UPDATED: 'Strong bond' between Wirral's health authorities must be looked into, says Birkenhead MP

Wirral Globe: 'Strong bond' between Wirral's health authorities must be looked into, says Birkenhead MP 'Strong bond' between Wirral's health authorities must be looked into, says Birkenhead MP

THE decision making process of a Wirral health authority has come under fire, with Birkenhead MP Frank Field calling for an urgent inquiry into its operation.

In a letter to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Mr Field questions Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) relationship with the Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, claiming relationships between senior members of the CCG and Arrowe Park Hospital may have dented the "independence" and "integrity" of local health services.

Mr Field is also concerned that the body responsible for commissioning local health services may have taken decisions that do not reflect the will of all its members or the public.

In his letter to the Health Secretary, Mr Field said: “Arrowe Park has a long history of not being able properly to manage its budget. 

"It regularly looks around for further funds to which it demands almost immediate access but is unprepared to make any efforts at reforming its own practices. 

"Closures, sackings and loss of patient services has been its traditional negative stance. 

"The CCG therefore has the near impossible task of winning reform in the face of these negotiating tactics.”

Mr Field has requested a "full independent inquiry" into the operation of Wirral CCG.

A spokesman for Wirral CCG told the Globe the matters raised by Mr Field would be looked into as "matter of priority", while a spokesman for the University Hospital Trust said patient care has and will continue to be "at the heart of all our decision making".

Mr Field's concerns come following a meeting with a large number of Wirral GPs who expressed their dismay at "the failure of the CCG leadership to work together".

As well as calling for a review of the CCG's decision making process, Mr Field also asked for the inquiry to look at "the status of the chair and his eligible to hold this post".

Wirral Globe: 2012 Niblett Memorial Lecture: Frank Field MP

Frank Field MP is calling for an independent inquiry into Wirral CCG and its relationship with Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Mr Field added that the inquiry should be carried out by so done by people "free of Wirral links" and should look at any "strong bonds of friendship" between senior members of the CCG and the most senior officers at the Hospital Trust.

Commenting on the letter, Mr Field said:”The way decisions are made at the very top of Wirral’s health services is damaging patients’ ability to hold them account over the quality of care they receive. We need these practices to be investigated as soon as possible, so that Arrowe Park’s finances can be turned around properly for the benefit of local patients.”

A spokesman for Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: "The working and contracting relationship between Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as a provider of health services and the CCG as a commissioner is conducted entirely in line with our constitution.   

"All aspects of the Trust’s relationship with the CCG have been conducted in an open and transparent way. 

“The Trust is committed to working in partnership with the CCG and other health partners to deliver high quality healthcare that meets the needs of the communities it serves and which reflect the changing needs of the population.

“Whilst we are currently experiencing the very difficult financial challenges that are affecting the NHS as a whole in balancing increased demand with finite resources, the Trust’s history has been one of financial stability and innovation in the delivery of healthcare, evidenced by numerous external validations and accreditations.

“Patient care has always, and will continue to be at the heart of all our decision making.”

A spokesman for Wirral CCG added: "NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and NHS England Area Team take these matters very seriously and will be looking into these issues as a matter of priority."

Comments (11)

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12:41pm Wed 21 May 14

PaulCa says...

While he's doing that, can he look into how, despite the obnoxious and corrosive legacy of Hillsborough lies, a well-known Merseyside MP has recently gone into close partnership with The S*n newspaper?

http://goo.gl/0G38pN


Can he investigate himself?
While he's doing that, can he look into how, despite the obnoxious and corrosive legacy of Hillsborough lies, a well-known Merseyside MP has recently gone into close partnership with The S*n newspaper? http://goo.gl/0G38pN Can he investigate himself? PaulCa
  • Score: 8

12:50pm Wed 21 May 14

bigfoot says...

PaulCa wrote:
While he's doing that, can he look into how, despite the obnoxious and corrosive legacy of Hillsborough lies, a well-known Merseyside MP has recently gone into close partnership with The S*n newspaper?

http://goo.gl/0G38pN



Can he investigate himself?
The same parasitic arrangement also needs investigating in the Council,or is that too much to expect?
[quote][p][bold]PaulCa[/bold] wrote: While he's doing that, can he look into how, despite the obnoxious and corrosive legacy of Hillsborough lies, a well-known Merseyside MP has recently gone into close partnership with The S*n newspaper? http://goo.gl/0G38pN Can he investigate himself?[/p][/quote]The same parasitic arrangement also needs investigating in the Council,or is that too much to expect? bigfoot
  • Score: 4

2:52pm Wed 21 May 14

Growl Tiger says...

What hypocrisy – he describes here a carbon copy of Wirral Borough Council. Why hasn’t he called for an inquiry into the shenanigans at Brighton Street?
What hypocrisy – he describes here a carbon copy of Wirral Borough Council. Why hasn’t he called for an inquiry into the shenanigans at Brighton Street? Growl Tiger
  • Score: 11

5:50pm Wed 21 May 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Growl Tiger wrote:
What hypocrisy – he describes here a carbon copy of Wirral Borough Council. Why hasn’t he called for an inquiry into the shenanigans at Brighton Street?
Hey Growl,

You know why. Because people don't sh*t on their own doorstep so to speak.

Frank will have his own motive/agenda for raising this just now.

I went to him for assistance some time ago and despite promising me the Earth he delivered nothing.

When Frank goes then Phil Davies will step into his shoes.

All the best.
[quote][p][bold]Growl Tiger[/bold] wrote: What hypocrisy – he describes here a carbon copy of Wirral Borough Council. Why hasn’t he called for an inquiry into the shenanigans at Brighton Street?[/p][/quote]Hey Growl, You know why. Because people don't sh*t on their own doorstep so to speak. Frank will have his own motive/agenda for raising this just now. I went to him for assistance some time ago and despite promising me the Earth he delivered nothing. When Frank goes then Phil Davies will step into his shoes. All the best. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 3

8:04am Thu 22 May 14

hobroW says...

Does anyone remember the Peer Improvement Group adducing letters of support from local health authority citing how much WBC had improved (November 2013)?

Well how much is that worth if Mr Field is describing a chummy chummy relationship withiin the health arena that may have spread beyond to the local authority.

Remember the only aspect of PIG's meeting not reported was the near-universal non approbation of the public present gfor removing the Council from scrutiny.

How on earth does PIG say the council was the most improving of all councils in England? Are all 400+ under scrutiny; did they collate statistics? Or like the CCG and Arrowe Park did they just invent this tag, just for jolly.
Does anyone remember the Peer Improvement Group adducing letters of support from local health authority citing how much WBC had improved (November 2013)? Well how much is that worth if Mr Field is describing a chummy chummy relationship withiin the health arena that may have spread beyond to the local authority. Remember the only aspect of PIG's meeting not reported was the near-universal non approbation of the public present gfor removing the Council from scrutiny. How on earth does PIG say the council was the most improving of all councils in England? Are all 400+ under scrutiny; did they collate statistics? Or like the CCG and Arrowe Park did they just invent this tag, just for jolly. hobroW
  • Score: 4

10:51am Thu 22 May 14

steady cyclist says...

Strange how FF suddenly jumps up with some story on local election day on the wirral, and just where abouts do you live Mr field that youre likely to use the wirral health services, strangely a rail magazine recently published your locatily address and its not on the wirral but down south.

When youre actually a service user of the wirral NHS services then perhaps you may have a valid point, or perhaps youre a bit peeved your mates didnt get any very well paid jobs in the WCCG. But then someone else may demand a inquiry into your freindships between the various parties.

What us service users of the NHS, want is service, staffing and treatment without long waits, not morre pointless inquiries tieing up expensive management time , bringing in consultants and lots of trees cut down for the paperwork produced, but then that probably wouldnt get in tyhe local paper would it.
Strange how FF suddenly jumps up with some story on local election day on the wirral, and just where abouts do you live Mr field that youre likely to use the wirral health services, strangely a rail magazine recently published your locatily address and its not on the wirral but down south. When youre actually a service user of the wirral NHS services then perhaps you may have a valid point, or perhaps youre a bit peeved your mates didnt get any very well paid jobs in the WCCG. But then someone else may demand a inquiry into your freindships between the various parties. What us service users of the NHS, want is service, staffing and treatment without long waits, not morre pointless inquiries tieing up expensive management time , bringing in consultants and lots of trees cut down for the paperwork produced, but then that probably wouldnt get in tyhe local paper would it. steady cyclist
  • Score: 5

12:18pm Thu 22 May 14

nivekd says...

The secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, contributed to a pamphlet which called the NHS "a 60-year mistake". It is clear that the Tories are hell-bent on handing OUR health service to their friends in the City; 70% of contracts awarded in the last year have gone to private companies where they have financial interests and/or the likes of the infamous G4S, Serco and ATOS. If they get their way (and they are so far) we will soon only receive treatment if we can afford to pay for it when we need it.
Meanwhile both hospitals and GP practices are suffering huge unpublicised cuts. The article above does not make clear who Mr Field actually wants to investigate - one or both parties? Why are they pitted against each other? Could it be related to the fact that some in the CCG have a close relationship with billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Care? Funnily enough Virgin think lots of services should be moved out of hospitals and into "the community" where - surprise, surprise - they make money for their shareholders.
What's the NHS for? OUR health - or their profits? We are patients not customers. We don't want some mythical choice ('choice' for those who can pay); we want a freely available health service paid for out of tax, including the unpaid taxes of the Tories' City backers. People before profit, please.
The secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, contributed to a pamphlet which called the NHS "a 60-year mistake". It is clear that the Tories are hell-bent on handing OUR health service to their friends in the City; 70% of contracts awarded in the last year have gone to private companies where they have financial interests and/or the likes of the infamous G4S, Serco and ATOS. If they get their way (and they are so far) we will soon only receive treatment if we can afford to pay for it when we need it. Meanwhile both hospitals and GP practices are suffering huge unpublicised cuts. The article above does not make clear who Mr Field actually wants to investigate - one or both parties? Why are they pitted against each other? Could it be related to the fact that some in the CCG have a close relationship with billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Care? Funnily enough Virgin think lots of services should be moved out of hospitals and into "the community" where - surprise, surprise - they make money for their shareholders. What's the NHS for? OUR health - or their profits? We are patients not customers. We don't want some mythical choice ('choice' for those who can pay); we want a freely available health service paid for out of tax, including the unpaid taxes of the Tories' City backers. People before profit, please. nivekd
  • Score: 8

1:55pm Thu 22 May 14

Growl Tiger says...

The sad thing is choice regarding who can pay is already being made by Quangos such as NICE. Dedicated people raise money for cancer research, a new drug comes along as a result, but NICE makes the decision that it isn’t cost effective to prescribe it on the NHS. Those who can’t pay privately for the drug will not have benefitted from that research. Those who can pay will have benefited. That isn’t a fair decision.
The sad thing is choice regarding who can pay is already being made by Quangos such as NICE. Dedicated people raise money for cancer research, a new drug comes along as a result, but NICE makes the decision that it isn’t cost effective to prescribe it on the NHS. Those who can’t pay privately for the drug will not have benefitted from that research. Those who can pay will have benefited. That isn’t a fair decision. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 5

8:38am Fri 23 May 14

ordinary personn says...

Growl Tiger wrote:
The sad thing is choice regarding who can pay is already being made by Quangos such as NICE. Dedicated people raise money for cancer research, a new drug comes along as a result, but NICE makes the decision that it isn’t cost effective to prescribe it on the NHS. Those who can’t pay privately for the drug will not have benefitted from that research. Those who can pay will have benefited. That isn’t a fair decision.
While I guess that all of us would like everybody to have access to every medical treatment available (I know I would) but sadly this is just not possible. The NHS has finite resources and cannot fund everything for everybody, hence the need for NICE.

What do you do approve - a drug where the cost will prolong one cancer sufferer’s life by a couple of months or a drug where the same cost would improve the lives of many people long term? These are the dilemmas decision makers face and having seen the debates that happen at NICE, I would not like to be in a position to have to make these decisions.

For me the issue is not about NICE and people paying privately for drugs. The issue is the greedy, immoral drug companies. Yes dedicated people raise money for research and new drugs are developed BUT as much money as you raise drug companies will ALWAYS profit from people’s suffering. I suspect that if there were not so much profit to be made out of people’s suffering, cures for many health conditions would have been available long ago!
[quote][p][bold]Growl Tiger[/bold] wrote: The sad thing is choice regarding who can pay is already being made by Quangos such as NICE. Dedicated people raise money for cancer research, a new drug comes along as a result, but NICE makes the decision that it isn’t cost effective to prescribe it on the NHS. Those who can’t pay privately for the drug will not have benefitted from that research. Those who can pay will have benefited. That isn’t a fair decision.[/p][/quote]While I guess that all of us would like everybody to have access to every medical treatment available (I know I would) but sadly this is just not possible. The NHS has finite resources and cannot fund everything for everybody, hence the need for NICE. What do you do approve - a drug where the cost will prolong one cancer sufferer’s life by a couple of months or a drug where the same cost would improve the lives of many people long term? These are the dilemmas decision makers face and having seen the debates that happen at NICE, I would not like to be in a position to have to make these decisions. For me the issue is not about NICE and people paying privately for drugs. The issue is the greedy, immoral drug companies. Yes dedicated people raise money for research and new drugs are developed BUT as much money as you raise drug companies will ALWAYS profit from people’s suffering. I suspect that if there were not so much profit to be made out of people’s suffering, cures for many health conditions would have been available long ago! ordinary personn
  • Score: 6

6:35pm Fri 23 May 14

Growl Tiger says...

Thank you Ordinary person – I take your point. However I have a 79 year old cousin living in Bristol. She is diabetic, registered blind, but has never claimed any allowances. At this point in her life she has chronic leg ulcers, she cannot eat and is being sick and becoming dehydrated. She has tried to “employ” a so called carer in the community. The person is unreliable and only turns up when she needs the money.
The district nurses are coming from 20 miles away, each day there is a different one so there is no continuity in her care. They promise to visit the next day and don’t. She is being left to die in her own home. This is the reality of people being left in their own properties with the care the community that does not exist.
I agree with you that illness is an industry, but when the powers that be (whoever they may be) just simply lie and say that care at home is the answer and is is improving this is just an unacceptable huge lie. My cousin is being left at home to die. At 79, and almost blind she is no longer of any use to society.

When she was young she was outward going, ran a successful business on Wirral, brought up 3 sons who have all been sucessful and paid all her taxes. The system now is letting her down so what do you say about that?
Thank you Ordinary person – I take your point. However I have a 79 year old cousin living in Bristol. She is diabetic, registered blind, but has never claimed any allowances. At this point in her life she has chronic leg ulcers, she cannot eat and is being sick and becoming dehydrated. She has tried to “employ” a so called carer in the community. The person is unreliable and only turns up when she needs the money. The district nurses are coming from 20 miles away, each day there is a different one so there is no continuity in her care. They promise to visit the next day and don’t. She is being left to die in her own home. This is the reality of people being left in their own properties with the care the community that does not exist. I agree with you that illness is an industry, but when the powers that be (whoever they may be) just simply lie and say that care at home is the answer and is is improving this is just an unacceptable huge lie. My cousin is being left at home to die. At 79, and almost blind she is no longer of any use to society. When she was young she was outward going, ran a successful business on Wirral, brought up 3 sons who have all been sucessful and paid all her taxes. The system now is letting her down so what do you say about that? Growl Tiger
  • Score: 5

2:49pm Mon 26 May 14

ordinary personn says...

What I say is that what is happening to your cousin is a disgrace, that she is being shamefully let down by society and the tragedy is that this is happening all over the UK. Your cousin’s situation with carers is another consequence of the introduction of private business into health and social care. As with drugs companies, these “care providers” are in the business of making profits. The staff they employ are usually on minimum wage, do not get paid for any time they are not with a client” and are generally only allowed to spend 15 minutes per visit. I don’t defend any of them BUT this is the system with which we are living. I don’t know why the district nurses don’t visit but can only guess that it is down to funding cuts; don’t forget the government wants to privatise all health care and one way of doing this is to destroy the existing services so that people think any alternative is better.
Personally if I were you, I’d harass the DASS at Bristol until they arranged proper care for my cousin and I’d also contact her GP and ask why the district nurses don’t visit as promised and I wouldn’t stop until my cousin got the care she needed. This is not meant to be a criticism of you or anybody - I am just saying what I would do.
What I say is that what is happening to your cousin is a disgrace, that she is being shamefully let down by society and the tragedy is that this is happening all over the UK. Your cousin’s situation with carers is another consequence of the introduction of private business into health and social care. As with drugs companies, these “care providers” are in the business of making profits. The staff they employ are usually on minimum wage, do not get paid for any time they are not with a client” and are generally only allowed to spend 15 minutes per visit. I don’t defend any of them BUT this is the system with which we are living. I don’t know why the district nurses don’t visit but can only guess that it is down to funding cuts; don’t forget the government wants to privatise all health care and one way of doing this is to destroy the existing services so that people think any alternative is better. Personally if I were you, I’d harass the DASS at Bristol until they arranged proper care for my cousin and I’d also contact her GP and ask why the district nurses don’t visit as promised and I wouldn’t stop until my cousin got the care she needed. This is not meant to be a criticism of you or anybody - I am just saying what I would do. ordinary personn
  • Score: 2

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