Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Mystery of the proposed "Making a Difference"

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know……….!”

“Ah but they weren’t hampered by the Cardiff & Vale Universally Inept Planning Director.”

The great ‘Making a Difference’ Document was approved in 2010, even though it contained no detailed plans and no costings.  We were to get the immediate transfer of Rookwood Hospital facilities on a ‘swap’ basis to a site-of-equivalent-value at Llandough hospital  [  A top Civil Engineer  has stated that establishing such a like-for-like-value is impossible ]. This move was to be funded by the sale of buildings and land at Rookwood, as promised in C&V LHB Board notes and, of course, the ‘Making a Difference’ document .

 Fortunately, the Charity Commission don’t allow for charitable land to be sold at a profit – a fact unknown to the Planning Director or his staff – to be used for such purposes.  Undeterred by this minor hindrance, the C&V LHB took the bold step of moving Rookwood Radio to the bottom floor of Llandough hospital, where it remains, one year on.  Since then, no move has been finalised, even though the Planning Director had the egg surgically removed from his face, privately at Squire Hospital, as the waiting list at UHW was 6 months IF a bed was available at that time.
Scurrilous rumours have it that only one ward, of the elderly, is being moved to St David’s hospital in Canton - the hospital that was stupidly conceived under a  Private Finance Initiative that will cost at least five times the original quoted price of £16m.  Others say that the wards are having to be refurbished at Rookwood, after twenty years of deliberate neglect by NHS Wales. 

This begs the question – Will Rookwood ever be relocated ?  If so, at what cost and under whose planning ?

Parallel with this ill-conceived scheme ( that failed to be approved by the patients and/or public at the bogus consultation ) was the new build of an Adult Mental Health Hospital at Llandough that would be completed four years after the proposal had been agreed.  Unfortunately, not a stone has been laid yet, and – if the scheme does start  this year – will be completed seven years from the date it was approved and promised ( if we’re lucky ).

The question ( here ) is : - Was there ever any intention to complete either proposal, especially in view of the Finance Minister’s allocation of only £16m for the new hospital that was to include  additional facilities that were promised ‘within the community’ ?  As the bogus consultation ( conducted by the Community Health Council, being the NHS’s approved lapdogs ) promised that £80m had been ring-fenced for the mental hospital alone ( verbatim Paul Hollard & Katie Norton ), it seems reasonable to assume that the Welsh Government, NHS Wales and the Universally Inept Health Board have not been open and honest about the possibility that the promised Adult Mental Health Hospital will NEVER be built. Being that there were no detailed plans ever revealed to the public and patients, it would appear that we have all been victims of yet-another-deception by the Government and NHS Wales.  [ I make this possibility known following at least four new approved plans for a new-build Whitchurch Hospital that were not implemented. ]

Excuse my cynicism, but I had to laugh out loud when Norman Tebbitt stood up in Parliament and said that  “If Mrs T had not stopped the miners, imagine what effect that would have had on our democracy ? Obviously, the silly old fart isn’t aware that we haven’t had any semblance of Democracy in Wales since then, under a Labour Government, at that, after more than fifteen years of devolution. !   Hence, all the public consultations that ignored the opinions and concerns of the public responses, were treacherously approved by the government-funded Community Health Councils.  

 The other source of hysterical amusement was the Dear Lady, Leslie Griffiths claiming that “We don’t need public forums or patient organisations in Wales as The CHCs ARE the voice of the people.” This at least displayed her contempt for the Health and Social Care Act, and its’ statutory commitment to Public and Patient Involvement .    R.W.


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