Since the launch of the Save our NHS Leicestershire campaign, I am proud to say that as member of the city branch of Unison, I have been able to help ensure that our branch joined with many other unions in affiliating to this critically important campaign, and I look forward to hearing that the health branch of Unison (which is also based in Leicester) will have followed our example in the near future. http://saveournhsleicestershire.org/
I was therefore happy to have supported yesterday’s vibrant lobby of the Leicester City Council Health Scrutiny Committee which was organised at short-notice by Save our NHS Leicestershire. The lobby was called to put pressure on our Labour Council and the Health Scrutiny Committee to throw their weight behind our campaigns demands for a full public consultation into the proposed closure of intensive care services at Leicester General Hospital.
The chair of the Committee, Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, said she considered it “quite understandable” that the public were concerned about the lack of consultation, but she did not go on to elaborate on the Committee’s views on this matter. Instead she said that she the Committee would reserve comments on whether a consultation needed to take place until more information was at hand at the forthcoming meeting that had the power to formally authorise whether a consultation was going to be launched (this meeting being the Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Joint Health Scrutiny Committee which is taking place at 10am at Leicester City Hall on Tuesday, September 4, 2018). So, expect another lobby planned for this critical meeting.
The only other political intervention made by a member of the Health Scrutiny Committee was that of Cllr Lucy Chaplin who rightly said: “I do feel quite strongly that we need to have an answer from the University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) about how they had misled” the Scrutiny Committee in March 2015. Adding: “I am quite worried that we were misled, and that there had not been an update from the UHL since then.” Cllr Cutkelvin responded by saying that she “entirely agreed.”
Yes, many people have been misled; and after reading the latest report produced by the De Montfort University’s Health Policy Research Unit (which was published yesterday) a public consultation is the very least that the public deserve. To read the full report see “Report on University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Full Business Case for relocating Intensive Care Unit Level 3 beds out of Leicester General Hospital.”*
*This important academic report was compiled by Dr Janet Underwood (Health Policy Research Unit, De Montfort University), Dr Sally Ruane (Health Policy Research Unit, De Montfort University) and Mrs Kathy Reynolds (Leicester Mercury Patients’ Panel). This issue was first reported on in the Leicester Mercury (July 25) in an article titled “Leicester General Hospital to have one top-level intensive care bed after £30m efficiency plan backed by Department of Health.”