Campaigning in York
Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group are moving their diabetes care out of hospitals and into the community, mostly to GPs. These changes are happening fast: the hospital consultants have already started discharging patients. York Voluntary Group are concerned that GPs do not yet have the skills to care for patients safely. They are taking action on this and would like your help if you live in York or are under the care of the Vale of York CCG.
Let the York Voluntary Group know that you are interested in getting involved by emailing them at email@example.com
You can also get started straight away by sending the letter below to your MPs (you can find your MPs contact details on this handy website) and to the Clinical Commissioning Group: firstname.lastname@example.org – just copy and paste the letter below into your email. Please do let us know if and when you hear back.
I am writing to you on behalf of Diabetes UK York and District Voluntary Group.
The debt that has been inherited by the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group is having an enormously detrimental effect on all the patients who attend York Hospital. It is our opinion that lives are being put at risk In order to try to clear the debt.
It is particularly disturbing that the debt inherited from the old PCT is pertinent to York and District and therefore the squeeze on funding appears to be putting York Citizens at an unfair disadvantage to those living with diabetes elsewhere in the Country.
York Hospital has been requested by the Clinical Commissioning Group to discharge large numbers of patients back into the care of the Community. In April our Group was addressed by Mark Hayes, Accountable Officer of the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group. Following this presentation we understood that changes would have to be made to the way those living with Diabetes were cared for by the National Health Service in the York Area. However, we also believed that these changes would take place after proper consultation and that GPs would receive training in order to enable them to care for patients safely.
I have been asked to express the horror that the Diabetes UK York Voluntary Group feel at the speed with which Consultants at York Hospital have been requested to discharge patients into the Community. This is taking place before GPs have had time to prepare for the huge influx of patients that they will have to see. Many of these people need to see Specialists in order to ensure that small changes in their health will not lead to life threatening changes in their conditions.
This action is both unfair on the GPs and unsafe for the patients. Especially as we understand that the Commissioning Group will only fund a finite number of re-referrals back to Consultants. We therefore dispute the Clinical Commissioning Groups claim that there will be “no compromise on the quality or breadth of care available to patients.”
We are also concerned that people living with Diabetes in York are not aware that changes in their care are being implemented. There has certainly been nothing in the local Press to date. The Clinical Commission Group did circulate a survey during the month of June. Posters advertising this survey were given to GPs and the Diabetes Centre at York Hospital, along with paper copies of the Survey to hand out. However there did not appear to be any other publicity about the survey.
When the Clinical Commissioning Group was asked about the short duration of the Survey the reason given was the tight time scale for people to be seen in the Community rather than by Consultants. The deadline set by the Clinical Commission Group is 1st April 2014. In view of this date it is hard to understand why the Survey was only available for a few weeks. Also in our opinion it would not be unreasonable to expect face to face group consultations to take place across York and its surrounding areas before any changes took place.
Diabetes UK has published a list of 15 Healthcare Essentials which those with Diabetes have a right to expect. Already many people in York and District are late with their annual reviews and these essentials will not be met. This was not the case in the past.
The Diabetes UK York and District Voluntary Group fought a long battle to have the Centre built so that patients could see all specialties under one roof and the 15 Healthcare Essentials were met. In turn this helped to prevent expensive complications that are known to accompany diabetes. The Centre staff have been involved with training Professional so that they could share expertise in caring for diabetes in the Community.
They also provide training for those living with diabetes so that they can help themselves by understanding their own diabetes. They have also offered to provide extra training in readiness for the changes due to take place in April 2014. Unfortunately the present discharge of patients back into the care of the GPs will not allow this to take place.
Diabetes UK York and District Voluntary Group are extremely worried that lack of funding caused by losing funding from the Clinical Commissioning Group will have a detrimental effect on the Diabetes Centre and that some of the expertise held by the staff employed there will be lost. People with diabetes who are worried about their diabetes will no longer be able to phone and ask to see someone at the Centre but will have to see their GP first and then wait for an appointment to become available. Often such a delay can cause life threatening complications to worsen.
We would like assurances from all those concerned that lives will not be put at risk by these changes. Of course people would like to be seen closer to home but only if this is by someone with the necessary knowledge to treat them safely.