Cambridge Health Emergency – a voice for Addenbrookes

addenbrookes07:26 Wednesday 14th October 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: A few weeks ago when the Trust that runs Addenbrookes and the Rosie was put into special measures plenty of you got in touch wanting to show your support for the hospitals. Well three weeks on it seems that the fightback for those places is starting to find its voice. Last night a meeting took place in Cambridge for people who want to defend Addenbrookes. They formed a campaign group called Cambridge Health Emergency. Martin Booth joins me, a retired Addenbrookes worker who helped organise last night’s meeting. Morning Martin .
MARTIN BOOTH: Good morning.
DOTTY MCLEOD: So why organise this meeting last night?
MARTIN BOOTH: Well as you said a lot of people have already expressed their concern and alarm really about events at Addenbrookes over the last few weeks. First of all we had the Chief Executive and the Finance Director resigning out of the blue with no notice at all. And then following that the Care Quality Commission report saying that the Trust was ‘inadequate’, something which a lot of people would disagree with to be honest, but at the same time highlighting very serious problems, which the report indicated many of them were caused by a lack of sufficient funding and resources, particularly the lack of staff to fully provide the services that are needed. And then the Trust being placed in special measures.
DOTTY MCLEOD: But what’s your campaign group going to do? What’s your aim Martin with this group?
MARTIN BOOTH: The aim is really to .. because I think a lot of staff are concerned, a lot of people are concerned but it’s really to organise that concern as you’ve said it into a voice, which can really call for the hospital and its services and its staff to be protected. There are three really main points to what the campaign is calling for. First of all to have no cuts in services which are driven by finance; to have no privatisation of services, because that’s another thing that we’re worried about as a consequence of all this; and most importantly of all, for the Government to provide the resources, the funding resources, and for the staffing to be found for the Trust to be able to provide the services that it needs. So that’s the basis of the campaign.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Is this a political group Martin?
DOTTY MCLEOD: Because some of those aims around privatisation particularly, that is quite a political topic.
MARTIN BOOTH: Well to be honest I wouldn’t say that it was, because there’s been widespread views expressed before that people don’t want to see services privatised. I think the main emphasis is on actually keeping the services going. It’s certainly not political. There’s no party political element to this group at all. It’s intended to be a widespread based campaign.
DOTTY MCLEOD: What if privatisation turned out to be the only way that Addenbrookes could balance the books and also maintain services?
MARTIN BOOTH: Well I can’t see that that’s likely to happen, but I think the vast majority of people would want to see the services as they are to continue as they are, but also to be improved in line with the way that the Care Quality Commission has identified, and there’s certainly no place for the introduction of a profit motive into any of that. If the problems have been caused by a shortage of resources then how is a: making cuts or b: introducing a profit motive going to change that? It simply won’t.
DOTTY MCLEOD: So what’s your next step with your group?
MARTIN BOOTH: Well the next step is really to start asking questions about what is going to happen. Because whilst we’ve heard that we all know that the Trust has been put into special measures, nobody knows what’s actually going to happen. Now we know that the board of directors of the Trust is meeting next Wednesday morning at eleven o’clock at the hospital. These meetings are meant to be held in public, although normally I think the public don’t go along. But because they’re meant to be held in public then we would say that the public should ask questions of the Board. What is going to happen? What are their intentions? Certainly members of our campaign group will be asking questions of them. And what do they intend to do to try to get the resources from the Government that are needed to keep services going? So that’s certainly one of the next things that we’re going to do. And really take the message out there to get a campaign amongst the people in Cambridge, it’s our hospital, it’s our local hospital, to speak up in support of the staff and in support of the hospital, and to get it to work the way that it should be working.
DOTTY MCLEOD: OK Martin. Thank you for your time this morning. That meeting that Martin mentioned takes place next Wednesday 21st October at eleven at Addenbrookes Hospital. That was Martin Booth who is a retired Addennbrookes worker who helped organise a meeting last night which led to the formation of a new campaign group, Cambridge Health Emergency.