Lord prior1.jpgWho cares where the money goes? 

Or/  Don’t live in a wealthy area

Lord Prior of Brampton (above) is current Chair of NHS England.

I wrote to him, commenting on a brave Nurse’s challenge over staffing levels – at a back-slapping NHS Executive meeting.

Previously I had written to our local CCG asking “why am I told ‘you can’t have that here” when, having moved from London to Oxfordshire, I ask to be tranferred to consultants for polio and cancer follow-up.

One would have thought staffing levels and ‘post-code’ lottery were two were different problems.  But obviously not for NHS England.


Recently Gay Lee, one of those hard-working staff on whom the NHS relies, bravely stood up at an NHS executive meeting, chaired by Lord Prior.  Challenging those present to stop patting themselves on the back, she suggested they got on with sorting out the NHS and its staffing problems. Her speech is on https://aftercancers.com/challenging-nhss-back-slapping/

Did she get a reply?

Er – nothing much has happened.  So I thought I might put in my oar.  My letter to Lord Prior was passed round from his Lordship’s office, down the chain.  Eventually it was picked up by our local Director of Governance – DG (did Matron ever have such a person in her office?).  Reading it, teaching Granny to suck eggs came to mind.  I suspect the DG had my two letters and got confused between them.

As she said “You make some general comments about the level of funding for the local NHS. The total funding available for the NHS is for the government to decide, this is then allocated to local Clinical Commissioning Groups” (doctors call them cynical commissioning groups).

Her letter writes about using a needs based formula, CCGs then use this funding to commission services from providers to meet the needs of the population (fairly obvious).  And goes on to say As Oxfordshire, on average, has a healthy population our allocation per head of population is one of the lowest in the country.  

If you aren’t wealthy

Well, that explains the post-code lottery I found moving from London to Oxfordshire. With rich neighours who can afford private care, and statistics showing my neighbours are healthy, it’s tough luck on me  that I have ended up with 14 co-morbities (whoever thinks up these words?)

So my understanding is if you live in Oxfordshire, are an OAP, disabled, and/or someone with special needs there is no guarantee you can access NHS care that is available in other areas.  You pay your taxes, but Oxfordshire CCG has decided your rich neighour doesn’t need to make use of NHS care,  therefore you won’t need it. Hence my NHS GP tells me “you need to see a Consultant”  and without drawing breath “I know a very good private one”.  Thanks a bunch.

Before I explode at the unfairness of it all, I am trying to think up a reply that won’t land me with an obscenity charge.  DG haskindly invited me to follow up by contacting their patient services team.

Somehow I don’t think I will bother.

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