West Cornwall HealthWatch on Radio 4 Any Questions


Questions submitted by members of West Cornwall HealthWatch for Radio 4 ANY QUESTIONS broadcast from the Solomon Browne Hall, Mousehole on Oct 27th 2017


1.       Does the panel think that the integration of health, which is free, and social care, which is means tested, is the holy grail that will save the NHS or is it time to abandon this ideal and just invest in getting the basics right.


2.       A major problem is getting patients out of acute hospitals; and yet community hospitals providing rehabilitation are closing.

What should be done about this?



3.       The first stage of a Care Quality Commission review on mental health services for young people has just been released, telling us that they are facing long waiting times and unequal access to mental health services and that 40% of specialist child and adolescent services in England need improvement. Does the panel think that fragmentation of the NHS and outsourcing of mental health services has contributed to these very worrying findings?


4.       Our health system is straining at the seams with staff shortages and rising vacancies. Does the panel think that the Prime Minister should honour her manifesto pledge to prioritise a negotiated deal to allow

the 140,000 staff from the EU, who make such a vital contribution to our health and care system, to stay here.


5.       Can the panel make sense of a health policy that encourages wholesale closure of our community hospital beds, whilst offering homeowners up to £1000 a month to host patients in their spare rooms under Care/Air B+B. Is this some mad scheme thought up after a poor night’s sleep in a hospital bed or privatisation by the front rather than the back door?


6.       As winter crises in our NHS hospitals turn into ‘all the year around crises’, and delayed discharges become the norm, do the panellists think that the government should halt their plans to close more of our acute and community hospital beds, or are private Care B+B schemes from Cornwall to Carlisle, the answer?


7.       Delayed discharges, increased waiting times, centralisation of services, greater travelling distances and closure of community hospital beds have become the everyday reality for Cornish residents and their neighbours across the Tamar. Do members of the panel believe that these problems could be alleviated by the removal of the internal market from the NHS?

8.       As hospitals scramble to clear thousands of beds before the winter crisis kicks in, HealthWatch England have found  a 23% rise in patients being readmitted within a month of discharge. They are investigating whether the drive to free up beds is causing people to be sent home before they are ready. In the light of this how do the panellists view plans for further closures of both acute and community beds under Sustainability and Transformation Plans?


The first question was accepted, read out, and answered by the panel – Tim Martin, Sarah Wollaston, Dan Jarvis and Loveday Jenkin.