Our CEO Owen Williams, our clinical head of emergency care Dr Mark Davies and associate director of nursing Jo Middleton were the CHFT reps at the second Huddersfield public meeting into the consultation process.
On Monday night at the John Smith Stadium they shared the panel with CCG colleagues to answer around 20 questions on the key themes which have emerged during the process which began in March and closes on June 21.
Jo Middleton said she backed the proposals because she believed people waiting for planned care deserved their care as much as patients waiting for emergency care - and received a round of applause for her words.
She told how it was her role to call patients – who, with their families, had prepared for a date for surgery – only to tell them their operations are off as patients with emergency conditions need their beds. She said that she did not want to make those calls any more and that is why she is backing the proposal for a planned care centre at HRI.
Mark Davies said what is crucial for emergency patients is that their care starts when an ambulance picks them up and did not delay until arrival at the emergency centre.
Head of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service Andy Simpson, said ambulance crews were used to getting through traffic in rush hours in Bradford city centre and on the Leeds ring road and driving on the Elland bypass at Salterhebble with a blue light is no different.
The audience raised a range of issues including travel for patients and families including issues around our shuttle service, wanting more independent travel analysis, accusing the process of being a “done deal” and at one point staged a partial walkout.
Owen said the NHS nationally was in a financial position it had never been in before and the Government is only considering funding for new models of care - not existing ones.
He said: “The money situation is unprecedented. It would be great if we could keep things as they are with more doctors, nurses and therapists. But the money for existing models of care is not there. The Government is prepared to listen to different models of care, they won’t support existing models.
“Nobody likes that situation. None of us on this panel do - and you don’t." He told the audience: “We are fighting with you.”
Referring to the inherited PFI financial arrangement in place at CRH, he said: “Whatever decisions were made in the past we are the people having to work it through now.”
CHFT stressed staff had been invited to take part in the process via meetings, drop-ins and weekly updates and there is still time to fill in a survey here.