Following a review of the Health for north east London proposals by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), the Secretary of State for Health has agreed for the changes to go ahead.
The IRP conducted an extensive review to consider whether the proposals were in the best interests of the local community. The IRP agreed that our proposals will enable the provision of safe, sustainable and accessible services and offer real benefits in terms of clinical and service quality. The report is available online at www.irpanel.org.uk.
The plans will bring about significant improvements to local health services.The changes will help to ensure more senior clinical presence on A&Es and consultant presence on maternity wards at hospitals.
Addressing urgent safety and quality issues identified by the Care Quality Commission is the immediate priority, but once this has happened, we can then move forward with implementing the service changes proposed in Health for north east London.
GP commissioners and other clincians will be leading the implementation of the changes. Their priority will be to ensure that any changes are made safely and effectively. We will continue to involve patients, the public, staff and other stakeholders.
Referrals to the Secretary of State for Health
The London boroughs of Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering and the Outer north east London Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) referred the Health for north east London programme to the Secretary of State for Health in January 2011.
In referring the programme to the Secretary of State, the overview and scrutiny committees raised concerns about;
the content and timing of the consultation, including whether the ‘GP commissioning support test’ had been adequately carried out and whether concerns of some stakeholders had been fully taken into account; and
whether the proposals – in particular, changes to A&E and maternity delivery services – are in the best interests of the local population.
Following an initial assessment, the Secretary of State asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) to undertake a full review of the programme and report back to the Secretary of State on whether:
It is of the opinion that the proposals for change will enable the provision of safe, sustainable and accessible services under the “Health for north east London” proposals and if not, why not;
on any other observations the Panel may wish to make in relation to the changes; and
on how to proceed in the best interests of local people in light of a and b above and taking into account the issues raised by the scrutiny committees.
The IRP submitted its report to the Secretary of State on 22 July 2011.
What is the IRP?
The IRP is independent of the NHS. The panel comprises clinical, managerial and lay member representatives. The panel considered whether the local proposals would provide safe, sustainable and accessible services for the local population. Panel members undertook a series of site visits and meetings to talk with the NHS, the public, staff and local groups to gather evidence and develop their recommendations to the Secretary of State.
For more information you can read the IRP’s leaflet or visit their website : www.irpanel.org.uk
Decision making on the proposals
The joint committees of primary care trusts (JCPCT) met in public on 15 December 2010 to consider revised proposals for urgent and emergency care, maternity, children’s services and the vision for King George Hospital.
The joint committees approved the proposals subject to assurances requested by GPs and stakeholder groups in the area. At the meeting, the committees considered the engagement and feedback on the revised proposals, the responses to the consultation and other information. The committees decided the proposals:
- were supported by GP commissioners;
- had taken into account the views of the public and patients;
- were based on good clinical evidence; and
- were consistent with current and prospective patient choice.
Click here to view the final proposals or read the reports presented to the joint committees.
Click here to read a summary of the decisions made or find out what the changes mean for local residents.