Why are we trying to Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital while the hospital puts out statements claiming all is well

As in Marvin Gayes’ version  of “What’s going on”,  it is very troubling. Our campaign to Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital has now been going since 2015 and  has done much  street campaigning. We have also done  research and  detailed studies of their plans. Not that it takes a genius to work it out.

sonia's graphicThe plans which are presented as being all fine and dandy. The plans are part of what’s going on in the NHS,  and  some of which   is downright dangerous.  Sugar coated, press releases just don’t fool people anymore. We see the crisis. People are dying when they should not have died. The NHS is in crisis., and that crisis is manufactured by government policy.

  • The NHS  does not have enough money because the government made the decision to underfunded it.If it were funded to match similar countries it would not have this problem. The money the NHS does have is frittered away to the private contractors  who won 70 per cent of clinical commissions  under the current flawed system. This cost the NHS, from which they made £831 million profit
  • The NHS does not have  sufficient beds because planners decided to close them as part of Government policy
  • The NHS does not have enough staff because of government policies.
  • Huge amounts of money have been wasted on PFI (PFI stands for Private Finance Initiative. It has been the dominant way of financing new hospitals since the late 1990s. As a result, the NHS spends £2 billion in PFI charges every year for its PFI hospitals in repayment and service charges. (That is £3,700 every minute).)
  • Every PFI hospital has a huge mortgage round its neck to pay before it pays anything else. The Liverpool Women’s Hospital has no such mortgage.
  • Money spent on NHS building projects  gives millions to the builders and the financiers through PFI and the like. That huge investment has lacked scrutiny so major faults  have  been found in these big projects, not just at Liverpool’s  flawed and unfinished Royal hospital. So PFI hospitals are  scandalously expensive.  Many PFIs  are flawed and  quite dangerous. “Site sources claim the cracks in the supporting beams stem from underlying issues with part of the building’s foundations
  • The NHS lacks doctors and nurses because of government  planning, by policy not by mistake. The Royal College of Physicians  claims the government doesn’t even know how many doctors it needs Back in 2012 the government decided to train fewer doctors to prevent a “glut”.
  • The LWH trust has a financial problem based on underfunding and a national problem with the maternity tariff. This will not change with the move. Indeed the PFI mortgage would exacerbate it
  • The LWH shares many services with the Royal now. There are already problems with these shared services. The Royal cannot afford to subsidise the LWH.
  • The team from LWH can and does operate at the Royal when  there is a likelihood that long-term intensive care will be needed after the op. This quite common in the NHS.
  • Nothing in these plans would stop babies being sent to Alderhey  for operations.

The Government handed major control of the NHS  from the secretary of state to the  barons of the NHS, themselves ideologically and personally linked to major private health companies. Making money became a priority, moving the NHS into the “market” has caused further problems. Free trade agreements already threaten the NHS.

The decision to cut bursaries for nurses and midwives was damaging and difficult to explain if stability in the workforce was an aim. Many midwives will retire in next ten years  as  one in three midwives are in their fifties or sixties. This is one factor  an even bigger gap, with more leaving than joining.

No privatisationThe overwork, stress and under payment of staff makes spending £140 million on  this seems even more unacceptable

There are two funding streams for the NHS,  revenue which pays for salaries and day-to-day expenses, and capital which pays for buildings. Buildings surrendered because they are no longer needed are subject to the Naylor Review. The site would not be safe.Unless Naylor was revoked the site would be sold.

We believe the move to the Royal will enrich builders, enrich land speculators who would love the plot the Women’s now occupies, and do nothing to help the women and babies.

The Royal site is in the midst of a traffic hotspot and traffic pollution harms babies more than anyone, in the womb and when newly born. Travelling to and from such a highly polluted spot id not acceptable, even if filters were built into the air supply.

A landscaped green site is positively good for patients. Why should we lose that for our babies?

Maternity  is an expensive sector for the NHS. “Admission to hospital to give birth is the single largest cause of admission to NHS hospitals in England”
Women’s health is a significant factor in the NHS with women on average experiencing 19 years of ill-health, and one-third having serious problems with reproductive health.

clean airWe also value the calmness and kindness which is the ethos of the hospital .Giving birth in a calm quiet and caring place is great for the mother, the baby and the family. Patients who have been treated there for other conditions also speak highly of the ethos and care

The statement, and the plans published,  make much of the safety gains of having the other hospital a bridge away. However in Birmingham women’s hospital which has such an arrangement, very ill women are still transferred by ambulance because that is safer than a trolley push.18 women were transferred last year out of the hospital and at least as many transferred into Liverpool Women’s Hospital. LWH is one mile from the new hospital. Broadgreen Hospial which is part of the Royal  is much further away yet cooperation is not a problem there.

Recent CQC reports give the existing Women’s  a good safety report. We reject the plans  which reflect the maternity review,  written by Conservative Peer  Cumberledge, which is now increasingly  discredited.

We need a hospital that focusses on women’s health, because we are not the same as men, much as we love some of them. We want to keep all the services together and not have them dispersed to the “community” where they are much more likely to be closed down quietly

In times of trouble we hold what we have, we do not let the good things go.

Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital

Fix the Royal

March for the NHS 22nd September 2018, 12 noon outside the hospital.

They say “Our preferred option for the future is to build a new Liverpool Women’s Hospital which will be physically joined to the new Royal Liverpool Hospital”.

We say no.

(This is the statement from the hospital/CCG)

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