An Assessment of the Impact of the Changes at Newark Hospital

At the time of the Newark Healthcare Review Sir David Nicholson Chief Executive of the Department of Health wrote to all health authorities on the subject of reconfiguration of services and stated that, “commissioners will want to make a strong case for the quality of proposed services and improvements in the patient experience in their submission.”

Since the Newark Healthcare Review we have not seen improvements in healthcare or in the patient experience and the situation appears to be deteriorating. On the back of promises of better specialist care we have seen other services cut. This has been compounded by the deteriorating financial situation at SFHFT.

 The Castle ward has closed
 There has been a 15% reduction in staff since reconfiguration
 According to Monitor Newark Hospital is underutilised by 55%
 Newark Hospital is now closed to admissions after 6pm
 The number of people from Newark dying in alternative hospitals has nearly doubled in two years.
 On the 26th Jan 2010 the PCT told the scrutiny committee that “The Ambulance service covers the whole of the East Midlands and currently meets or exceeds the DH targets for performance in all categories across the region.” We now know that ambulance transfer times have deteriorated. From the latest figures available the average transfer time for Category A emergencies, the most life threatening, is nearly two hours.
 NH Notts failed to inform the Notts Overview Scrutiny Committee (NOSC) that “the financial shift of around £3m of non-elective (unplanned care) income from Newark Hospital would threaten its viability” (Professional Medical Committee May 2010). They did however, tell NOSC that the investment required to “run a fully operational A&E (e.g. equipment, extra staff, theatres) would cost at least £2 – 2.5million in addition to the current budget” (Report to the Health and Wellbeing Standing Committee.)
 From the latest available performance report KMH is not meeting its handover and waiting time targets at the A and E.
 Latest figures show that SFHFT and LUH have both been assessed as low on efficiency and high on patient mortality. Please follow the link http://myhospitalguide.drfosterhealth.co.uk/
 There is no evidence that the promised improvements in specialist care has improved outcomes or saved lives.
 We were told that the ambulance would become our hospital on wheels and that all ambulances would have a paramedic onboard. Yet we have learned that even for patients suffering from a heart attack or stroke as few as 50% of ambulance have a paramedic on board.
 Repatriations have not happened as planned.
 Transfers from Newark Hospital have not been reduced. In the review we were promised that transfers would reduce to just 80 per annum. They are around 100 per month.
 Waiting times at alternative A and Es are increasing. In 2009-10, the last financial year before the Newark A&E closed, 1,351 patients had to wait for more than four hours at the A&E in King’s Mill Hospital. By 2011-12, that number had risen to 4,074.
 We have recently learned that the excellent and popular consultant surgeon at Newark Hospital Mr Broodryk has had his contract terminated. Because he was spending too much time with his patients.
 Newark and Sherwood has the highest population of over 65s in Nottinghamshire, the heaviest users of emergency care and that the number of over 65’s is set to double by 2026.
 We also have a highest proportion of road traffic accidents in Nottinghamshire, double the National Average.
 The population of Newark is set to increase by nearly 50% by 2026

What the experts say:

Professor Jon Nicholl
 MANY experts strongly dispute the ‘right place, first time’ argument for closing departments and concentrating A&E services, other than for a small number of conditions such as strokes, burns and head injuries which need highly specialized care.
 Jon Nicholl, Professor of Health Services Research at Sheffield University and the former deputy director of the Medical Research Council, co-authored a huge, four-year study of more than 10,000 ‘Category A’ emergency cases. Published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, it found that increasing A&E patients’ journeys leads to ‘an increased risk of death’.
 His study found that overall, each extra 10 kilometres travelled to A&E will increase the proportion of patients who will die by 20 per cent. It concluded: ‘Closing local Emergency Departments could result in an increase in mortality for… patients with life-threatening emergencies, who have to travel further as a result.’
 The dangers posed by greater distances applied equally to all types of patient, irrespective of age, gender or illness type. According to the study, only 5.8 per cent of patients who travelled less than 10 km to A&E died before being discharged from hospital. Among patients who travelled more than 21 km, almost 9 per cent died.
 Professor Nicholl said recently that although some of the A&E closure policy’s supporters had claimed that modern ambulances were ‘hospitals on wheels’, this is simply mistaken. ‘And if they’re not, then extra distance means extra risk, and this is unavoidable’.
 ‘Closing a department might make sense in one area,’ Professor Nicholl said, ‘but it is being in applied in others where it doesn’t fit very well.’ The national ‘one size fits all’ approach would undoubtedly cost some patients their lives.

Is Newark’s NHS fit for the future? Join the debate on Wednesday 5th December

On Wednesday 5th December 2012 BBC Radio Nottingham will be hosting a public debate at Holy Trinity Community Centre, Boundary Road, Newark.

This is your chance to question the key decision makers about your healthcare.

Doors open at 6pm.

The debate will be broadcast at 9am on Thursday 6th December on BBC Radio Nottingham 103.8FM, 95.5FM or DAB.


Support the fight to save Newark Ambulance Station – Wednesday 14th November – 10.30AM

Frontline ambulance crews are to hold a protest march through Newark to try to save the town’s ambulance station from closure and they have asked for the support of the public.

Twenty four serving staff from East Midlands Ambulance Service, most of whom have worked at Newark Ambulance Station on Queen’s Road, will meet there on Wednesday at 10.30am and march to the Market Place for a rally with placards calling for the station to be saved.

They want people to support them by lining the route and signing petitions. Copies of the petition are at Tread Rite Tyres next to the ambulance station, Allwoods Automotive on Lincoln Road and Parkers Motor Services on Brunel Drive.

Please support the fight to save Newark Ambulance Station by lining the route of the march on Wednesday and signing the petition.

Thank you for your help.

Two Important Meetings This Week – 2 – Newark & Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group

Date: Thursday 18 October 2012 from 6 pm – 7.30 pm

Venue: Kelham Hall, Kelham, Newark, NG23 5QX

There is a meeting of the Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group on Thursday 18th October 2012.  The N&SCCG are an important organisation and are responsible for commissioning services at Newark Hospital.  If you would like your views to be heard please feel free to attend.

Two Important Meetings This Week – 1 – East Midlands Ambulance Service Consultation

Date: Tuesday 16 October – 6pm start

Venue: Newark Town Hall, Market Place, Newark, NG24 1DU

East Midlands Ambulance Service has launched their public consultation ‘Being the Best’ and they would like your views on changes to the ambulance service.  The review is happening to provide patients with the best service possible, by improving response times and ensuring the correct level of skilled clinician attends their call.   The proposals are designed to improve the performance of the ambulance service by creating Community Ambulance Posts, Standby points and supported by state-of-the art purpose-built Hubs or ‘Super Stations’.  Visit www.emas.nhs.uk/ to view the consultation document and share your views.


A and E Petition – you can help!

Dear Friends

The closure of A and E’s all over the country is now being covered by the national press.

The Mail on Sunday has launched a petition calling for the coalition government to reverse the policy of casualty closures.

You can help, just follow the link to the A&E petition webpage:


Thank you for your help.

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