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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'.

Car Bill BoardTTIP is a great threat but less than the corruption in our UK. Whilst people battle against TTIP, they ignore, perhaps, vicious EU competition rules.  These are central in driving 'privatisation' within OUR NHS and in our other public services. The concordat that Milburn made with Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute in 2000 was also a big factor.

The task is to get as many fellow citizens thinking, and then fighting for OUR NHS. Consider bill boards on your car if you have one. Ours are outside ready for a trip into town - made for last Saturday.

If you care for OUR NHS you will have to fight for it. The politicians have it by the throat.

Find a candidate who is independent of party, who has done a job, has principle and vision, and who will fight for our NHS among other things that are vital to us.

Roof racks and do-it-yourself skills are the only requirement. I am investigating printed posters so waterproofing will not be necessary.

I have been pleading that the NHS should not be used as a political football for about 20 years.

The plan I urged was this -

The NHS would be kept away from the government of the day. Instead it would be led by a scrupulously chosen National Executive peopled by experts in all relevant fields and with evident wisdom in health and other fields.  They would be responsible in all respects.

It would report to parliament every six months via the Health Select Committee. That report would include progress, unmet needs, future plans etc

What are the purposes and functions of Community Hospital beds?

Dr Ben Titford presented a paper on this subject-

Proposals for the future of community health and social care services Update briefing – September 2014 Moor to Sea Locality

Ashburton and Buckfastleigh
“Engagement in the town will start later in September. It is the view of the locality GP lead, Dr Ben Titford, and of other GPs in both towns, that this rural area with poor transport links needs bed-based care for patients. This would be at the existing community hospital in Ashburton.”

1. Beds for those who are very unwell, requiring complex and increasingly specialist medical care, outside the acute hospitals – possibly fewer

2. Beds for those who no longer need to be in the acute hospital, but need to recuperate before they are well enough to go home – possibly more

3. Beds for those who are not so seriously ill they need to be in the acute hospital, but who are nevertheless too unwell to be at home, especially if they would be alone – possibly more

Mr Mel Stride  MP for Central Devon   


Dear Mel,

You are probably aware that the NHS is in crisis.  I am not being alarmist.  I worked within it as a doctor and surgeon for 40 years. I loved my work but I did not enjoy the bumf.  Most of this came out of political diktats - from all colours.

I have kept a close interest in OUR NHS since early retirement which came out of sickness.  On top of doing a very busy and demanding job in orthopaedics and trauma, I was fighting alone in Torbay against Mrs Thatcher's internal market and for the life of our excellent single specialism Princess Orthopaedic Hospital in Exeter, the latter with good colleagues.  Both battles were lost.  The internal market doubled the cost of administration from 5% to c. 10% as I had predicted.  The number of desks doubled and with them long and ridiculous titles like 'Patient Services Administrator'.  I had to phone him often to have the detritus removed from the corridor to my fracture clinic.  All this was not what the public might have expected from a Tory reform.  Very few people know that £1.3 billion was added to a £30 billion budget as a result of Mrs T's monetarist dogma.  But I do tell them in newspaper pieces, public meetings and on Youtube x2.

Dear Mr Pym,


Forgive this brief intrusion. I am a retired orthopaedic and trauma surgeon but I was trained at St Mary's which has been at the forefront of the analysis and cure of disease for many decades.

I applaud your detailed inquiry into this current case and in particular what surveillance took place at HR.

Dear Reverend Fenton,

Below is the e-mail I sent you over 3 weeks ago.  No reply.  Assuming the e-mail address was incorrect, I sent a fuller letter by post about a week later.  There was silence, and after speaking with your wife last week who suggested that I 'phoned back in the afternoon, I did that.  I left a message saying that I knew it was a central duty of a priest to visit the sick, the frail and the dying.  You would often hear about the care they were getting and I was keen to hear your witness be it bad or good, or a spectrum.  It is apt that the Reverend Marshall's TFTD today was on visiting the sick.

I have been deeply hurt by your failure to respond to me.  I assume you harbour some animus towards me but I can only guess as to its spring.  Perhaps my standing for the Palestinians  in their slow, quick, quick, slow crucifixion is the source.  As a Christian atheist since age 17, I know that I have followed Christ in this.

Thank you Geoff.  I had read the much truncated 'confidential' report in the Guardian.  But this is more than stark.  Skimmed - so much evil to read here and everywhere.  I bet the opthalmologists at Taunton advised against this Poundland exercise.

I noted Conclusions 7 1 especially.  Outrageous.  And leaning over to make the 'letting' of a contract to an outfit run by 2 money grubbing GPs in BUCKINGHAMSHIRE sound normal and capable of high standards.  'The Practice' - what practice?

Dear NHS England and Mr Jeremy Hunt ,

We are assailed every few days by prescriptions from Mr Hunt.  There must be many professionals or retired ones who know the facts or analysis are faulty.

I served in OUR NHS as a doctor and orthopaedic/trauma surgeon for 40 years.  My interest in the service is as vital now as it was say 30 years ago.

Of many efforts to improve the standards of care at Torbay Hospital, I recall writing in the early 80s about the staffing of the ladies' fracture ward – Ainslie, at night.  There used to be 2 staff nurses - ie SRNs.  There were 25 patients (always 'full up'), many were bed bound and a few would be demented to varying degree.  I pleaded for more nurses.  An enrolled nurse (SEN) would have been a distinct help.  The excellent staff nurses could not take a meal break.  Nothing happened except that the care of some patients would have been second rate.