We write to Jonathan Djanogly – Support our Campaign to Suspend Acquisition of Hinchingbrooke Hospital

The following letter has been sent to Huntingdon MP, Jonathan Djanogly


 The Hands off Hinchingbrooke Campaign Group is a non-political group of Huntingdonshire residents whose sole aim is to ensure that Hinchingbrooke Hospital remains a sustainable hospital and that clinical services promised in the Full Business Case for acquisition are kept.  Our secondary aim is pure and simple – to object to privatisation of the NHS.

The Hands off Hinchingbrooke Campaign Group have written to Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England to formally ask him to intervene and suspend the proposed acquisition of Hinchingbrooke Hospital by the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust.

In support of our case we have submitted the following points: –

  1. The appointed Board of Directors for the new trust has just been announced and is heavily weighted against the interests of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and residents of your constituency.  Of a new board of 16 Directors, 8 are non-executive and of those 8 only 3 are former members of the Hinchingbrooke Board. There are no Executive appointees from Hinchingbrooke.
  2. Cambridgeshire Commissioning Group have failed to disclose to public scrutiny the Estates and financial implications contained in the STP.  We believe that within those as yet undisclosed plans financial cuts will disproportionately impact on Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Huntingdonshire residents.
  3. Until such time as proper public consultation on the content of the STP is made we feel that this acquisition should not proceed.
  4. Peterborough City Hospital continues to be subject to a safety notice issued by Cambridgeshire fire and Rescue with structural repairs not expected to be completed before February 2019.
  5. This acquisition does not have the support of Huntingdonshire District Council.
  6. Until an equitable representation of Board Members is made this acquisition should not be allowed to proceed.

We now ask you to lend weight to our submission to NHS England to suspend acquisition until April 2019, or until the Safety repairs at Peterborough City Hospital are complete.

In addition, we urge you to contact the Leader of Cambridge County Council and seek a written response to the following:-

  1. Will you ask the Leader of the County Council to urgently convene a full council meeting to oppose acceptance of the STP for Footprint 21 – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough until all Appendices to the STP have been released into the public domain, and until such time as public consultation has been undertaken.
  2. Will the various related health and social care committees behave democratically regarding the STP and ensure all decisions are clearly, speedily and transparently communicated to the residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
  3. Ensure that that ‘patient outcomes’ will not suffer due to aspirational ‘efficiency savings’

Will you ensure; by due diligence; that Hinchingbrooke Hospital is not unfairly or unreasonably treated by the New Trust Board at Peterborough when savage savings have to be made and cuts to clinical services ensue.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital is under significant risk of downgrading.  We feel this will lead to the loss of Accident and Emergency Services to instead become an Urgent Care Centre.  We consider this is a significant emerging threat despite assurances from Lance McCarthy the CEO of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Alan Burns, Hinchingbrooke Hospital Board Chair.

The NHS has a long and sorry history of failed mergers and acquisitions and the Board at both Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough have no fall back plan – Plan B should this acquisition start to fail.  We consider this to be a serious and significant dereliction of duty of care to both Hospital employees and the residents of Huntingdonshire.

Peterborough City Hospital is in itself significantly in debt.  Indeed it has sought and been approved a significant financial support package over many years to assist in the debt imposed by the failed PFI Contract which has been a crippling burden to this Hospital.  We fear that the acquisition of Hinchingbrooke will enable Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to acquire full financial control of Hinchingbrooke’s assets and utilise them in securing its own financial and clinical sustainability to the detriment of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and our residents.

While our group will continue our fight to support Hinchingbrooke we now ask you to step up your involvement in support of Hinchingbrooke Hospital; and ensure the statements made in both the Outline and Full Business case for merger; that assurances that clinical services would not be affected by the merger are kept.

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