatory action at the trust can be found here.
- Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of people who use them.
- Information about Monitor’s role can be found here.
- Follow Monitor on twitter @MonitorUpdate
News from Liam Byrne MP
Liam Byrne has today demanded talks with NHS chiefs to stop East Birmingham health services falling into crisis.
The move comes as health service regulator Monitor insists on further steps to ensure a proper improvement plan is in place at Heartlands hospital.
But Mr Byrne is demanding further action to improve GP services to relieve the strain on pressurised A&E services, including more urgent care services at local health centres, after his snap inspections of the centres found them almost empty.
Liam Byrne said:
‘My snap inspections found local urgent care centres almost empty – because local residents know they just aren’t the doctors available.
‘Frankly NHS have failed to put down on paper anything I can see that’ll improve things. So I’m demanding face to face to talks to jump start them into action’.
‘Our local NHS staff are doing an amazing job and everyone tells me care is often outstanding when you can get it. The problem is getting to see a doctor is getting harder and harder.’
Notice of Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust’s application for foundation Status – 23rd January 2015
I am attaching a letter from Martin Smith, Director of Provider Appraisal at Monitor, letting you know that Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust has been referred to Monitor to begin its assessment process to become a foundation trust.
As always, I am happy to feed in your views as Constituents. If you do have any concerns you wish to bring to their attention, I would be grateful if you could get in touch with me by 15th Feb 2015.
I received this letter from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.
As you can see there are still more opportunities to get involved with the consultation process about the reconfiguration of the surgery.
There are several different ways you can access all the details of the proposals, the latest information and give your feedback:
- Website: www.heartofengland.nhs.uk/surgery-reconfiguration
- Email: email@example.com
- Dedicated telephone no: (0121) 424 3838
- Twitter: @heartofenglandBirmingham Heartlands Hospital
MP warns of ‘NHS emergency’ with Birmingham hospitals in danger of running out of beds – Birmingham Mail – 17 December 2014
MP warns of ‘NHS emergency’ with Birmingham hospitals in danger of running out of beds
Liam Byrne speaks out as grim new figures show some hospitals at 96 per cent bed capacity
A BIRMINGHAM MP has warned the city could run out of hospital beds after a shock investigation showed wards are nearing full capacity.
Former health minister Liam Byrne said health chiefs face an ‘NHS emergency’ after latest grim statistics revealed some hospitals are using 96 per cent of available beds.
Infection control experts advise occupancy rates should not be higher than 85 per cent because of an increased risk of infections if there is not enough time to clean properly between patients.
Most of the seven biggest hospital trusts in the West Midlands have action plans in place to cope with rising demand over the winter, with some opening new temporary wards.
Yet they are still struggling.
But Mr Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) said: “These shocking figures now prove our hospitals are packed to the rafters. No wonder care standards are under terrible pressure.
“It’s now clear this is an NHS emergency and fresh resources are needed fast. If we have a bad winter there’s a real chance the city could run out of hospital beds – and that will put lives at risk.”
Higher bed capacity figures also mean it is much more difficult for hospitals to cope with sudden “spikes” in admissions, caused by a surge in flu or norovirus infections.
Dr Cliff Mann, president of the College of Emergency medicine, said he was fearful the region was now heading towards a winter crisis. “The signs do not bode well, I cannot see how we can turn this round in a matter of weeks,’’ he said.
“We need more staff and more beds to cope with the pressures winter will bring.”
He said many wards had more patients than beds for much of the day, only falling to less than 100 per cent occupancy when the midnight recordings are taken.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Coun John Cotton, said cuts to social care were also contributing to the problem.
He said: “Despite the mild weather, it’s very clear hospitals in all parts of England are already struggling to cope, so I shudder to think what will happen once winter kicks in.
“Earlier this month Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted pressures on the NHS were ‘higher than they have ever been’ and the demands are sure to increase this winter.
“Government cuts have taken social care support away from older people and made it harder for others to get a GP appointment. That means more people are turning to A&E and hospitals are struggling to deal with the extra pressure.”
Recent figures recorded up to September show that University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Edgbaston, recorded a 96.4 per cent bed capacity.
It is believed this figure could rise further as the colder weather kicks in.
In January to March this year, bed capacity was recorded at 98 per cent.
The Queen Elizabeth, dubbed a “super hospital” after it opened a huge new site four years ago, resorted to reopening part of its old building to create a new ward last year. It was a temporary measure but it remains in place and has 170 extra beds.
Birmingham Children’s Hospital is also struggling to cope, with data showing a 93.7 per cent bed capacity in September, with the number rising rapidly this month.
A spokeswoman said: “Our busiest time of year is always the end of November and early December due to this peaking emergency demand for children – so at present our bed occupancy is fluctuating between 90 and 100 per cent.
“We open more beds at this time of year, and we increase the numbers of staff working to support the increased demand.”
Whilst Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust aims to have a capacity level of 93 per cent at midday, they still have two wards of adult beds used by patients who no longer need to be in hospital.
A spokeswoman added: “These delays put pressure on the bed capacity and have doubled in comparison to last year for patients from the Birmingham area, whereas we are seeing significant reductions in these delays of discharge for patients from the Sandwell areas.”
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has invested in more than 100 extra staff and are currently looking at ways to provide additional support services such as frailty units, increased medical cover for seven day services and care management for elderly patients.
Officials at New Cross Hospital, in Wolverhampton, admitted they are operating at near full capacity on most days but will open 27 additional beds after Christmas.
The Dudley Group NHS Trust, which operates Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, said there were no plans to put additional beds in place to cope with any potential winter crisis. This was despite admitting that it experienced unprecedented pressure on its emergency services and asked patients to think twice before attending in January this year.
Walsall Manor Hospital has introduced 40 new beds within the community to provide a step-down facility for patients who are well enough to leave hospital, but not quite well enough to go home.
It will free up more beds at the hospital for acutely ill patients. A spokeswoman added: “We are also opening a new £4.7 million ward at the Manor Hospital in January 2015 which will give us an additional 30 beds for acutely ill patients.”
Hospital A&E crisis: Mum and sick child waited SIX HOURS to see doctor at Birmingham Children’s Hospital – Birmingham Mail – 16 December 2014
Please find below more concerning news on our local NHS A&E. I gave a statement to the Birmingham Mail on the story – see below.
We have got to get a plan in place to sort out the crisis in our local NHS.
Hospital A&E crisis: Mum and sick child waited SIX HOURS to see doctor at Birmingham Children’s Hospital
New figures show six out of seven Trusts missing four hour emergency admissions target
Accident and Emergency departments are ‘spiralling’ out of control with six out of the seven major West Midlands hospital trusts failing to hit the Government’s four-hour waiting target.
Latest figures showed Birmingham Children’s Hospital was the worst performer, with just 81 per cent of patients being seen within the time limit during the week ending December 12.
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) followed closely at 86.7 per cent, with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust recording an A&E waiting time target of 87.2 per cent.
The Government’s national target is 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours.
Birmingham mum Nora Stevenson, 37, of Bartley Green, told how she waited SIX HOURS for her daughter to be seen at the Children’s Hospital after her daughter Maggie, aged three, began coughing up blood on December 7.
Her mother had called NHS 111 at 5pm and it took two hours for someone to call her back. She was given an appointment at Katie Road Walk-in Centre at 9.50pm where a doctor told her to take the youngster to Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s A&E department.
Nora said: “It was horrendous. I really can’t fault the staff as they were trying their best, but there weren’t enough of them there.
“Children were lying across the chairs because of the time of night and being sick. Parents were getting annoyed and having a go at the receptionist.”
The mum and daughter had arrived at 11pm and Maggie was finally seen by a triage at 1am – but it took another four hours for a doctor to examine her.
Nora, a part-time bank worker, said: “They checked on her every 90 minutes after that until she saw a doctor at 5am. She was discharged 20 minutes later with a minor stomach illness.“We followed all the correct channels but it took a total of 12 hours from when we called 111, to her being seen by a doctor.
“Next time I will go straight to the hospital.”
Other mums have taken to social media to flag up their experiences at the hospital.
Emma Donoghue wrote on Facebook: “My son was admitted with glandular fever and a secondary bacterial infection. There was a six hour wait in A&E although we only waited an hour as he was prioritised as an emergency.
“There was nowhere to sit and at one point I sat on the floor. There was far too many children there that shouldn’t have been there, running around and playing whilst my son slept through all the commotion.”
Yet while Natalie Hodgkins experienced delays, she also praised medics at the hospital and urged more people to use their GPs and walk-in centres.
She added: “My daughter had just been let home after a week and a half in Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The day before we went doctors at our surgery diagnosed a chest infection.
“The next day she had gotten worse and come out in a patch on her arm. It was rammed full of children running around with coughs. The wait time was four hours but we put straight through. She had sepsis. Doctors at the hospital acted very quickly and thanks to them my baby is still with us.
“Definitely people need to use GP and walk in more.”
The Children’s Hospital reported its busiest day EVER on December 1, when medics saw 223 patients in one day. Numbers have been hitting around 205 a day on average, whereas last year’s figure was in the 180s.
Dr Ben Stanhope, a consultant in paediatric in Emergency Medicine, said: “We have seen this problem in the last three to four weeks. There are an unprecedented number of children presenting in our department and we are seeing 20 to 30 more patients a day than we normally would.
“This is a massive increase. And it means that everyone is waiting longer.
“There are a huge number of children coming in with the influenza virus and we know that the national uptake of the vaccine is very poor.
“Many of these children would not be here if they had been given the nasal spray that protects them against the virus. It gives them better coverage than the old style needle.”
MP Liam Byrne (Hodge Hill Lab) said: “These shocking figures show A&E queues are spiralling. Our NHS staff do a great job but they’re being overwhelmed.
“The government’s huge cuts to Birmingham’s social care service mean it’s harder than ever to get older residents home from hospital. That means it’s getting harder to get people in the front door through A&E.”
At HEFT, which runs Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals, medics are also seeing a rise in admissions for the flu virus. Restrictions are in place at Heartlands because of flu and the winter bug norovirus.
Dr Ola Erinfolami, clinical director of the Emergency Department at Heartlands, said: “As with the rest of the region we are seeing increased attendance at our A&E departments and the addition of patients suffering from flu and norovirus not only exacerbates that situation but also increases the risk of those viruses being spread within the hospital.”
She added the best remedy for patients was to rest at home.
The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Russells Hall Hospital, in Brierley Hill is the only trust to hit the national target, seeing 98.2 per cent of patients in less than four hours.
WHAT THE HOSPITALS SAY: *Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust has a “detailed plan in place” to improve its ability to see people within four hours.
*University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said it has seen an unprecedented year-on-year in emergency admissions in the last two years.
*The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust said pressures had been building for some months. A spokesman added: “Additional resource via the winter pressures money has been made available, which includes additional doctors, nurses, technicians and porters for example.”
*Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust advised patients to also explore other alternatives than A&E.
*Dudley Group NHS Trust said: “We have a dedicated ‘capacity hub’ that acts as a command centre and is aware of current waits, patient volumes in our Emergency Department, how many patients are being discharged from the wards etc.”
Heart of England hospital trust one of most complained about in UK – Birmingham Mail – 2 December 2014
You may have seen my press release on Friday about the concerns that I and local Councillors have around the strain which our local NHS Trust (including Heartlands Hospital) is under.
The Birmingham Mail have today published a story about Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust which proves many of the concerns we’ve been hearing in the community recently.
Heart of England hospital trust one of most complained about in UK
Three serious complaints made to health ombudsman EACH DAY about NHS Trust, watchdog reveals
A troubled Birmingham hospital trust has been named and shamed as one of the worst in the country for patient complaints.
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) received 958 complaints to the Health Ombudsman in 2013/14 – almost three a day.
The shocking figures which places the trust as 13th on the league of shame, come just a month after it was revealed that thousands of patients were waiting more than four hours in A&E. Health watchdog Monitor slammed the leadership at HEFT and just a few days later chief executive Mark Newbold resigned.
New data has also showed that in 2013/14 the trust received 404,697 clinical incidents ranking it the fourth busiest out of 440 NHS Trusts and CCGs across the country.
The figures were released earlier this week by Dame Julie Mellor, the health ombudsman.
Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne (Lab) said: “This fresh evidence proves concerns which have been growing for months. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is overstretched.
“The staff at hospitals such as Heartlands do brilliant work but mismanaged resources such as our local NHS health centres mean that they are fighting a losing battle.
“More and more people are having to head for the hospital when they should and could be being treated at their local health centres. We need a plan for getting our multi-million pound health centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill fully operational as soon as possible.”
Latest figures show 5,518 patients waited more than the four hour target at Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals, all run by the Trust, compared to 1,619 in 2009/10 – an increase of 240 per cent.
Action is being taken to improve services and strengthen leadership so patients receive better care. Conditions have been imposed on HEFT’s licence so that Monitor can take further action if it does not perform better.
Waiting times are also said to be too long for routine operations and cancer care patients and there were additional concerns regarding mortality rates.
Heartlands NHS Trust was unavailable for comment.
News from Liam Byrne MP – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust receiving high level of complaints as burden on A&E increases – 28 November 2014
I wanted to share with you some concerning fresh evidence around the crisis of care standards we’re experiencing in Birmingham. New data shows that Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) was the 13th most complained about NHS body in the country in 2013/14.
This fresh evidence proves concerns which have been growing for months. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is overstretched. The staff at hospitals such as Heartlands do brilliant work but mismanaged resources such as our local NHS Health Centres mean that they are fighting a losing battle. More and more people are having to head for the hospital when they should and could be being treated at their local health centres. We need a plan for getting our multi-million pound health centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill fully operational as soon as possible.
You can see the full press release below and some photos of myself and Councillors Ansar Ali Khan and Majid Mahmood on our early morning inspection of Health Centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill.
All the best
28 November 2014 – News from Liam Byrne MP
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust receiving high level of complaints as burden on A&E increases
Fresh evidence released this week shows that Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) was the 13th most complained about NHS body in the country in 2013/14.
Data from the Health Ombudsman showed that HEFT had received 958 complaints in 2013/14; the vast majority of these were dealt with effectively at a local level. The data also showed that in 2013/14 HEFT received 404,697 clinical incidents ranking it the 4th busiest for clinical incidents out of 440 NHS Trusts and CCGs across the country.
The data was released earlier this week by Dame Julie Mellor, the health ombudsman.
Earlier today Liam Byrne MP and local councillors Ansar Ali Khan and Majid Mahmood carried out snap inspections at the under-used NHS health centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill.
Liam Byrne said: “This fresh evidence proves concerns which have been growing for months. Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is overstretched. The staff at hospitals such as Heartlands do brilliant work but mismanaged resources such as our local NHS Health Centres mean that they are fighting a losing battle. More and more people are having to head for the hospital when they should and could be being treated at their local health centres. We need a plan for getting our multi-million pound health centres in Washwood Heath and Hodge Hill fully operational as soon as possible.”
Notes to editors:
Liam Byrne MP and Cllr Ansar Ali Khan at Washwood Heath Health Centre – 28 November