York hospital resources stretched as….

…….Liberal Democrats publish plan to invest an extra £8 billion a year in NHS

LibDems NHS graphic Jan 2015

Media reports are suggesting that unprecedented numbers of people have visiting A & E departments at the York and Scarborough hospitals over the last 3 weeks, leading to unacceptable delays in treatment.

The hospital has not published any figures for patient numbers and waiting times recently and the Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for “Health” has offered no comment.

Responsibility for scrutinising the performance of the health service in York now also rests with the York Council but again no statements have been issued and no special meetings scheduled.

Some are claiming that “bed blocking” – discharges from hospitals delayed through lack of spaces in nursing homes – is partly responsible for the crisis.

The hospital management are right to ask people not to misuse A & E services when other options may address their issues.

But more facts about relative demand levels, together with the publication of up to date performance statistics, would help residents understand the problem rather more than they do now.

Liberal Democrats to increase NHS funding by £8bn by 2020

NHS funding will increased by at least £8bn per year in real terms by 2020.

The Liberal Democrats are the first party to present a plan to meet the financial needs of the NHS as set out by Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England in his Five Year Forward View.


To achieve this boost in funding by 2020/21, Liberal Democrats will do three things:

Smoking campaign

City of York Council is backing a powerful new campaign that has been launched this week to highlight how smoking damages the body and causes a slow and steady decline in a process akin to rotting.

It follows a new expert review that highlights the multiple impacts that toxic ingredients in cigarettes can have on your body.

Whilst many smokers know that smoking causes cancer and harms the lungs and heart, the new report highlights how it also damages:

  • Bones and musclesSmoking causes progressive harm to the musculoskeletal system, and has a negative impact on bone mineral density. Harms include:
  • 25% increased risk of any fracture and a 40% increase in the risk of hip fractures among men
  • Slower healing after injury
  • Increased risk of back and neck pain, leading to a 79% increase in chronic back pain and a 114% increase in disabling lower back pain
  • Significant cause of rheumatoid arthritis and can reduce the impact of treatment
  • Brain – Current smokers are 53% more likely to develop cognitive impairment than non-smokers and 59% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease
  • Teeth – Smoking increases the likelihood of tooth loss and decay
  • Eyes – Smoking damages sight by increasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 78%-358% and increasing the risk of age-related cataracts

With New Year’s resolutions approaching and two thirds of smokers saying they want to quit, new adverts are being used to graphically illustrate the degeneration that smoking causes.

Do we need more chemists in York?

Consultation on Draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA)pharmacy and pharmacist

Any community representative will tell you that the things that people value most are accessible essential services. These include Post Offices, a bus stop, health services and Chemists.

The Council has now launched a consultation on the availability of Chemist (Pharmaceutical) services in York

Their announcement reads:

Every Health and Wellbeing Board in England has a statutory responsibility to publish and keep up-to-date a statement of the needs for pharmaceutical services for the population in its area, referred to as a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA).

The PNA is used to inform decisions about where to site pharmacies (some people call them chemists), opening hours and what services are provided. Safe and effective use of medicines is the most common healthcare intervention; with nearly 80 per cent of adults visiting a pharmacy for a health-related reason at least once a year.

The York Health and Wellbeing Board is in the process of producing a new PNA. People’s views on the availability, suitability and quality of pharmaceutical services are an important part of understanding service needs and requirements.

A copy of the Draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment can be found here (please note the maps have been uploaded as separate documents and are listed below)

Appendix 5 – Pharmacy, dispensing GP practice and non-dispensing GP practice locations

Appendix 6 – Non – Controlled locality boundaries (2 maps) –Map 1 and Map 2

The consultation period runs from 25th November 2014 to 26th January 2015 and the consultation survey can be accessed here.

Or email to healthandwellbeing@york.gov.uk

If on paper please post to: Public Health, City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York YO1 6GA

Please let us know your views.

Have your say on York’s new Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP3)

Residents and other key stakeholders are today being invited to comment on a new draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP3) for York.

In March 1915 York Corporation Tramways Department was one of the very first operators in the country to use electric buses and to this day, there are still two relics of this pioneering form of transport in the City – the shelters at Clifton Green and Malton Road Corner, which were built as charging points for the buses

In March 1915 York Corporation Tramways Department was one of the very first operators in the country to use electric buses and to this day, there are still two relics of this pioneering form of transport in the City – the shelters at Clifton Green and Malton Road Corner, which were built as charging points for the buses

The consultation runs from 21 November to 2 January 2015 and provides an opportunity to comment on proposals to further reduce emissions and improve air quality in York during the next five years (2015 -2020).

The draft AQAP can be viewed online at www.york.gov.uk/consultations .

Paper copies will also be available in all York Explore libraries and at West Offices reception.

Support from the government’s Green Bus Fund enabled York to become the first city in the north to introduce a fleet of electric buses to its Park&Ride service and more recently a Cleaner Vehicle Technology Fund (CVTF) grant allowed Transdev to convert one of its tour buses to a fully electric drive train.

Mental health upgrade in York

Funding to improve mental health services in York has been approved by NHS Property Services.

Cherry Tree House

Cherry Tree House

NHS Property Services and NHS England have been working with local NHS services to address property and facilities issues in York to ensure that all mental health services can be accommodated appropriately within safe, secure and modern environments.

The first of the two schemes proposed will see the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS Tier 4) move out its current base at Lime Trees on Shipton Road into Mill Lodge – a refurbished building that will provide modern and safe mental health facilities for young people.

The second scheme will upgrade Cherry Tree House in the Heworth area of York to provide a purpose built unit for elderly patients currently cared for on Ward 6 at Bootham Park Hospital.


LibDems and mental health

Poisoning from e-cigarettes on the rise

e-cigs-rev-4City of York Council is urging people to take more care with e-cigarettes due to a reported increase in nicotine poisoning.

Results published in Public Health England’s (PHE) annual report on the National Poisons Information Service shows there has been an increase in calls on nicotine poisoning associated with personal vapourisers (e-cigarettes).


Mental health provision off the York Council agenda

Another important policy area change has been shelved by the Council.Mental health

Its forward programme of decisions included an item on the joint procurement of some mental health services in partnership with the NHS.

The Council said that the report would present a proposal to jointly commission “some of our mental health provision with the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and include these services currently provided by CYC within the mental health tender that the CCG will be releasing in November 2014. This will include having a pooled budget arrangement and transferring affected staff to the organisation of the successful tender bidder”.

After being postponed on two occasions, the proposal has now been dropped without explanation.

NB. The Liberal Democrats announced last month new polices aimed at increasing the priority given to addressing mental health needs. They included guarantees on waiting times.

Castlegate closure to be challenged

Opposition parties on the York Council have called in for reconsideration a plan to close the Castlegate youth advice and help centre.

Castlegate centre

The meeting will take place on 31st October and the reports can be read by clicking here

The Castlegate centre provides information, support and counselling for young people aged between 16-25 in York,

Probably the main issue concerns the proposal to transfer some youth advice services to West Offices.

It is difficult to think of a less suitable location.

The building can be intimidating, reception arrangements busy (see article above) and occasionally chaotic – despite the best endeavours of staff.

It is also noisy because of the atrium design.

The Council may wish to move the service to a more affordable location but West Offices would be a poor choice.