CAVENDISH HOSPITAL: Campaigner’s view on consultation blunder

Cavendish Hospital would be affected by the changes proposed in the Better Care Closer to Home consultation.
Cavendish Hospital would be affected by the changes proposed in the Better Care Closer to Home consultation.

Campaigners who have fought tirelessly against the proposed changes to Buxton’s Cavendish Hospital say they are shocked to hear about mistakes with the figures.

It was revealed on Monday that following the 14-week consultation the figures they used to show how much the hospitals cost to run and projected five-year costs were too high.

Derbyshire health chiefs apologise after consultation figures blunder

High Peak borough councillor Kath Sizeland said: “I am absolutely stunned by this revelation. It is very worrying that errors like this have been allowed to happen.

“They must have had a lot of people looking and checking the facts, so I don’t know how it has happened.

“I just hope this means the consultation will be more in our favour and offer a reprieve, and not just for us in the High Peak but for others who are fighting to keep their hospital services open through the north of the county.”

There were three errors with the pre-consultation business case which have been highlighted by an independent auditor and show the figures for the cost of keeping the 16 community beds at Fenton was wrong.

The original figures showed it cost £2,180,000 to run in 2014/15 but in fact it only cost £1,785,000.

There was a discrepancy with the projected costs for the next five years, with the figure reduced from £2,651,000 to £2,171,000.

When looking at the options available to patients under the Better Care Closer to Home proposal, the report stated that to keep both Cavendish and Chesterfield Royal Hospital open would cost £6,400 per patient, but this figure has been reduced to £6,300.

An error was also discovered with the five-year plan. Although the final figures for overheads was correct, the breakdown for years one to four did not match up.

Campaigner Keith Horncastle submitted a counter proposal to the Better Clare Closer to Home plan to create a Western Hub, offering dementia patients treatment on the Spencer Ward and making full use of the “gold-standard” facilities.

He said: “I think this is a sad case of the tail wagging the dog. These new figures, which show it costs less to operate the wards from Cavendish Hospital, further reiterates that having a Western Hub is the right idea for people in the High Peak who need medical treatment.”

Now the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) both in North Derbyshire and Hardwick will be holding a four-week clarification campaign and want people to come forward if the new figures alter their views.

Anyone now wishing to submit an additional response can write to Freepost, Better Care, North Derbyshire CCG, Headquarters, Nightingale Close, Chesterfield, S41 7PF, or go online at www.joinedupcare.org.uk.