York Councillors will be given an insight into the several problems faced by the NHS in York over the winter period.
They will be told that the number of patients increased with GP to hospital referrals up by as much as 19%.
NHS managers say that nationally it was one of the most challenging winters with the “lowest national performance since reporting began in 2004”.
There was a “surge pressure” from Christmas Day to the New Year (footfall increase of 14% +522; ambulance increase 9% +123, compared to same period in 2015 -16).
Staff sickness, in particular on bank holidays, limited the options for additional cover
Emergency Care Standards (4 hour waits) targets in A & E were not met. They hit a record low point in January but performance had improved by March.
Hospital report on A & E performance
Lack of hospital beds continues to be blamed on delayed discharges (bed blocking) with over 5000 bed days being lost.
The report is bound to fuel demands for higher investment in NHS services. It has emerged as a key issue in the current General Election campaign
The York Council has agreed to pay some of the fees involved in setting up and running a budget bank account at the Credit Union shop at 8 Acomb Court off York Road (tel.03030 300010) .
Details of budget and other accounts available at the branch can be found on the SYCC web site
The Council is taking the action to encourage those reliant on the Universal Credits benefit package to budget to avoid debts. Univeral Credit is paid in arrears and can be difficult to manage.
A report to a recent meeting says,
“A recent article on the Association of Retained Council Housing site indicated that:
- 86% of universal credit (UC) claimants living in council owned homes are in rent arrears (compared to 79% at March 2016).
- 59% of universal credit claimants living in council owned homes have arrears that equate to more than one month’s rent.
- Although 63% of UC tenants in arrears had pre-existing arrears before their UC claim only 44% of them are on APAs (alternative payment arrangements with direct payment from DWP)
- The average value of arrears tenants owed across UC households has almost doubled to £615 since 31 March 2016 when average amount was £321.
A research article expressed concern about rent arrears.
“Not only are numbers of households increasing as UC is rolled out, but the percentage of households falling into rent arrears and experiencing financial difficulty is critically high.
If this trend is not reversed it will have significant impact on local authorities’ rental income streams and the long term ability for housing departments to provide essential services to their communities.
Use of the SYCU budget account and related services by customers could be one way of helping them manage their money effectively, prevent debt and help manage debt where this is accrued”.
Council officials will now help to promote the budget account to qualifying residents.
Today’s Health Check and Boccia session at Acomb Explore Library has proved to be popular with residents
Visit www.york.gov.uk/yorwellbeing to learn more about free health checks
Cllr Sue Hunter had her health checked out
Energise were there
& Health Watch
Muscle or fat?
Older Citizens Advocacy Group
PCSOs were there
Inspectors have criticised standards at York’s Retreat home which specialises in the care of people with mental health issues. The report may place further pressure on York’s mental health services following the sudden closure of the Bootham Park hospital 2 years ago,
The Retreat report – prepared by the Care Quality Commission – cites concerns about;
- Medicine management
- Poor staff development
- Unnecessarily long stays for older people
- Inadequate staffing levels
- Incomplete risk assessments s
- Poor dining arrangements.
The report does say that all areas were clean and tidy, that staff had good support from managers, patients and carers were involved, staff had a good knowledge of legislation and that proper safeguarding processes were mostly in place.
The Retreat York was established in 1796 and is an independent specialist mental health care provider for treatment of up to 98 people with complex mental health needs. The service is located on a forty-acre site on the outskirts of York City centre. The main building is Grade II listed with a range of their buildings situated in the grounds.
NB The Retreat at Strensall was rated as “good” by the CQC in a similar inspection
UPDATE – So not much hope for the NHS in todays budget announcement. There will be a scheme to put a supplementary GP workforce into some A & E departments next winter and there is more for social care. But Councils face a further dramatic reduction in government grants with a likely knock on effect on crisis management by either the NHS or emergency services..
EARLIER: Whether the Chancellor will do anything in today’s budget to help York’s cash strapped NHS services remains to be seen.
A report, being considered by the York Council today, reveals the extent of the problems facing local health services.
Currently cuts of around £45 million are expected placing additional pressures on a service which is already facing a crisis.
NHS York started off with the lowest funding per head of population across the whole region. Cuts are now expected to fall on:
- continuing healthcare
- high-cost drugs
- elective orthopaedics (e.g. hip, knee replacement)
- out of hospital facilities
The local LibDem health spokesperson said, “Cuts in services such as continuing healthcare and out of hospital care are not welcome news”.
“Liberal Democrats will continue to call for the Government to acknowledge the growing pressures on health services and give York a fair funding deal.”
Meanwhile the scale of the centralisation of GP surgery facilities has become clearer. Many are set to become localised mini hospitals with several in Acomb – including the now huge Priory Group which has premises on Cornlands Road – now the largest in the City.
In the Westfield Ward a “Local Area Coordinator” is being appointed by the Council to support people who may “feel vulnerable due to age, frailty, disability or mental health needs”
Interviews are currently taking place and the successful applicant is expected to start work later in the Spring.