names and addresses
IS NOW HERE
All phone numbers on this site are code unless shown otherwise.
OTHER CHIPPY WEB SITES
A "secret" road
Map of Chippy
Stay in Chippy
Things to see
BUS & RAIL
CLUBS & SOCIETIES
CATCH UP WITH
HOSPITAL DECISION TIME!
On Thursday 15th September the Oxfordshire Health Scrutiny Committee approved the PCT's latest proposals for Chippy Hospital. (New buildings on London Road. Next to a new Care Home. X-ray. Maternity. Specialist Clinics. MIU Room. Possibly one of the town surgeries. 14 Intermediate Care Beds)
Hospital nurses will be "seconded" to the Orders of St John - a private company running the care home. The PCT have refused to budge on this and have refused to explain their reasons. They have undertaken that in the new hospital nurses will be employed under NHS terms and conditions and work under NHS procedures. Allocation of beds will be under the control of the NHS. The nurses will be clinically managed by NHS staff. The PCT guarantee this for three years from the opening of the new hospital (ie until 2011) after which time the situation will be reviewed.
Plans for an MIU and after hours service are now awaited for a separate consultation.
READ ABOUT RECENT MEETINGS
MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM THE MEETING
"IF THE PEOPLE OF CHIPPING NORTON ARE'NT
CAREFUL THEY WILL END UP WITH SOD ALL!"
Vale of White Horse District councillor speaking on Thursday at an amazing meeting of the Oxfordshire Health Scrutiny Committee about the PCT proposals for a new hospital in Chippy.
"THERE'S NO POINT IN TALKING TO THE PEOPLE OF CHIPPING NORTON
ANY MORE - THEY ARE SO INTRANSIGENT. ITS LIKE SALEM IN THE 1600's"
The Chief Executive of the PCT explaining why he had stopped listening.
"TS ALL ABOUT HAVING TRUST IN THE PCT"
Cherwell District Councillor Elizabeth MacLeod who almost stood as candidate in
Chipping Norton for the County Council. Phew. That was a close one!
"THE PEOPLE OF CHIPPING NORTON GOT A ROUGH DEAL"
A County Councillor speaking after Thursday's vote at the Scrutiny Committee
THE CRUCIAL MEETING
|The plot so far......On Monday the PCT having been asked to produce a business case for the Northern Sub-Committee in Banbury failed to do so but produced instead 127 pages of old reports stapled together. The point at issue was the community's insistence that hospital beds should not be handed over to the Order of St John - managers of the new Care Home. There was a widespread fear in the town that this would be the first step on a slippery slope to the beds simply being absorbed into the care home and the hospital ending up with no beds. Also there is widespread apprehension among the hospital nursing staff about working for a private company outside the NHS. The PCT came up with a "compromise" proposal which was that nurses in the new hospital would be guaranteed NHS terms and conditions and would be employed by the NHS and clinically managed by the NHS for a period of three years after commissioning. For reasons (which were not entirely financial) they would be seconded to the Order of St John. The PCT were not saying what these reasons were. The committee voted to endorse the PCT's plan and their recommendation went forward to the full committee on Thursday.
Now read on.......Three people addressed the full committee at the outset. Clive Hill of the Chippy Healthcare Users Group, Chippy's County Councillor Hilary Biles and District Councillor Stuart Brookes who is a member of the Northern Sub Committee and had voted against acceptance of the PCT proposals. All of them spoke quite brilliantly. Clive said we failed to understand why the PCT would not accept the option proposed by the town - of keeping the management of nurses within the NHS - since it didn't cost any more. Hilary pointed out that the PCT had promised to produce a full business case to back up its plan but had failed to do so. The Committee's acceptance of the validity of the consultation process back in June had been based on the retention of nursing staff within the NHS - which at that time had been the PCT's preferred option. Stuart Brookes highlighted that - in the PCT's documentation - the Option preferred by the town had been inflated and elaborated so that it looked unreasonably expensive. The "public" speakers had been allowed exactly five minutes each. The PCT were then invited to take the floor and were offered "as long as it takes". So to start we got a long rant from Nigel Webb. He wanted closure on this issue today. How many committee hearings was he supposed to attend This kind of process must never happen again. Any further delay would stop what was being planned. He had given up listening to the people of Chipping Norton. They were so intransigent. This consultation had taken three years so far. Enough was enough. Any court would accept there must be a time limit. A grilling session then followed in which two formidable Councillors led a sustained inquisition of the Chief Executive - who got angrier and angrier as the knockabout continued. The forensic Simon Hoare (District Councillor from West Oxfordshire) and Paul Sargent (Oxford City Councillor) pointed out that any delay was down to the PCT. His predecessor as Chief Executive had promised back in June to produce a business case by the end of August. Where was it Mr Webb said he didn't have to produce one for NHS purposes so he wasn't going to produce one for this committee. Mr Sargent countered that if a Scrutiny committee asked for one he was legally required to produce it. It was not down to Mr Webb to decide what he would produce. The Northern Sub-Committee did not take decisions, this committee did. Eventually the gauntlet was thrown down. Simon Hoare proposed a motion that in the absence of the promised business case the matter should be referred to the Secretary of State. Seconded by Paul Sargent. The vote should have been taken at that point. Nigel Webb had been so arrogant and objectionable and had so clearly got up the noses of the whole committee that the motion would probably have been won. Astonishingly the Chairman of the meeting announced that the last thing he wanted to do was to put the motion to the vote. That would be a failure for the committee. Surely it would be possible to find a compromise solution. At that point Mr Webb knew he was off the hook. The debate would continue until the committee had talked itself into believing that it had in fact received something it could call a business case. Which is what then happened. The 127-page mish mash from Monday was thrown on to the table in front of Mr Sargent by an officer. Mr Webb : You have received all the documentation that exists. There is no business case in existence. All the answers are in there. I was grilled about all of this at the Northern Sub-Committee for two hours. I have not hidden any facts. The reasons for selecting the Option we did was not entirely financial. The OSJ will be producing their own business case and of course the officers of the OCC will examine that so you will get the information. But not all the information - someone interjected - because of course the OSJ is a private company and some of this information is commercially sensitive. Which rather let the cat out of the bag. Talk of charging and re-charging (or transfer pricing as we call it in business) led some of us to be convinced that we had got close to the very heart of the matter - facts about bed costs and OSJ's profit from its huge 25-yr Care Home contract with Oxfordshire County. Somewhere here was the reason why staff had to be "seconded" to the Orders of St John. These were things we were never going to know. One councillor told the PCT that they would have to learn to be more honest with the public - just like the elected councils had to be. But the irony is that as we get further into the era of Public/Private Partnerships and PFIs we the Public will get to know less and less - because so much of the crucial information will be commercially sensitive. Which is why District Councillor Elizabeth MacLeod gave us all another lecture on trusting the PCT. Nigel Webb's big bluff paid off. He convinced the committee they had in fact received something that could be called a business case. If they didn't accept it then Chipping Norton Hospital was going nowhere and would face closure. The committee took fright. The majority decided their duty was to save the Hospital from this big bad ogre and endorse the Northern Committee's recommendation. But my word it was a close thing. 5 votes to 4. Nigel Webb didn't scare everybody. One committee member actually told him that his threats had no substance. What nobody can deny though is that Nigel Webb is a fantastic poker player. Respect for that from this correspondent anyway! There was one face-saving proviso. The Scrutiny Committee Chairman and Vice-Chairman would examine the contracts between the PCT, OCC and OSJ to ensure that the management of the Nursing Staff was in fact under the control of the NHS. But this is pretty much the end of the road now. We will examine the minutes like hawks because we do need to be clear in detail about exactly what has been agreed. But one thing is clear and that is that the nurses will be seconded to the Order of St John. We are assured that this a technicality. We are not going to see the figures. We will need to monitor the way things get implemented. The fight for a decent MIU and out of hours service starts here. Lets hope that this time around the Chippy GPs will be in the thick of the consultation process because their input is going to be vital. Lastly - for the time being - the people of Chipping Norton hopefully realise the incredible commitment and contribution made in this fight by three people in particular: Stephen Weston, Clive Hill and Hilary Biles. They will be the first to say this has been a team effort. It has but these three have been our local equivalent of Flintoff, Vaughan and Pieterson. They deserve the sincere thanks of us all. They have led a campaign which has achieved 90% of its aims. What about giving them all the Freedom of the Town
OXFORD MAIL SCREWS UP THE STORY!
This is a load of tosh. Lots of confusion in town today after the Oxford Mail got everything mixed up. Nobody has been fighting to save the Old Hospital. The agreement at last weeks Overview and Scrutiny Committee was that we get our new hospital on a new site along London Road. X-ray, Maternity, the MIU Room, Consultants Rooms for Special Clinics are completely separate from the Care Home and staffed and managed by the NHS. They are on land belonging to the NHS. The 14 Intermediate Care Beds are staffed by NHS nurses who are "seconded" to the Order of St John - that's the battle we lost! We wanted management of nursing staff by the NHS. Those Intermediate Care beds will be separate from the Care Home, on land owned by the NHS but share facilities like catering and cleaning with the Care Home. We should be seeing plans soon which show just how separate. A standalone wing is what we are hoping for. The story below ("HOSPITAL DECISION TIME") which we published a week ago is the accurate version of the big decision meeting.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A FEW MILES MAKE......
from THE JOURNAL 15th September
PETITION CLOSES AT 4360
The Petition to keep the hospital nursing staff in the NHS has now closed at 4360 signatures. Terrific effort by a lot of folks. The Hospital Action and User Groups would like to sincerely thank the many people who helped organise the petition and especially those locations which agreed to having a collection box on the premises. The signatures have been fed in to the PCT and the County Council in bundles of a thousand over the last couple of months. They certainly know what the majority of people in Chipping Norton and the surrounding areas thought about this important issue. However, as you will all know by now our petition - along with many other representations - has been completely ignored by the PCT in their decision-making process. Things move on now to a consultation on the shape a Minor Injuries service will take in the new hospital. We don't propose to throw in the towel just yet so stand by to make your voices heard once again.