We have been made aware of correspondence entitled Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group – Clinical Services Review – A Matter of Life or Death which questions some of the travel time information relating to decisions made as part of the recent Clinical Services Review.
During the judicial review brought by Anna Hinsull of Swanage – as the local resident supporting this campaign, Dorset CCG made a full presentation of its case and we do not wish to speculate on the outcome, declining to comment thus far on coverage in the media and online.
We do however feel we have a duty to correct inaccuracies that are now circulating as they are misleading members of the public and misrepresenting the CCG. They are based on the views of the claimant rather than fact, and the author of the letter has no authority to speak on behalf of the CCG or NHS.
The decisions that were made last year followed a full public consultation which received Best Practice accreditation and nearly 19,000 responses from members of the public.
We are aware that not everyone agrees with these decisions, and whilst we are disappointed that the Judicial Review has taken place, we respect the rights of people to challenge in this manner.
The correspondence claims that we have confirmed data from an independent report from South Western Ambulance Services Trust (SWASFT) that shows nearly 400 people that would be at increased risk per year due to increased travel times.
This is not the case.
The report actually states that for a sample of nearly 22,000 cases analysed from a four-month period, 132 cases (around 0.6%) have been identified as having potential additional clinical risk and were recommended for further review. When this data is applied to a twelve-month period (3 x 132) the figure is 396.
The ‘blue light’ travel times given are also inaccurate. Analysis from SWASFT shows that the majority of people living in Purbeck would see a travel time of between 25 and 42 minutes to their nearest Emergency Department if Bournemouth becomes the site of the Major Emergency Hospital – which would be Dorset County Hospital. It is impossible to comment on the travel times of those people self-presenting at Emergency Departments as we are not aware of their point of origin. The figure of 47 minutes’ travel time to Dorset County Hospital would be for people living in the BH19 1 and BH19 2 post code areas only.
The decisions that were made have considerable patient benefits and are supported by all NHS organisations in Dorset and have undergone a full assurance process with NHS England along with external reviewers and the national investment committee. As a result of the decisions made Dorset will receive an investment of £147m.
NHS Dorset CCG would welcome the opportunity to meet with parish councillors to discuss these inaccurate claims in more detail along with the decisions and explain the many benefits to people living and working in the county, which include more care closer to home, a specialist planned care hospital and significant investment to create a new maternity unit.