Personal guest blog by Nan Tewari
CVS Training Room, Ground Floor
5 Rutherford Way, Wembley, HA9 0BP
Thurs 15 Sept, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
If you are a sickle cell patient, Brent CCG cordially invites you to trek to Wembley Park for a meeting to deliver personally, the news that it is about to close the BSCASS (Brent Sickle Cell Advisory Support Service) project 2 days after the meeting.
Brent CCG regrets it has no money (or thought) to schedule the meeting in Stonebridge or Harlesden for the convenience of a vulnerable group of patients.
Brent CCG further regrets it sees no need to include people who are at high risk of developing sickle cell either.
Brent CCG is pleased however that it does have the money to spend on expensive solicitors to fend off attempts by Brent Patient Voice to ensure the CCG complies with proper contract termination processes; to explain why it had not undertaken an Equality Impact Assessment before making the decision to cease funding; to give an undertaking that it would put an alternative support service in place to patients who have already seen their service relocated to Northwick Park, a mere 2 bus rides away, and so on and so forth.
The CCG recognises the project has been effective in reducing hospital out-patient and in-patient admissions. The Sickle Cell Society has the provider contract for the BSCASS project. The annual cost is £70,000 which pays for 2 workers. The project was originally planned (and costed) for 3 years having started in May 2015.
Part of the contract included an agreed joint governance structure through a steering group. The CCG senior rep only ever attended one meeting. The CCG had voiced no dissatisfaction with performance yet suddenly now, it is concerned that the service is not reaching enough patients. All voluntary sector projects take time to ramp up having first to recruit staff then to set the service up. The CCG however, seems to believe that setting up a community project just requires the handing out of money with no follow-up responsibility for any of the community development or capacity building activity necessary to get the new service going.
Contrast this with the help and support the CCG gives to the Royal Free Hospital as provider of the outpatient cardiology service to help the RF meet its KPIs (key performance indicators) and the RF’s continued failure to fully deliver. Better still, more than a year after the CCG was set up it was still using it’s newness as an excuse for poor performance in several areas! Different rules for them it seems.
Re the 15 Sept meeting (no consultation from the CCG on date and time, surprise, surprise) I expect Brent CCG would appreciate some help on how a parent is meant to leave Wembley Park at 3 p.m. to get to Harlesden in time to pick children up from school. Contributions can be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Not sure whether the CCG will listen to sense re the meeting date/time, participation, or anything else, so do watch this space for any updates