6 comments on “To answer Eoin\’s question

  1. Dear Tim,

    Many thanks.

    Didn’t you know that the 30 year rule is under review? We’re likely to be looking at 15 years as a standard release date in the future.

    Warmest regards,

    Éoin

  2. Didn’t you know that the 30 year rule is under review? We’re likely to be looking at 15 years as a standard release date in the future.

    Under? It was reviewed. Dacre report in 2009. Dacre? An independent or impartial chairman? Hardly …

    Under implementation. The previous Government’s response is here. They decided 20 years, Eoin, not 15.

    Programme manager job is here.

  3. Hey Eoin,

    If you’re reading, I note you have a thing for Heatherwood hospital. Your blog here:

    http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/2012/03/nhs-hospital-serving-450000-to-be-shut.html

    states it serves 450,000 people. As usual, this shows you know crap all and can’t read basic figures. 450,000 refers to the “Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals Trust”, Heatherwood being a tiny hospital in Ascot and Wexham Park being a fuck-off big general hospital in Slough just 9 miles away. Can you correct your blog?

    http://www.heatherwoodandwexham.nhs.uk/

    You seem to have a thing for Heatherwood. I doubt you’ve ever been there, I have. It’s tiny, outdated and has no A&E and there’s been talk of closure for a decade or more.

  4. Jeez, it gets better…

    “The Heatherwood Hospital services 450,000 potential patients in the Windsor & Buckingham area but for financial reasons it is at serious risk of being closed.”

    No it doesn’t, the trust does. To give you some idea…

    http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2104605_no_plot_to_close_heatherwood

    “She did not rule out a permanent closure for the unit, which has around 35 births a month compared to around 6,000 at Wexham.”

    You are confusing a small hospital in Ascot with a large general hospital in Slough.

    “they had to temporarily close its baby unit due to staff shortages”

    There are staff shortages at Wexham (one guess on why that may be), so better staff are there than at Heatherwood where there are no emergency facilities.

    “The Heatherwood Hospital services 450,000 potential patients in the Windsor & Buckingham area but for financial reasons it is at serious risk of being closed.”

    Buckingham? Do you mean Buckinghamshire? Look at a map, look for NHS hospitals then look how close Ascot is to them.

    “We need to battle to save this hospital, we need to stand with the good people of Windsor, Buckinghamshire and beyond to save their hospital.”

    If you’re in Windsor, go to Wexham Park in Slough.

  5. Noel, I am not sure which particular axe you have to grind on Heatherwood, but I think you are either twisting certain facts for your own reasons, or you have been beguiled by the propaganda put out by the self-serving bureaucrats who run the “Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust” – and the Berks PCT which is the commissioning body.

    Yes, the 450,000 catchment area is served by the whole trust – but people from across the entire area are referred to Heatherwood and it is highly prized by the local population. I am sorry to say the same cannot be said about what you call the “fuck-off” hospital at Wexham Park, which is under-funded, badly overstretched and most people find it a nightmare to access, whether by car or by public transport.

    Also it is true that the aforementioned bureaucrats have wanted to close Heatherwood for well over a decade, and have been slyly running it down for many years. One of the first things to go was the A&E; also the full-service maternity unit was closed; then a Special Care Baby Unit went – leaving a midwife-led Birth Centre, which was again under-resourced and subject to sudden closures with little or no warning to the expectant mothers relying on it at the time. In fact, the long history of Heatherwood as an NHS maternity hospital is one of the strongest links it has to the local community (a high proportion of those currently living here were either born there themselves, or had their child delivered there).

    Despite all their efforts to “get rid of” Heatherwood, they have never been able to bring people along with them. The previous attempt was an East Berks NHS consultation entitled “Right Care, Right Place” which concluded in 2008 that Heatherwood should remain. What gave them the chance to reopen the discussion once more in 2011 was the severe budget pressures imposed by the PCT, who are simply transmitting the NHS budget cuts imposed by the Government (thinly disguised as “efficiency savings” targets).

  6. @Spike

    “NHS budget cuts imposed by the Government (thinly disguised as “efficiency savings” targets)”

    Actually there are cuts. Over half of the work NHS hospitals do is covered by a fixed-price pricelist called the National Tariff and last year tariff was cut by 1.5% and this year it was cut again by “at least” 1.5%. There are real cuts going on in the NHS. That Cameron poster was a complete lie: they are cutting the NHS.

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