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Formal titles -“INTO THE FUTURE Re-shaping community based health services”

'Driving quality, delivering value, improving services'

In fact – closing four Community Hospitals (CHs), including Ashburton/Buckfastleigh and substituting 'Care at Home'

The consultation extended from 1st of September 2016 to 23rd of November

21 December 2016


This briefing paper has been written in the event of the committee of the League of Friends of the Ashburton and Buckfastleigh Community Hospital (A&BL LoF) deciding that an application should be sought for a Judicial Review about elements of the consultation conducted by the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (SD&T CCG)

I made detailed responses to the 'consultation' 21st November but 'interacted' with the CCG many times before. The document provides useful context and contains two, or possibly three elements which a barrister might consider justiciable. (1)

The SD&T CCG, like all others, was set up by the Health and Social Care Act of 1st April 2012. It was charged with commissioning medical services and, presumably, in pursuing efficiency, economy and safety in those services. The South Devon Care Trust, which had direct reponsibility for the Community Hospitals, launched the first consultation on the proposal to close CHs and substitute 'care at home' in the autumn of 2012. That ran into the sand. SD&T CCG has been consulting (wearing down) about these proposals throughout 2014 – 2016, with the formal period as noted above.

A large amount of material has been dispersed but traditional notices like posters have seldom been used. A large majority of the population does not know what the 'CCG' stands for or does. They would not be helped if they read, say, the Formal Governing Body meeting of April 2016 and its 263 pages.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (GPs who 'buy/commission services from the providers eg Torbay Hospital) have been directed by NHS England to close Community Hospitals.  In turn, more patients will be looked after in the home, about which there is a good deal of scepticism.  The pressure to get those listening members of the public to agree has been overbearing. 

There is no doubt, as this document says - 'Close the CHs - cripple the DGH.' Download the Document Here

Download the document attachements:

Attachment 2.

Attachment 3.

Attachment 4.

Attachment 5.

Attachment 6.

Attachment 7.

Head of Communications and Strategic Engagement SD&T CCG

Dear Mr Chalmers,

My letter to you is No 1, with attachments as listed.  

1.  Letter to Mr Ray Chalmers  Head of Communications and Strategic Engagement SD&T CCG (View as PDF)
2.  Stakeholder briefing  Aug 16 from SD&T CCG (View as PDF)
3.  Letter to Dr Diamond NDDH from 8 retired GPs and 3 retired surgeons.  NOT answered (View as PDF)
4.  Analysis of causes for 'delayed transfers' at NDDH in response to an FOI from me.  Very instructive. (View as PDF)
5.  FOI.  What consultation has taken place with all staff.   'The CCG has not yet started the formal consultation process on the future of community services. (View as PDF)
6.  Letter from me to the Public Affairs Committee.  It was taking evidence on 'delayed transfers' for the NAO.  There is additional information in that letter. (View as PDF)

I make no apologies for the length of my letter and the attachments.  We have been asked to consider complex and very important matters without all the facts.

for truth, justice and reason

David Halpin

Separately to - Dr Alison Diamond MB ChB  CE of the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust  and  Dr George Thomson  MB ChB  Medical Director  (NO REPLY)

Dr Tim Burke  BM (Southampton)  Chairman  NEW CCG   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr Nick Roberts  MB ChB MBA     Chief Clinical Officer  SD&T CCG  and Dr Derek Greatorex  MB ChB  Clinical Chair    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Dr Derek Greatorex replied.)

Dear Dr ….... and doctors on the CCG board,

We write as doctors to doctors, with over 300 years of service in the NHS between us, because the service is in crisis.  We have especial concern about the closure or downgrading of Community Hospitals (CH) and how that will effect the competence of the District General Hospitals to deal with the ever increasing need for medical care.  We list just a few signs of this crisis for brevity.  We have no conflicting interests, our concern being only for the maintenance of good, rational services for all patients.

We know the duties of your public body was made clear by Sir David Nicholson KCB CBE Chief Executive of the NHS in England on 29 July 2010

• support from GP commissioners;
• strengthened public and patient engagement;
• clarity on the clinical evidence base; and
• consistency with current and prospective patient choice.

We will return to these rules later.

TO This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and by Royal Mail 31st March 2015

The Rt Hon Earl Howe PC Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Quality

Department of Health and Social Security
Richmond House
79, Whitehall

REF: Your letter to Mr Stride 9-02-15 PO00000912802

Dear Lord Howe,

Mr Stride forwarded your letter the next day (1) and suggested that I would want time to consider it. This reply is long delayed. The political landscape, and especially that of our NHS, changes by the mile as on a train. I see that the Efford Bill ran out of steam 3-03-15 so this letter will deal with a few central points. Incidentally, I have asked Mr Stride to correspond by e-mail. That would be better for the plebiscite in allowing the easy sharing of correspondence etc and be less costly. At the Westminster end it would save many of those precious millions including that spent on expensive, crested ivory paper. And governments ask often that we should use e-correspondence. Furthermore, it is driving the NHS into becoming inappropriately 'paperless'.