Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Community Services update

On 17 March the Royal Surrey will formally take over from Virgin Care the running of Adult Community Health Services in Guildford and Waverley. It will be a great challenge but presents many exciting opportunities not least of which is to have care pathways which extend from acute care at the Royal Surrey right in to Community care including Haslemere and Milford hospitals.

Staff employed by Virgin Care will transfer back in to the NHS as employees of the Royal Surrey. When Procare, the federation of 90% of GPs in the area, is ready and recognised as a qualified supplier of health services, district  nursing and community matron service staff will become employees of Procare  who will be under contract to the Royal Surrey. This will create a direct link between district nursing and GP services with many possible advantages.

The existing Royal Surrey Board and thus Governors such as myself will oversee these community services in addition to the Royal Surrey as now. Big change in scope!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Royal Surrey Community contract

The Royal Surrey together with Procare Health Ltd have bid for the contract to run adult Community Services across Guildford and Waverley including Haslemere, Milford and Cranleigh Community Hospitals. They are the preferred bidder at this time and therefore, subject to detailed agreements, can expect to be successful to start at beginning 2018/19. These services were run by Virgin Healthcare.

Procare Health Ltd is a private company run by GPs.

Bringing together provision of acute and community services offers many exciting opportunities provided of course that the services are well run in accord with community wishes and involvement. Haslemere, Farnham and Milford Hospitals have a special place in the hearts of the communities they serve and it will be important to ensure those communities are happy with the change in management and the opportunities that presents.

More information when I get it.


Five teams in the Royal Surrey were shortlisted recently for the Nursing Times award. Although they didn't win the fact that five were shortlisted is a great credit to the hospital.


I may have been quiet recently about Stroke Services but I have been actively pursing the matter of ensuring that Guildford stroke victims who are taken to St Peters Hyper Acute Stroke Unit have the option of being cared for in the Royal Surrey once they have been stabilised. This would put them on the same basis as those patients in the Royal Surrey Catchment area e.g. Cranleigh who are taken to Frimley Hospital. It is difficult persuading those in authority whose minds seem to be closed but I continue to try and will be meeting Paula Head the Royal Surrey Chief Executive in the New Ya-ear to sort out how I might proceed further.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Stroke services decision

Today (7 September) the Guildford and Waverly and N W surrey CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) met to decide on Stroke Services following their consultation.  As proposed, the two HASUs (Hyper-Acute Stroke Units) in West Surrey will be at Frimley Park Hospital and St Peters Hospital in Chertsey. This is despite over 60% of respondents opposing the proposals essentially because those consulted wanted the two to be Frimley and the Royal Surrey.

However there was a very significant change re ASUs (Acute Stroke Units to which patients go once they are stabilised in a HASU). I and fellow Governors (see earlier blogs) pressed for the Royal Surrey to have an ASU and for involvement in rehabilitation rather than everything happening in St Peters and Frimley Park. This was clearly the wish at the meeting which the Royal Surrey organised for Trust members. The Royal Surrey after the members’ meeting submitted a proposal on those lines.

I am pleased to say that the CCGs have decided that there should be a “networked HASU and ASU” arrangement between Frimley and the Royal Surrey with the ASU being located in the Royal Surrey. They have also decided that there be bedded specialist rehabilitation in the Royal Surrey linked to the ASU and with access to non-specialist rehabilitation.

This good news BUT a similar arrangement with ST Peters has not been agreed. That is not good news for the people of Guildford the majority of whom will be taken to the St Peters’ HASU. I raised this at the joint meeting of the two CCGs and they agreed to look at this again, However such undertakings have a habit of dying and so I will be doing my best to ensure this does not happen.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Blue Badge holders will be charged £4 per visit for parking the Royal Surrey has decided.

The hospital is still struggling financially and the justification is that it needs to find ways to increase income and cut costs. As part of its justification is that other hospitals charge the disabled. I was not in favour of this change and said so and see no reason why the Royal Surrey should charge because others do – I would rather be on the side of the angels !! That having been said I do recognise that many holders of Blue Badges are not financially challenged and could afford the £4 just as much as many non--disabled patients some of whom are very hard pressed. I have therefore pressed the hospital to operate an effective scheme for waving the charge for those on benefits or otherwise in financial difficulties. This they will do.

Of course it will be necessary to have modified parking meters so that wheelchair users can reach buttons. These will be installed. I hope the hospital will consult with disabled patients and their representatives to ensure there are sufficient such machines and that the processes for waving charges operates efficiently, sensitively and smoothly. I will check in a few months.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

A detailed analysis of the results of consultation on stroke services in West Surrey has been published albeit a decision has yet to be made known.402 questionnaires were returned, 178 people attended 13 events and there were 93 individual responses one of which was mine (see earlier blog). Geographically the responses from Woking, Weybridge and Chertsey, Staines and East Hampshire were small. Guildford and Waverly dominated.

Considering the following 3 statements:
  • Access to seven day specialist stroke services should be provided at Frimley Park Hospital and St Peter’s Hospital to enable more people to survive a stroke and minimise risk of disability 
  • Seven day clinics for transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) should be provided at Frimley Park Hospital and St Peter’s Hospital as part of the specialist stroke service
  • The reason for concentrating in-hospital stroke specialist rehabilitation services in fewer hospitals in West Surrey is justified and supported

Overall the results were:
  • ·         First statement 77% disagreed/strongly disagreed, 21% agreed/strongly agreed
  • ·         Second statement 74% disagreed/strongly disagreed, 21% agreed/strongly agreed
  • ·         Third statement 83% disagreed/strongly disagreed, 15% agreed/strongly agreed

  • In Guildford, Waverley and East Hampshire the majority of respondents disagreed with the statements but a significant proportion of respondents supported them.
  • In Woking, the majority of respondents agreed with statements but a significant proportion disagreed.
  • Responses from Weybridge & Chertsey and Staines were very low but agreement was almost 100%

 Most common themes were:
  • Concerns about removal of services from Royal Surrey, preference to position some stroke services there and concerns about the hospital’s future
  • Importance of timely treatment
  • Recognition that specialist workforce and equipment has benefits, with differences of opinion on location
  • Importance of equitable access but concerns that plans create inequity
  • References to travel distance and time with implications for timely treatment, visitor access, patient wellbeing and public transport
  • Ambulance availability and concerns about SECAMB.

 All very predictable.