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Involving you in the future of Hinchingbrooke

30/09/2016

Our Chair Val Moore went to yesterday’s Hinchingbrooke Hospital Board meeting, where the Trust agreed to merge with Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals.

The boards of both Trusts met separately this week to discuss a draft Full Business Case. This sets out the case for merging all clinical and administration functions from 1 April 2017. They want to do this to help keep acute services for patients in Huntingdonshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire.

Both Boards were clear their approval was subject to further due diligence including feedback from the local independent Clinical Senate. They also intend to keep meeting with the public, and listening to staff and public opinions throughout October and early November. The two Boards are expected to agree what will technically be an acquisition of Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust by its Peterborough neighbour at their meetings in November.

Our Chair, Val Moore, said:

"We know people are passionate about their hospital and want to see it keep its local identity. When this process started in May, we said we wanted to make sure local people have the chance to be involved in decisions about Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s future.  We said 'it is important they can shape the ways in which their voices are heard in the day to day business of a larger trust'. That hasn't changed.

We welcome how much work both Trusts have done to listen to and involve people in this decision making process; there have been more than 33 engagement activities since May, including answering questions at one of our Board meetings, with more planned in the autumn. 

We told the hospital we wanted to see a plan for patient involvement drawn up as part of this business case. The things we asked for have largely been included; for example, plans for membership of the new Trust are to include people from the Hinchingbrooke catchment, and half of the new Trust Governors are to be elected from the public membership. 

Our local Healthwatch acknowledge the positive aspects of the draft business case for patients - most things can be provided for most people locally. We also appreciate the honesty about the challenges the hospitals face now and ahead. It is clear that whilst some workforce shortages will be helped quickly by joining forces with Peterborough and Stamford, it will take longer for other clinical service re-modelling to work through. 

We have also heard some of the concerns patients have about the potential merger, not helped by the complexity of the clinical and financial issues and the timing of other related discussions about the wider health and social care system locally. We have helped inform people of the facts; however, the details of the business case need to be provided for people in a way that is clear and understandable.  People have asked for a plain English version of the final Business Case. We understand that this is something the Trusts will produce for their meetings in November. 

We asked at the Hinchingbrooke Board meeting that information on service outcomes for patients from the Huntingdon area would be available from the new trust data. We said the new patient experience group should continue at Hinchingbrooke, and the complaints teams and PALs should operate from both sites. We were told that this will happen."


You may also be interested in:

Read the full business case here:


If you have a recent experience of care at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, please tell us. It is important that we continue to understand how care services at the hospital are working for you. Call 01480 420628, email enquiries@healthwatchcambridgeshire.co.uk, or tell us online.

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