Monday, 27 August 2007

Sheffield council supports our campaign!

We are delighted to announce that following a debate held between NBS workers and management, Sheffield City Council (Health and Community Care Scrutiny and Policy Development Board) considered their position on the centralisation plans, and have come out publicly, strongly and thoroughly condemning the strategy.

The recent terrible flooding in England almost crippled Sheffield blood centre and it is testimony to the great skill and teamwork of NBS staff there and at connected sites that a reliable supply of blood products was able to be safely maintained to hospitals without too many difficulties. This is proof of the benefits of the Blood Service operating from many local depots and not piling all its eggs into 3 baskets with vulnerable supercentres.

It doesn't take much to persuade people of why we think the proposals are wrong, but well done to the supporters and reps at Trent NBS involved for winning us this valuable victory!

Read the full minutes of the debate on 11th June here

Here is the Council resolution, passed on 25th June 2007.

From Sheffield City Council
The Board gave further consideration to its response to the presentation made by the National Blood Service upon the National Health Service Blood and Transplant Service Strategy 2006-10, considered by the Board at its meeting held on 11th June, 2007.
That in the light of the information made available, this Board
(a) views with grave concern the proposals outlined by the National Blood Service to re-organise the Service in England and Wales without sufficient evidence of the need to re-organise the Service and particularly with regard to the impact of the re-organisation proposals in the City,
(b) believes that these proposals could result in Manchester being the nearest Testing and Processing Site to the City and serving the whole of the North of England and Wales and the transfer of blood storage and distribution facilities in the City to Leeds, thereby putting at risk the availability of blood and blood products in the City, particularly in emergency situations;
(c) views with disquiet the lack of clarity as to whether or not the Strategy was formulated in consultation with medical experts and laboratory managers from local hospitals and if the strategy has the support of these professionals;
(d) notes with concern the fears expressed by the trades union and others that the proposals would have a severe impact upon the ability of the Children's Hospital to continue its internationally renowned work on children's leukaemia, the training arrangements for Consultant Haematologists in the City, the immediate availability of specialist blood components and the carrying out of specialist research and development activities such as stem cell research, which are presently supplied by the Sheffield Centre;
(e) does not accept the premise put forward by the National Blood Service that the NBS Centre in Sheffield was "not fit for purpose" when the Centre has recently under gone several major refurbishment projects and, in the opinion of managers, is now fit for purpose for at least another 10 years;
(f) would wish to express its dissatisfaction at the apparent lack of accurate costings for the proposals including transportation costs thereby not giving the Board any opportunity to reach "judgment" on the economic veracity of the proposals; (g) is of the view that the underlying philosophy behind the proposals is driven by economic consideration rather than service improvements particularly as no information regarding costings and deployment was made available to the Board;
(h) is concerned that this matter was brought to the attention of the Board in the first instance by the trades unions representing employees of the NBS in the City and not by the NBS and would urge the Secretary of State for Health to remind the Health bodies of their responsibility to engage in meaningful and comprehensive consultations with Local Authorities and other parties regarding proposals for service change and also to request in the strongest possible terms to examine closely the processes for disseminating information and engaging in consultation so as to ensure that substantial systemic improvements are made to prevent this situation arising again;
(i) believes that at a time when all agencies are committed to taking positive steps to reduce the environmental impact of road travel there would be every possibility of an adverse environmental impact through increased transportation of blood
products to the City together with the concomitant dangers of inaccessibility to the City in adverse weather conditions;
(j) whilst recognising that it is not within its remit to become involved with or comment upon the possible adverse economic impact of the proposals upon the City's regeneration would nevertheless urge the Leader of the City Council, the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Regeneration, Culture and Planning and the Chief Executive to pursue this aspect of the proposals with the utmost vigour;
(k) requests that further proposals about this re-organisation be reported to the Board as a matter of urgency; and
(l) requests that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Sheffield Members of Parliament, the Secretary of State for Health, the Core Cities and the other South Yorkshire Authorities.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home