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Minutes BHF Public Meeting 24th January 2024




BHF Public Meeting North Library   1pm  24-1-24

Members of BHF; Anthony Clarke (AC), Andy Levitt (AL), Simon Tory (ST), Beryl Powell, Jane Tye, Kimberley Thomas, Maria Bowtell, Andy Walker (AW), Jayne Phoenix (JP), Martin Frankish, Mike Heslop-Mullins, Ann Kemp.  

approx. 170-180 members of the public.

AC opened the meeting and introduced the guests:

Martin Barkley (MB), Chair York Trust, Cllr Dave Tucker, (DT)  Portfolio for Health & Social Care ERYC, Melanie Liley (ML), Chief Allied Health Professional York Trust, Simon Cox (SC), ICB Partnership Director.

AC addressed the meeting and explained there were huge access and medical issues for the Bridlington population.  Large amount of deprivation and a challenge for new patients coming into the area.  Trying to improve the GP issues.  Significant delays with mental health appointments, waiting times are too long for patients with high levels of illness. Access to dentistry appalling, creating problems for young children in the future. BDH needs to be used to full capacity with fewer patients travelling to other hospitals.  In-patient Palliative Care and respite need to return to Bridlington.

AL- The new BDH was welcomed after a long wait but changes over the years to budgets resulted in cuts and loss of services. This caused a negative effect on recruitment into the area.  Bridlington deserve better.   £4.7m was invested in the past to make BDH the greenest hospital within the Trust.  Solar panels and a heat pump were provided.  Now NY have all the facilities with services being taken away from BDH.  It is understood that centralisation is necessary but not at the expense of Bridlington residents.  There has been a managed decline of facilities, but safe treatment needs to be available locally. Bridlington patients have travelled 1.7m miles for appointments and surgery which also has a cost effect and is sometimes prohibitive for many disadvantaged patients.  BDH need new services/resources.  A report in 2008 for the East Coast services recommended 7 proposals.  By 2012 only 1/7 had been delivered.  Additional theatres were also promised but funding removed.  Know we can’t expect everything to be reinstated but patients have rights, and we need more than we have!

ST -definite migration of hospital services over the years and moved to York, SGH & Malton.  BHF understand that BDH won’t have specialised services reinstated but we want safe care and services available.  BDH is also used for Trust wide patients.  Orthopaedic clinics can do more than they are at present.   Only ½ ward is used to support the operations. Rehab Ward is used.  Bridlington Care Unit is mostly for NY patients.  Thornton Ward used part time for the new Health Academy.   Shepherd Day Unit hardly used.  Buckrose empty and Thornton Ward mostly empty. Slides were shown: Over all ER patients, Bridlington South have the poorest health.  Emergency admissions are higher from Bridlington South than Beverley.   (Male patients in Willerby live longer than in Bridlington).  Patients with LTC’s in Bridlington are higher than in Beverley and Goole.  100,000 Bridlington/Driffield patients were referred to OPD with the majority having to travel to NY (Scarborough, Malton, York, Selby) for this appt.  5000 appts lost at BDH with patients sent elsewhere.  There is a new phrase being used in SGH” corridor care” as they are overstretched yet BDH is underused. Why?  There needs to be a levelling across the ER with more investment in Bridlington and along the coast.  This would also encourage recruitment as a good place to work.

 Questions from the Audience:

Staff recruitment needs to be addressed by improving the hospital and the service it provides.  Things need to start to improve now.

            Worked for 25 years at BDH. Sad that when York Trust took over BDH was seen as a “cash cow” and services diverted. Money was taken away from BDH, Govt need to invest extra funding for BDH.  Staff were asked to work shifts at short notice at SGH, understand why retention was not maintained as this was not practical.

            Husband had a medical problem and was sent to SGH then Hull but was not allowed to be discharged back to BDH for dialysis treatment. Why should this be when service is local?

            Govt want to build new hospitals.  Why don’t they reinvest in what they have?

            When calculations were made re relocating services why were transport costs for locals not included, as many have to travel by public transport which is costly?  Not saving money but putting extra burdens on patients.         

            Large number of new houses being built, where are the new residents going to be seen?

AC- not much in the plan re restructuring services when the houses were passed.

            In 1988 full services at the hospital, now a larger population and less services locally.  Why?

            Hospital Managers should be re-elected every 3 years and not be reappointed if not doing their job!

            GP services are appalling. Locums do not know what is available locally.

            Just had knee surgery in BDH – excellent- only patient in ward.  We used to have top heart surgeon here and excellent Palliative Care Unit – bring it back!

            Lady with range of medical problems having to travel to Scar, Hull & York for appointments.  Struggles with her mental health and constantly falling so travelling is difficult.  GP not sympathetic and has reduced pain meds.  (To discuss with SC after if wishes).

            Brilliant turnout for the meeting today.  Indicative of failings in Bridlington.   Can speakers tell us what they are going to do to improve services?

            Problem with GP’s.  Don’t know what is available where, so referred to both SGH & Hull.  Services should be available locally which would be quicker and more efficient.

            Lack of communication between the 2 Trusts.  Meant patient had to go back and forth to get appropriate treatment.

AC – ICB were formed to help improve the communication between the Trusts.

            Dentistry a huge problem in Bridlington.  Mostly private now but still huge waiting lists. Why can’t recruit?

AC- National problem with recruiting dentists.  Dental contract has been an issue.    8 ½ year wait for a dentist locally.  Has been raised on local media.

            Text message from hospital consultant increased medication, incorrect dose.  Consultant now left and not replaced, and GPs cannot change without new information. Problem going on for months. (to discuss privately after meeting if wished )

            When is the hospital re-opening fully and how long will it take to open?

            89 year old Ex serviceman had NHS Dentist all his life, now needs some treatment and will cost him £900.

AC- used to have Dental Access Centre at BDH. 

            How can residents make things happen?

            BDH declined significantly.  What is happening to rebuild services?  A lot of talk but no action!

AC- ICB’s aim is for us to die well and in a preferred place.

AC- introduced Martin Barkley.

New 3 year appointment, has been in the NHS for 42 years. Not yet familiar with the Bridlington patch but has been to BDH this morning and seen the Orthopaedic Clinic & OPD.  BDH opened originally with 200 beds, no way this will be reintroduced as Healthcare has changed over the years, eg, Orthopaedic patients are often discharged on same day as surgery, with average having only 1 night stay.  Techniques have improved allowing less time needed on the wards.    He will take away what he has heard and see what the Board of Governors can do to address the problems with OPD, diagnostic facilities, Physio etc. BDH will not do emergency admissions.  Workforce issue is a challenge, with a shortage of Consultants.  Agrees underutilisation of space is a waste. What can be replaced which would benefit the population of Bridlington?  There are already Community Services at BDH, private Renal department and Yorkshire Ambulance has a base there.  Members of the audience wondered whether this is stealth privatisationAssured this was not the case. The Trust will work with the ICB, Local Authority and BHF to see how the space at BDH can be utilised. He has been taken aback by the problems with GP & Dental access.

ST- public need to understand that BDH will not return to how it used to be but focus on what is possible.  MB has agreed that the space needs to be used. How can this be used safely?

Audience- need beds on wards for operations to be performed.  Planned extra theatres were cancelled. Dialysis not run by NHS but privately.

AC introduced Dave Tucker, Portfolio for Adult Health & Social Care.

Came to a previous meeting and was distressed by what he heard.  Council are not decision makers but are influencers.  Works together with ML & SC.  There is lots of work in the pipeline; Andy Kingdom, Director of Public Health, is working on the inequalities in Bridlington and will be going to the ICB in March with a report.   Meeting in 2 weeks’ time with the CEO, ML & SC and others at County Hall about what is and isn’t possible going forward.  DT has an NHS background and understands that some specialities are not suitable to be returned to Bridlington, but routine safe surgeries need to be brought back.  He will continue to influence.

AC introduced Simon Cox, ICB Partnership Director - been in post for about 18 months.  Initially prioritising Primary Care which was in a bad situation with some surgeries not sustainable. Now 2 Practices. Drs R&N have the best access within the ICB and they are continuing to work through the problems with HPC.  GP Services will be discussed at the next Scrutiny Committee at ERYC. As the services continue to improve and with vision and commitment, hopefully new clinicians will be recruited to Bridlington.    A new Frailty Service has been set up.    ICB and ERYC need to continue to work together to improve life in general (jobs, schools, homelife etc) as this will  decrease illness and increase life expectancy, (eg South Bridlington).  Good access needed for GPs and diagnostics. Orthopaedic services are good but not all patients are from Bridlington, often NY patients. CT now available at Bridlington (not permanent).

Audience -need MRI locally, need CT all the time, especially with the increased population.    NHS needs to prioritise Bridlington.  How will things be in the future? Too much time travelling to appointments. 

DT left meeting – happy to attend any future meeting to report on progress.

SC – Not only hospital issue to resolve, also involved with Health & Social Care, as elderly population need to be constantly addressed. Health Care has changed. CCU closed in Bridlington as felt better Unit in SGH.

Audience- will ICB own up and accept that what has happened to BDH is scandalous, as is having no scanners at BDH but 3 at SGH.

Shuttle bus cancelled several years ago due to funding, but this was a lifeline for many patients attending appointments.   How do the Trust expect elderly patients to get from A-B?  Question asked how many people in the room have had to travel to appointments/surgery.  Most of the people present showed hands ( plus 90% of the overflow room).

Why was BDH turned down to have a diagnostic unit?  SC – ICB agreed that it was better served within a larger population.

92 year old had to go for chemo to CHH, 60 mile round trip for family to visit and be with family member at the end.  Palliative care should be available locally. .

lot of investment in the dying but what about the living?

SC- palliative care surveys showed preferred place to die was at home, followed by hospice care then hospital care.  Prioritising supporting patients at home.  High quality of home palliative care in Bridlington.  Can announce that hopefully there will be some Palliative Care beds opened in Bridlington before long.   AC- asked that things could move quickly to make this happen.

JP  Recently become a Councillor on Planning Committee.  There are 450 new houses planned for Darwin Rd area.  Quite shocked as associated infrastructure does not seem to be in place.  She is working with residents regarding this and trying to find out what has happened to any money developers put in for extra infrastructure. 

AW  asked the ICB to review the Outline planning infrastructure as the evidence issued says that there was nothing to worry about re GP’s, Dentistry (although maybe a later issue) and Secondary care .  AW has asked the Inspector regarding this who said that they were going along with the evidence of the ICB.   This maybe correct across the ER but not Bridlington.  This needs clarification and updating re the inequalities across the patch and especially Bridlington.

AC- thanked everyone for coming.  Next meeting  10 April at 1 pm,.

Meeting closed at 3 pm.

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