Tories have no solution to Peterborough City Hospital’s ‘unacceptable’ A&E performance

A&E Waiting times

You may have read recently that less than 60% of patients at Peterborough City Hospital’s A&E are seen within the four hour target time.

Hospitals are expected to admit, treat or discharge 95 per cent of patients within four hours of arrival.

According to media reports, the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital in Bretton, said it had seen “significant demand” with a 4.3% increase in emergency admissions year on year.

What does Darren think?

Well, since this news came to light, the Conservative Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has suggested that A&E targets might be scrapped.

In my opinion, changing the A&E target won’t magic away the problems in Peterborough, with patients left for hours and hours.

Any review of targets must be transparent and based on watertight clinical evidence, otherwise patients will think Matt Hancock is trying to move the goalposts to avoid scrutiny of the government’s record.

After years of austerity under the Tories, the government’s first priority must be to give the NHS the funding and staff it needs to end the waiting time crisis.

Plz let me know your thoughts below!

The Manor isn’t closing, says PCC! So why are parents panicking?

City Council
Trying to understand the City Council is not easy when they themselves are not sure what they have been saying!

You may have read recently in the Peterborough Telegraph, that Nazreen Bibi, whose daughter Mirdyea Shahzadi (19) is severely autistic and needs 24-hour care, was concerned that local parents could struggle if The Manor, a respite home for children and young people with disabilities, closed.

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Not enough City Councillors know about this website!

Mental Health

  • Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
  • In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.
  • Approximately 1 in 8 adults with a mental health problem are currently receiving treatment.

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Will we see teenage pregnancies rise?

Pregnancy Peterborough
With all these “cuts” to central government funding for Peterborough City Council, one area that I am worried about is teenage pregnancy.

As far back as 2007, I raised my concerns and called for stronger action.

In recent years we have read about reductions in the number of teenage pregnancies in the city.

Teenage pregnancy

Sadly, I fear, public health funding, under this present Tory regime will be effected by the cuts and all the good work might be undone,

I have now requested an update from Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Peterborough, and for assurances that support levels can be maintained.

Remember, if you have a comment or view to please post it below!

I think #MentalHealth support in schools SHOULD be statutory!

Child depression

As someone who has experience of mental health issues, I am constantly concerned by the lack of effort shown by various sections of society when it comes to mental health.

I recently read that figures from Public Health England showed 1 in 10 children aged 5 to 16 has a diagnosable mental health problem!

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An “increase in self-harming in young people” in Peterborough

Self Harm

At a meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee, councillors were told:

“It was noted that there had been an increase in self-harming in young people but there had been no hard evidence to understand why the increase had happened.

“National research was being conducted and locally all aspects of emotional health and well-being was being looked at.”

Across England, only 8% of mental health funding goes to services for children and young people.

In recent years, referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services have increased by two-thirds, and the number of young people presenting to A&E units with psychiatric conditions has doubled.

I believe we need to see real investment in early intervention by increasing the proportion of mental health budgets spent on support for children and young people.

Young people in Peterborough MUST have access to a counselling service and messages/information must be made available in places young people operate ….. Rather than simply printing thousands of leaflets!

What’s YOUR experience of #MentalHealth services in Peterborough?

Westwood Clinic

Mental Health is a growing issue in the Peterborough area, and as a rep on the Health Scrutiny Committee, I can assure you it is regularly spoken about.

However, I’m keen to here from people who have first hand experience of any support (or lack of) they have received?

For example, in previous minutes it stated:

  • The 24/7 mental health help line that covered the whole of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, only had a children’s mental health specialist available until 5pm at present.
  • That the Clinical Commissioning Group was looking to ensure local services included a single front door for mental health referrals and an examination of how looked after children could be better supported.
  • All of the youth counselling resources across Peterborough and Cambridge were being pooled and a new provider would be starting in January 2018.

Sadly, since 2010 mental health funding has been cut, the number of mental health nurses has fallen by 6,600 and remaining mental health budgets have been raided to plug holes elsewhere in the NHS.

Half of the people with mental health problems as adults present with symptoms by the age of 14.

Yet, across England, only 8% of mental health funding goes to services for children and young people.

Please let me know your thoughts and experiences below!

Any discussion of mental health issues must include the key causes of mental distress in society, including joblessness, debt, insecure and poor housing, insecure employment, crime, domestic violence, lack of social support networks (especially for carers), and the pressure to be successful and conform to a certain type.


City Council plans to open NEW Hydrotherapy Pool in 2019!

St George’s Community Hydrotherapy Pool

According to the Councils latest budget proposal plans, the local authority “…has committed to build a brand new facility in the city to be open in 2019.

So the first question is surely what happens to the St George’s Community Hydrotherapy Pool, situated on Dogsthorpe Road?

The council says it will make a £14,000 contribution for the 2018/19 financial year, followed by £2000 in 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Have you used the service? Please let me know YOUR thoughts by posting a comment below!

Suicide rate in Peterborough has decreased

Health Scrutiny Committee

Members of the Councils’ Health Scrutiny Committee have been told:

The suicide rate in Peterborough has decreased steadily since 2010-2012 when the rate was significantly above both the England and East of England rates and is now similar to the England average.

This is obviously good news, and I have no doubt that the decision to finally erect barriers on the Queensgate car park have been a factor …. It’s a real shame that they were not erected earlier!

Whilst I welcome the news, I still believe we need more support for public mental health and well-being in Peterborough.

The Conservative controlled City Council must address this and the need for services which identify and support those at risk.

They must also ensure that suicide prevention is given greater priority, so that fewer families experience the heartache of losing a family member to suicide.

For example, I would like to see the telephone number for the Samaritans advertised in locations likely to be used for suicide, such as the train station, and publicity messages adorned to the walls of underpasses and alley ways, throughout the city.

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts or opinions below!

Going through a difficult time? #WeListen

Peterborough health system faces significant challenges!


At the latest meeting of the Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, on which I sit, councillors were told that the health and care needs of our rapidly growing, increasingly elderly population are a real concern.

Areas mentioned, included; significant health inequalities, including the health and well-being challenges of diverse ethnic communities; workforce shortages including recruitment and retention in general practice; quality shortcomings and inconsistent operational performance; and financial challenges which exceed those of any other Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) area in England!

In my opinion …..

  • We need to reverse privatisation of our NHS and return our health service into expert public control. That means telling the PFI bods who’ve made so much money to date, and have caused such problems locally for years, that their time is up!
  • We need to repeal the Health and Social Care Act that puts profits before patients and make the NHS the preferred provider.
  • We need to reinstate the powers of the Secretary of State for Health to have overall responsibility for the NHS.

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts or opinions below!

NHS under Conservative control
We really need to start worrying about the NHS under Conservative control!