A personal view
Yesterdays NMUH Medical Staff Committee was held in the Lecture Theatre and was extremely well attended. This is my personal view of the event and is not minutes
Starting at 5.15pm it lasted 2 hours. This was the annual general meeting of the MSC so a number of agenda items related to this namely :-
Treasurers report – The treasurer indicated the MSC was in a good financial position so the £50 annual levy remains.
Election of officers – the position of secretary remains vacant
Changes to the constitution of the MSC – non made
The chair gave a summary of the year
The usual review of previous minutes included a number of corrections or clarification
- The new Library Manager is John Clarke
- Rosemary Stanley McKenzie alone updated the MSC on the state of the Consultant Contract negotiation.
- 3-4 acres of Hospital land has now been sold
The Medical Director and Chief executive and HR representative summarised a number of recent events
1. The necessity of selling 4 acres of hospital land to OneDegreeAcademy in order to “comply” with government rules, balance the books of the previous financial year (it appears the sale took place on March 31st sale. As the land includes the pathology block, HIV unit and the old Trust Building there was a little detail of where all these would end and who would be moving first. No mention was made of the amount of money paid to the Trust but I am sure the Land Register will indicate this at some point.
It was said £2 million of this money will be used for “Education” in the year 2016/17. Some of the money is earmarked for up grading and expanding the videoconferencing of the Trust. It was noted that the loss of land would include the loss of 148 car parking spaces of the 426 allocated to staff.
From the floor there were a number of comments about lack of consultation with the Consultant body over the land sale and lack of consultant involvement in decision making.
2.The recent visit by our Local Education Training Board (LETB) which is Health Education North Central and East London (HENCEL) visit was discussed briefly. The report which cam out 10 dyas ago hous been circulated to some but not all consultants. There are apparently 91 action points.
The ongoing Junior Doctors Industrial action was discussed (see more at the end of this blog)
An action pack detailing the names of consultants and roles was sent out during the MSC meeting (5.26 pm)
- The conversation with the Royal Free Group in which NMUH might become a founder member of the Group was enlightened upon. The exact type of relationship is yet to be established. It was noted that NMUH already had working relationships with UCL for Oncology and for Sickle Cell Disease an area extending up to Norfolk.
- Two questions were asked from the floor by me
The report by Lord Carter of Coles was brought up a few times. Lord Carter’s recent final report states amongst many other things the following:-
“Pathology providers are considered productive if the cost of pathology to the trust is less than 1.6% of operating expenditure. Data gathered suggests a two-fold variation in the current cost – from 1.1% to 2.4%”
I asked what was the % of Hospital Turnover did Pathology cost for the previous financial year. The reply was 5.7% (an e-mail from the FD confirms this statement)
My reply was I know that part of that includes NHS staff but roughly 72% of this is paid to the joint venture HSL. Would still make it ~4% which is according to Lord Carter’s report is very “non productive”
I pointed out that Trust 18 in the Carter report with at 1.6% of Turnover was NMUH.
There was a discussion about “like for like” in comparing. I asked that the Financial Department is invited to the next MSC to explain the numbers.
For the MSC record it was noted that the Chair of the Joint Venture HSL is Lord Carter of Coles.
(For those interested
Gives information on all cheques written out to suppliers over £25,000
We await the final March payments on line for openess and accuracy
- There was a presentation of the new Car parking charges which will come into effect July 1 For Consultants this would be a 400% increase from £20 t0 £100 a month.
No allowance was made that Consultants are only here 44 weeks a year. There was no taking into account other hospital charges (see my previous blogs) eg Chase Farm £20 per month. There was an attempt to give the justification behind this increase.
The executive board made the decision back in February..
It was pointed out that the new charges were brought to the Joint Staff Committee but never the Local Negotiating Committee.
There was an “open and frank discussion”. Consultants in the audiences showed a variation of the following
- What is the point of putting that extra effort of work for the trust
- Will come in by cab for all on call work and charge the Trust
- Insensitivity of the Trust
- There should be a boycott of charges by consultants
It was pointed out by me that the current Consultant Contract states On Call Parking should be free or reimbursed.
.It was pointed out that an LNC meeting was due to take place on the 27th April but this had been cancelled do to a Trust Board “meeting”
The HR representative said letters would be going out to all ticket holders in early May
Those present at the end of the meeting felt an extraordinary meeting of the Joint LNC should take place ASAP.
All those consultants at the MSC showed their verbal support for the Junior Doctors.
Below I reproduce an e-mail sent to Junior Doctors in another part of the country that was circulated to UK-Consultants Committee
Statement by senior doctors regarding strike action
We would like to reassure all our patients, and anybody who may require medical attention during the strike actions by our junior colleagues, that they will continue to receive safe, quality care. There will be consultants, specialist doctors and GPs available to cover. We are responsible for training, supervising and supporting the junior doctors and therefore are well placed to ensure that everyone who needs it will receive the best possible care.
It is not uncommon for us to deliver care when few junior doctors are available – for example when new rotations start and staff need to attend induction. There has been ample time to plan for this action. It is however deeply regrettable that planned work will have to be postponed in order to free up senior staff. All doctors are upset by the distress this causes and would like to apologise to those who are affected. However even this needs to be put into context: in the three months before the strikes started the NHS cancelled over 18,000 operations on the day of scheduled surgery for non-medical reasons (usually a shortage of beds). These figures are just one example that illustrates the scale of the problem that the government refuses to acknowledge: the NHS does not have the resources or staff to provide an adequate service over five days, so it clearly cannot stretch the same resources over seven days without jeopardising both safety and staff wellbeing.
We would also like to offer our support to our junior colleagues in their dispute with the government. We agree with them that the imposition of a contract that is unsafe and unfair is wrong, and that the government’s behaviour in refusing to talk or negotiate is unacceptable. We would like to add our voice to those of many others including patient groups, the medical Royal Colleges, senior managers and even the government’s own former patient safety advisor – it is time to withdraw the threat of contract imposition and to start talking. Everybody wants top quality care throughout the NHS no matter where or when this is needed, but it cannot be achieved without talking to the key staff who will deliver it.
I would hope NMUH Senior Doctors would agree with this
If you wish to leave a comment on my blog just “here,here” for the above statement
Links I have found
Jeremy Hunt on Today
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07862q5 at 2 hrs 10 minutes
Jeremy Hunt speech to Parliament yesterday
The Guardian 26th April
http://www.enfield-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=110575&headline=Doctors strike to affect borough’s A&E department§ionIs=news&searchyear=2016
Information sent out by BMA Comns
Ahead of today’s first full withdrawal of labour in NHS history, BMA spokespeople were interviewed on a range of broadcast media including radio and TV. Dr Mark Porter was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 The Today Programme, BBC News about today’s industrial action. He said: “The Health Secretary is trying to find some way to throw mud at the junior doctors of this country who have been providing weekend and night emergency cover since the NHS started.”
Dr Johann Malawana was interviewed by Channel 5 News, ITV News and other media outlets. Dr Aaron Borbora was interviewed on 11 regional BBC radio station programmes. Other members of the Junior Doctors Committee were interviewed on this morning’s BBC Victoria Derbyshire show live from the picket line at St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster. Dr Malawana also penned an article in the Huffington Post explaining how the government have left doctors with no choice but to strike today.
A poll from Ipsos Mori for the BBC found the majority of the public continue to support junior doctors taking industrial action. The Mirror reports the Health Secretary admits this is likely to be his last big job in government.
In other news, Dr Kailash Chand OBE wrote an article in the Sunday Express saying new measures for GPs are a promising start for the NHS. He said: “Family doctors are stressed due to relentless workloads and endless bureaucracy. They are working harder than ever, with general practice undertaking 370 million consultations each year, 60 million more than five years ago. But this pressure is taking its toll.” The article also referred to a recent BMA survey showing nine out of ten doctors felt this pressure was have a detrimental effect on the service they could provide patients.
Junior doctors begin first all-out strike in NHS history in row over ‘seven-day service’ The Independent, Tuesday 26 Apr 2016,
Junior doctors strike: Majority of public back doctors ahead of first full walkout, poll shows The Independent, Tuesday 26 Apr 2016,
What if Jeremy Hunt gets sick of being Osborne’s fall guy during the junior doctors’ walkout? The Independent, Tuesday 26 Apr 2016,
For Junior Doctors, Striking Today Is an Act of Desperation Huffington Post, Tuesday 26 Apr 2016,
Jeremy Hunt admits likely this is his last big job in politics as all out Doctors Strike begins The Mirror, Tuesday 26 Apr 2016,
Hunt told he’ll have blood on his hands as he fails to avert doctors strike The Mirror, Monday 25 Apr 2016,
Striking today is an act of desperation Huffington Post, Tuesday 26 April 2016,
Junior doctors take part in first all-out strike ITV Online, Tuesday 26 April 2016,
Other BMA Info
External news –
Department of health Junior doctor contract negotiations: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/junior-doctor-contractnegotiations
NHS England issues update on industrial action for April 26 and 27: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/04/industrial-action-update/
NHS England backs general practice with a multi-billion transformation plan: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/04/gpfv/
Report shows revalidation is starting to have a positive impact but improvements can be made:
You can read BMA recent consultation responses, evidence to select committees and all party groups and parliamentary briefings online by following the links below.
Consultation responses • UK & England-only:
- Westminster draft legislation:
- Westminster topical briefings:
- Welsh Assembly: http://bma.org.uk/working-for-change/policy-and-lobbying/welsh-assembly/welsh-legislation
EU consultation responses and briefings: