Conservative-run Cambridgeshire County Council is planning to close The Haven, a supported living scheme in Wulfstan Way.
The Haven was purpose-built – only 13 years ago – for older people with mental health problems, but now the County Council is saying it’s not up to standard and must close.
The scheme comprises eight flats as well as communal rooms, a garden, a manager’s office and a bedroom for staff on night duty.
Residents moved to The Haven with the promise that they would not have to move again. They take part in a recovery programme there enabling them to develop confidence and become members of the community — both the ‘family’ at The Haven and also the local Queen Edith’s community.
If this very successful unit closes, the upheaval will have a profound impact on the lives and mental states of these vulnerable residents, who will take a long time to adjust and to learn to trust again. And the dedicated and experienced staff there will lose their jobs.
The local churches and other members of the community are running a petition to the County Council asking them to reconsider. I and your other Lib Dem councillors are supporting this and invite you to sign the petition at bit.ly/the_haven. This will be presented to the Conservative councillor responsible for adult care provision and her committee.
If you prefer to sign a paper form, download one here, or sign at St James’s Church, the Queen Edith Chapel, or St John’s Church. We would welcome any other local places that can display the petition.
The Haven – letter – CCC
The special measures imposed by the CQC inspectors on Addenbrooke’s Hospital were the subject of a question at the Cambridgeshire County Council meeting this week (14th Ocotber).
Cllr David Jenkins
The chair of the County Council’s Health Scrutiny committee is Histon councillor David Jenkins, who sits next to me on the Lib Dem benches.
David spoke up for Addenbrooke’s and commended the many positive aspects of its recent inspection that didn’t make the deadlines: the outstanding compassionate care of staff and the hospital’s clinical excellence.
This is what he said:
“Thank you for the question Ian and thank you for the advance notice.
Before I respond let me give a little background.
The Commission for Quality Care, (CQC), conducted a regular inspection of Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, I’ll refer to that as Addenbrooke’s, earlier this year. The inspection resulted in declaring Addenbrooke’s overall as inadequate and so the hospital has been placed in special measures.
The outcome of the inspection the was presented at an NHS ‘quality summit’ in September. During its presentation the CQC made it clear that, although the judgement was clear and appropriate, the compassionate care given by staff was rated as outstanding, and there were several examples of clinical excellence of the hospital. Addenbrookes is no mid-Staffs and it’s only the change in the inspection regime which has resulted in the two hospitals having the same rating.
CQC highlighted staff shortage, the impact of the EPIC implementation, a disconnect between operations and the board and poor medicines management. It’s also worth noting that the hospital was rated good on services for children and young people.
With respect to this council’s response I’m sure you appreciate that it has no executive authority where NHS trusts are concerned although through the NHS scrutiny role of the Health Committee it can challenge and otherwise show leadership. This is what we’ve done.
Shortly after the announcement the Director of Public Health and I met to consider it. Our main concern was that the health sector at large in Cambridgeshire, the CCG, other trusts and ourselves, should recognise that the Addenbrookes problem was our problem and that we shoud all be working together to address it with a view to Addenbrookes coming out of special measures as soon as possible.
We are satisfied that that is the case. The local NHS chief executives meet regularly and Addenbrookes is part of the discussions at their meeting. The common attitude was summed up by the CCG’s press release after the announcement in which is noted the strong negatives of the CQC judgement but at the same time highlighted Addenbrookes’ strengths.
Futhermore we have been talking to key contacts to ensure that they share this attitude. I have met the chairs of two of the trusts, including Addenbrookes itself, and will shortly be meeting with the chair of the CCG.
And finally as a part of its regular program of scrutiny the Health Committee will be scrutinising the Addenbrookes’ response to the CQC judgement in November. This will be attended by the CSC, Addenbrookes and the CCG.”
The local Liberal Democrats have chosen Addenbrooke’s nurse Viki Sanders to be our candidate for the Queen Edith’s by-election on November 13, caused by the resignation of former Labour councillor Sue Birtles.
Viki, a sister in the fracture clinic at the city’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital, served a four-year term on the council between 2007 and 2011, deciding afterwards to support her daughter who was taking GCSEs at the time. During her time as councillor she played a key role in improving local facilities from securing dropped pavement kerbs to help disabled people to the facelift of the Wulfstan Way shops. She also campaigned for more comprehensive gritting of pavements during the winter. In the intervening years she has remained an active campaigner on local issues raised by neighbours and colleagues and supported us at community events such as sales and the annual Christmas carols.
Born in Ely, Viki, of Hulatt Rd moved to Cambridge and attended Chesterton Community College, then Long Road Sixth Form College before nursing training at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
I have known Viki and her family for more than 20 years and worked with her previously on the city council. I appreciated her common sense approach to sorting out problems for local people as well as her sense of humour.
The by-election is for a new councillor to sit on Cambridge City Council until May 2016. You need to be on the electoral register, but if you are eligible to vote and are not on the register, you can be added up till 28th October. If you are away, you can vote by post or by proxy but need to apply by 29th October. Contact [email protected]
Nightingale Recreation Ground is going to have a trim trail, which will give people of all ages the opportunity to keep fit in the open air.
This is being funded by building developers’ ‘Section 106’ contributions.
A trim trail was one of the ideas put forward by residents at a seminar last autumn on ideas for improving the local community, and Cambridge City Council is consulting on the specifics, such as the location within the park, and what equipment should be included.
Your views are valuable whether you are a possible user of the trim trail, or a user of the existing facilities. Please have a look at the on line survey, and say what you think:
and please share the survey with anyone you know who lives in the area. Closing date is 12th July.
What is a ‘trim trail’?
The term ‘trim trail’ usually means a series of wooden exercise stations, scattered in parkland or other locations beside a jogging or walking trail, which can be used to develop balance, strength and co-ordination. They are suitable for both adults and children, and the individual stations are scientifically designed to provide a range of exercise. Most have simple instructions attached and can include balance beams, sit-up bars, chin-up bars, parallel bars, and more challenging feats such as pole climbs and ladder walks.
You can see trim trails locally at Romsey Recreation Ground and Cherry Hinton Hall.
Monkey not listening
Following a health debate at the April meeting of Cambridge City Council, Council Leader Sian Reid issued an invitation to attend a public debate on the government’s health ‘reforms’ to both the city’s MPs, Julian Huppert and Andrew Lansley.
Cambridge City MP, Julian Huppert accepted the invitation very quickly, but nearly two months later, we still await a response from the Rt Hon Andrew Lansley, MP for South Cambridgeshire (into which Queen Edith’s falls) but better known as Secretary of State for Health and the architect of the government’s planned changes to health service commissioning.
This is disappointing since here in Queen Edith’s, we have Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The Addenbrooke’s NHS Trust employs some 7,000 staff, many of whom live in the city. The proximity of the hospital also means we have a high proportion of residents with long-term illness.
During the election campaign and since, I fielded questions about the future of the health service from staff concerned about service provision and of course their own jobs. It would be good to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
Following the concerns at his plans voiced at the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham, Mr Lansley declared that he would listen.He said that government will “take the opportunity of a natural break in the passage of the bill to pause, to listen and to engage with all those who want the NHS to succeed”.
What better place to listen and engage with the public and those working in the health service than Cambridge? In fact, what better area than Queen Edith’s?
We look forward to hearing from our M.P.