Following the Shropshire CCG’s announcement that they are planning devastating cuts to community and mental health services, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Defend Our NHS has written to both the County’s MPs and the Chair of Shropshire’s Health Scrutiny Committee to call for action to prevent them. The letters are below (or click on the links above). Continue reading
On Wednesday 10th August, the Governing Board of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) took some shocking decisions. They nodded through NHS cuts that will harm frail elderly people, people with mental health problems, people with profound disabilities, and children with cerebral palsy. They didn’t say ‘cuts’, of course. They’re just ‘realising the potential for disinvestment’.
The planned cuts for this year include axing a voluntary worker who worked on integrating services from health, social care and the voluntary sector; closing a crisis house in Ludlow for people with mental health problems; withdrawing funding from the handful of children with cerebral palsy who have intensive therapy at the Movement Centre in Oswestry (a recognised centre of excellence); closing Enable, a high quality specialist service helping people with mental health problems remain in employment; closing beds in a Much Wenlock care home that have been used to avoid hospital admissions; ending a service that provides proactive care to frail elderly people in care homes who are most at risk of hospital admission; ending a lifestyle physiotherapy service that has run for 8 years, is cost effective and well-used; stopping a Home from Hospital service that provides very practical help and personal care for patients following hospital discharge or requiring support to avoid hospital admission; ending a Moving and Handling service that provides support to the carers of older people with dementia or mobility problems; probably ending most pain management services in Shropshire and hoping that GPs will absorb the work; and ending a specialist service at Oak House that provides health assessment and intervention for adults who have profound intellectual and physical disabilities and sensory impairments.
Letter sent today to CCG Board Members in advance of their meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, August 10 at 11:00 in Shirehall, Shrewsbury
Dear Governing Body Member
Apologies for an unsolicited email. I am contacting GP members of the Governing Body, and members with a responsibility for public engagement (including David Evans as Accountable Officer). I am also copying in Jane Randall-Smith from Healthwatch, and local MP Philip Dunne who now has Ministerial responsibility for NHS finance. I will also be forwarding this email to Gerald Dakin, Chair of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee, with some additional comments on the possible impact of these cuts on Shropshire Council.
I am concerned about the implications of agenda item 8.4 on CCG decommissioning and disinvestment plans. The impact of these cuts on some very vulnerable people will obviously be detrimental to them, as I’m sure you are aware. The patients most affected are people with mental health problems, frail elderly people, and people with complex disabilities (adults and children).
Last month, the Governing Body of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group agreed, ‘We should consider some areas we have previously viewed as “unpalatable” if we are to deal effectively with our financial problems’[i].
The realities of this are now becoming clear. On Wednesday 10th August, Governing Body members will be asked to agree cuts proposals that will harm the most vulnerable people in our society.
The cuts[ii] include withdrawal of funding for children with cerebral palsy to attend the Movement Centre, a centre of excellence based at Oswestry’s Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital. A ‘Home from Hospital’ service, offering practical support to frail elderly people following hospital discharge, is to end. The ‘CHAS’ scheme, offering pro-active case management and care to the frail care home residents most at risk of hospital admission, is to end. Funding will be withdrawn from Oak House, an establishment offering health assessment and intervention to people with profound and multiple disabilities and sensory impairments. People with mental health problems will be particularly hard-hit, with the closure of Enable, a best practice employment support scheme to help them into work. Ludlow’s Path House, a crisis centre for people with mental health problems, will close. Counselling based in GP surgeries is to end. A national target for the NHS is to value mental health equally with physical health – but it is hard to see how these cuts are consistent with that principle.