Fewer people visiting A & E at York hospital

Waiting times still stubbornly high

The latest NHS figures for January reveal that there were just over 17,000 presentations at the York Hospital Accident and Emergency unit.

Although there is usually a peak in winter, this number is down on the 19,683 who presented during August last year. ,

One in four (24.8%) patents attending had to wait for over 4 hours to have their needs addressed. That is more than the national average of 18.3%.

We believe that the Councils Health Scrutiny Board should consider performance reports like these – covering the public services most likely to be used by residents – at their monthly meetings.

York Council claims over 50% of complaints answered within 5 days

…we don’t think so!

The Council has published its latest financial and performance update. It reveals that it could overspend this year’s budget by as much as £1.5 million. The expectation is that the Council will outturn on target.

A major source of complaint is paradoxically complaint handing. The Council claims to have answered “50% of complaints within 5 working days”.

Maybe!

….but we have a current instance of a complaint registered on 27th December 2018 which hasn’t even been acknowledged yet. The Council needs to improve its exception reporting systems and inject some fresh drive into its customer relationship processes.

Another key concern is the impact that the Council is having on delayed discharges (bed blocking) at the hospital. “The total number of days that patients resident in York have been delayed, for all reasons, during the last twelve months for which statistics have been published (November 17 – October 18) was 10,655 which equates to, on average, 29 beds each day occupied because of DToC across the health and social care system. From August to October 2018, this figure was 2,967 days which equates to 32 beds each day”. The Council says that the closure of two large nursing homes in the city has impacted on the ability of Adult Social Care to place patients quickly, as well as considerable pressures in both the residential and homecare markets.

The future of the Greenworks section of Yorkcraft has also never been properly explained. The Council is reducing the budget by a further £160,000 for adult social care workers, in supported employment, during the next financial year. So the future looks bleak for some of the workers who are a familiar sight as they deliver newsletters to various parts of the City.

Following the decision by the Council to suspend its housing modernisation programme the number of Council homes not meeting the decency standard has soared to 546.

It was zero two years ago

Probe into NHS service quality in York

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

York Council releases latest – more comprehensive – performance stats

Unemployment low, forecast 12% increase in crime levels, poor housing management performance,

The latest performance figures from the York Council provide a lot more information about public service standards in the City. It is a welcome improvement from the “dark ages” between 2011 and 2015 when little was revealed and Freedom of Information requests flourished

Environment KPIs click to access

Environment KPIs click to access

The Council is reporting a big over-spend on the costs of looking after children from broken homes. Car parking income is already £282,000 below budgeted levels, and the Council has, of course, received no income from ANPR enforcement on Coppergate.

One worrying trend is on crime where “significant increases are forecast in the violent crime, criminal damage and burglary of non-dwellings”. With elections for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner coming up in May, candidates can expect to be questioned closely on their plans to reverse crime trends in the City.

As you would expect, performance in other areas varies. No one expects perfection – just a solid response to any evidence of declining standards.

The only department that still hasn’t adjusted to the new, more open, culture appears to be the Housing department. The Housing Revenue Account looks like it will underspend by £480,000 this year – yet many estate regeneration projects remain on the shelf.

Housing KPIs click

Housing KPIs click

Housing KPIs lack information about contact volumes, complaint levels. repair numbers and customer satisfaction levels.  There is no exception reporting. No “longest outstanding issue” figures are provided.

Housing have also produced a new “business plan” which singularly fails to identify any administrative savings despite a heavy investment in technology. The lamentable condition of many estates – particularly  communal spaces and in garage areas  – together with growing issues like the lack of off street car parking, is largely ignored.

The Council’s Executive when it meets next week should send the housing documents back for a rethink.

Detailed KPIs can be found behind these links:

Still no performance stats on basic York Council services

The latest performance report to the Councils Executive taking place on  26th November  , pointedly fails to provide any data on core public service standards.

The nearest insight a taxpayer could expect to get to day to day service standards is a statement about the number of bins which the Council failed to empty first time round during the last quarter (535)!

Of customer satisfaction levels or speed of response on roads, footpaths, street lighting repairs, weeds, litter etc. there is silence.

Council set to lose £60,000 as a result of Marygate car park barrier fails

A report to a meeting next week confirms that the unreliable Marygate car park barriers are responsible for nearly half of an Marygate-car-park-equipment-768x1024estimated £136,000 short -fall in car parking revenue expected by the York Council this year.

It is just over a year ago since barriers were installed at the car park at a cost of over £100,000.  Labour Councillors who approved the change were warned that elsewhere similar (outdoor) systems had been chronically unreliable.

Now the barriers are often locked in a raised position – effectively allowing free parking.

The report identifies a potential overall overspend against budget of £1.9 million. In fairness, this is not without precedent for a first quarter financial review.

Most of the potential deficient occurs from escalating costs for fostering children.

The Council says that “the number of Children Looked After is unlikely to reduce in the foreseeable future”.

The Council Housing account is now forecast to have a surplus of £16.6 million by the end of the year!  As reported on Thursday, housing officials are currently refusing to invest any of the profit in essential estate repairs.

The performance report suggests that little progress has been made so far this year in improving public service standards.

Most of the indicators have been inherited from the last – discredited – Labour administration and in many cases are simply missing altogether (including even results for the year ending 1/4/15 in many cases)

Enviromnet  Aug 2015

York Council budget surplus hides underlying problems – Public service quality hits buffers

The York Council had an underspend against its revenue budget of £688,000 in the last financial year.

Most of the surplus came from a £2 million improvement in the central services budget which is heavily influenced by external factors such as favourable interest rate levels.

Worryingly all the major service departments were overspent with environmental services (which includes waste management activities) racking up a £941,000 overspend and Adult Social Care (services for the elderly and those with disabilities) came in £528,000 above expected expenditure levels.

An overspend on children’s services was blamed on difficulties with fostering and adoption services.

Landfill Tax payment increased to £4.2 million with 52,370 tonnes of waste dumped.

There was a £325,000 reduction in car parking income compared to estimates. This is partly blamed on unreliability issues at the pay on exit barriers installed at the Marygate car park. Most of the Environmental Services underspend was due to poor performance on waste management.

Following the delays to, and subsequent collapse of, the older persons homes strategy that account showed a shortfall of over £1 million last year. There has been a significant overspend of £1,021k within the Elderly Persons Homes budgets due to utilities, cleaning, catering and repair and maintenance (£325k), increased staffing ratios (£237k) and temporary staffing costs (£332k)

Public Health overspends (£658,000) are put down to the demand for genitourinary (basically sexual diseases) services being higher in York than the rest of North Yorkshire.

The Council is making a payment of £1.3 million to the Leeds City Region business rates pool.

The overspends are a concern as they carry over into 2015/16. Taxpayers will be looking with concern at the first quarter outturn figures (due on 24th September) to see whether there have been any improvements.

The last Labour Council approved a budget for the current year which included £11.9 million in cuts and efficiency savings.

Many of these look like they were built on – to put it kindly – shaky assumption.

Click for full list

Click for full list

The Council has also published updated performance information. Performance in many areas is stable although several wage level, public health,  and waste management indicators are below target.

The outturn report is due to be discussed at a Council meeting taking place on Thursday.

Schools inspectorate publishes list of “failing” York schools

York schools reports published “on line”

Ofsted have made their inspection reports – and statistical tables for all schools – available “on line”.York High

The statistical sheet for York High can be viewed by clicking here.

Other York secondary schools can be accessed by clicking here

You can access Primary schools on the Ofsted web site here or, for west York schools, click the links below

Most York schools are performing well.

One exception was Canon Lee (which has already been subject to widespread media comment)

Five Primary schools were criticised in their last Ofsted reports

Nine York Primary schools were rated as “Outstanding” by Ofsted.

GCSE results

Meanwhile  Key Stage 4 School Performance Tables published today show that many York schools achieved excellent results and are well above national averages.

The percentage of pupils gaining five or more A*–C grades at GCSE (or equivalent), including English and Maths, is 62 per cent. This is 6 percentage points above the national average and places York in the top spot in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The results place York in the top 14 per cent of Local Authorities in England. 

York is also in the top 10 per cent of Local Authorities in England for pupils achieving the ‘English Baccalaureate’, and in the top third for pupils achieving ‘at least expected rates’ of progress from the end of Key Stage 2.
(more…)

Senior Council officials to be paid 52p an hour to be “on call”

On callChanges to the working conditions of senior managers at the York Council are set to be implemented.

They include the introduction of performance related pay.  Instead of gaining “increments” automatically during their first four years in post, pay increases will be made based on the achievement of targets.

What the targets will be, and who will decide whether they have been achieved, is unclear.

Their annual leave entitlement will be reduced to 35 days a year (from 39) although this is still much higher than is common in the private sector – or indeed amongst more junior ranks at the Council.

Chief Officers will be required to join a standby rota and will be paid 52p an hour to be “on call”. If “called out” to deal with an emergency  they will be paid at their hourly rate.

We think that the performance related pay plan is right.

However there needs to be more transparency when goals are being set.

Large amounts of taxpayer’s money are involved.

The proposals are being discussed at a meeting being held on 12th May.

York primary school performance results published

York primary schools have produced only average results in performance comparisons published today.

The results are based on the number of pupils achieving “good” level 4 in reading, writing and maths.

The highest performing schools in York were Naburn CE and St Mary’s CE both of which achieved 100%

Lowest performing school was Derwent which achieved 38%

click

click

Other results included:

  • Acomb Primary 86%
  • Hob Moor 86%
  • Woodthorpe 79%
  • Westfield 76%
  • Our Lady’s 75%
  • Dringhouses 63%

A full list can be found by clicking here