Save Shire Hill Hospital Motion

Save Shire Hill Hospital MotionSave Shire Hill Hospital Motion : This time last week, after attending the Gamesley Christmas Market, I was in Buxton for the final full council meeting of the year.

You can see the details for the full agenda by clicking here, with a particular note of interest been agenda item 9 the motion on the Intermediate Care Consultation.

As any local that has seen a local paper or even the local tv news over the last few weeks and months a particular local issue of contention that is still going on at current, is around the innocuously titled Intermediate Care Consultation, which is been run by the Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group.

I say innocuously titled because what it actually means if the preferred option from the clinical commissioning group is carried out, is that Shire Hill Hospital in Old Glossop will be closed down.

Like many locals who have been campaigning against this for the last few weeks and months, the Labour Group on High Peak Borough Council is opposed to this, and due to the range of issues and concerns flagged up during the consultation process, we proposed the following motion at the council meeting :

This council notes and resolves :

  1. In the event of Tameside and Glossop CCG making the decision to proceed with their preferred option (option 2 Transfer of all bed – based intermediate care to a single location in the Stamford Unit at Darnton House) in the intermediate care consultation and effectively close Shire Hill Hospital, that High Peak Borough Council will seek a judicial review on this highly flawed consultation process.

With my speech proposing the motion, been along the lines of the below :

Mr Mayor,

Some members this evening may feel a sense of de ja vue, as once again we are talking about Shire Hill Hospital and seeking a response to challenge the actions of the Tameside and Glossop CCG.

But that sense of de ja vue particularly in response to Shire Hill Hospital is a much felt emotion with locals across Glossopdale, as this is not the first attempt to seek to reduce services in our local community by shutting Shire Hill but merely the latest in a long list of attempts despite the hospital been at one time or another been banded as a centre of excellence and its the many locals that have been through the doors as both patients and visitors highly regarding the service that they receive.

Over the last few months in response to the intermediate care consultation that could have a dire effect on the future of Shire Hill Hospital, locals have attended consultation meetings in huge numbers, responded to the consultation and other 8000 (3,397 signatures on the online petition – 4,670 paper to Parliament) have signed petitions either online or to our member of parliament for submission to parliament.

All getting involved and raising there voices  in favour of keeping Shire Hill Hospital open, and keeping rehabilitation beds in Glossopdale for local patients, their families and for staff.

Throughout the consultation process there was a justified criticism of the public consultation at both consultation meetings in Glossopdale, which failed to take account that Glossopdale residents are the only portion of the Tameside and Glossop population who will be disadvantaged by these  proposals if the end result is to support options 2, in fact but for the challenge put forward by many of the members in this chamber, Glossopdale would only have seen one consultation meeting to put across there views, in a venue which was unable to fit everyone who wanted to attend in to voice those concerns.

Looking more into the detail of the consultation a key concern was the transport information which despite been challenged at every opportunity owed more as I have said previously to jackanory than it does to the reality our residents face, with the car journey time of 18 minutes been more akin to 45 minutes or more with bus travel taking at least an hour and at times closer to 2 with changes or a considerable walk both at the Glossop end and the Ashton end to get access.

The consultation aims to bring care closer to home, yet one again as with other consultation will actually centralise care at a site some distance from its current location, with time after time at the consultation meetings and from talking to local residents the the lack of joined up services  between social services and health that are already supposed to be in place leaving many residents concerned about the lack of and the additional stain on already limited services that an expansion of such services should the proposed changes go ahead as intended.

A view that seems to be shared by former leading local GP Sir John Oldham who views that the intermediate care strategy as proposed in the CCG’s preferred option will not deliver the expected results, and in particular will be detrimental for the people of Glossopdale.

By centralising intermediate care beds in the fashion proposed by the Tameside and Glossop CCG local residents in Glossopdale will lose the psychological benefit of been closer to home, along with the potential lose of families been able to visit and engage with care staff helping to support that journey back from hospital to home.

The proposals also risk the excellent and dedicated team of staff that currently work at Shire Hill, many of whom are local Glossopdale residents who may be unable to transfer to working across at this centralised unit potentially losing to the NHS the skills and experience of this excellent team that have made such a difference to lives of locals who have attended Shire Hill.

Over many consultations with different bodies whoever has been the administration in power we have supported local residents in campaigning for the retention and enhancement of local services – and in this case we need to be supporting NHS services at the most appropriate local sites as deemed by our residents.

So given the information presented through the consultation by many local, some may wonder why this motion is necessary and to my mind the answer to that with the many flaws in the consultation, as identified by local residents at both the consultation meetings and elsewhere, along with the lack of consideration of all options as evidenced by the option 4 proposed by Sir John Oldham, we need to we need to show support to our residents who have and are working long and hard to respond to these consultations and any support we can give to our local residents to press both the Tameside and Glossop Commissioning Group to retain services at our valued local hospitals.

The council’s strap line is working with our communities and as a response to and a responsibility to that call we should be working to stand up to those outside bodies such as the Tameside and Glossop CCG and stand firm with a response that may give pause for thought and a chance for proper consideration of the all the issues of concern raised by our local residents in response to this consultation, please support the motion.

Alas as one of the ‘delights’ of been in opposition you don’t always get your way even when (at least in my view) we are right, the Conservative administration in charge of the council moved an amendment which effectively deleted our motion, changing it for the below :

The Council notes that:

  • the outcome of the CCG consultation and decisions about the future of intermediate care in Tameside and Glossop will not be made until December 2017


  • on 14 September 2017, the full Council overwhelmingly agreed to endorse its current arrangements for responding to such consultations as appropriate, evidence-based, reasoned, comprehensive and robust


  • on 12 October 2017, the Executive agreed that its support for the concerns and recommendations from the Community Select Committee and its support for Option 1 in the consultation be sent as the Council’s response to the consultation at that stage


  • a powerful and persuasive case for an ‘Option 4’ proposal and actions for specific intermediate care arrangements in Glossop has recently been put forward by former Glossop GP, Sir John Oldham, a copy of whose Glossop Chronicle article of 9 November 2017 is attached as an annex to this amendment.


The Council resolves immediately to inform the CCG of its intentions:


  • to engage constructively with them in relation to their proposals for Glossop residents after their December meeting, in particular


  • to mandate Group Leaders to liaise and make every effort to establish a consensus to best represent our residents affected by the consultation including arranging any necessary meeting(s), whether these be with the public, CCG, Council or by request to Community Select


  • to give immediate and urgent consideration to and identify any necessary actions relating to the legal and practical issues arising from the decisions as they affect the intermediate care available to Glossop residents in future


  • to involve relevant stakeholders, in particular Derbyshire County Council, so as to secure the best possible overall intermediate care outcomes for Glossop residents.

To my mind this missed the point of the original motion which was to put on record and to give fair warning to the CCG that if all options are not fully considered before reaching a final decision on the future of Shire Hill, there are options still open to us, to oppose this change, and after further discussion we were able to get agreement for a further amendment to point 2 of the amended motion so it reads as follows :

  • to mandate Group Leaders to liaise and make every effort to establish a consensus to best represent our residents affected by the consultation including arranging any necessary meeting(s), whether these be with the public, CCG, Council or by request to Community Select and that all options including a judicial review will be considered.

With this additional amendment all members of the council voted in support of the amended motion.