3/4/17 – 8/4/17


“’Phone costs out of order’”, subtitled “Warning over hospital charges” – Hospedia monopoly


Inspectors criticise quarter of GP surgeries in East of county


***???p. 18 “Plan to tackle NHS priorities” – NHS England

p. 29 “Baby care cash lift for city’s hospitals”, subtitled “Funding will be used for training and making safety improvements”

p. 37 “MP helps give transplant patients a second chance”, subtitled “Praise for Ashworth as NHS rethinks plan to cut funding” – NHS England had had plans to no longer routinely fund second stem cell transplants when needed

p. 40 “Battle to beat bowel cancer”, subtitled “Students trained to offer advice” to work with hospital reps on screening promotion stall
**“150 operations cancelled due to high numbers of patients at A&E”, subtitled “Second time in six weeks decision taken as hospitals try to cope”


“New patient transport firm named”, subtitled “Services, staff to transfer to part of Thames Group in £28m deal” – with Sally’s comment and picture
* page 9 very good letter by Suresh Chauhan under “My take on what the Tories have done”, a lot about them failing the NHS

**p. 20 “Glenfield heart unit “There is everything to fight for still’”, subtitled “Patients and families facing arduous journeys if closure goes ahead”

p. 23 “Scarlet fever cases on rise in city and county”, subtitled “Reports of contagious illness up 400% in Charnwood”
“More city girls get pregnant”, subtitled “Fractional rise in Leicester, but continued fall in county”


Not enough exercise puts health at risk”, subtitled “Obesity has reached crisis levels, with hospital admissions up, and more risk of serious illness. There is a solution, Cathy Buss learns”, plus various other subtitles
p. 15 a letter by Emma-Lucy Thomson, founder of Asperger Syndrome Support Group Online, under “Ignorance just serves to fuel our self-hatre

Letter 29th March

27/3/17 – 1/4/17

1st April
Survey of GP receptionists

GP receptionist – ‘We are there to help patients’
Footballer’s wife Rebekah Vardy hit social media headlines when she publicly posted “Why are GP receptionists at doctor’s surgeries so stuck up and rude!” But research by the…


p. 15 a letter by Robert Ball under “Impossible task for cash-hit NHS”

p. 15 a letter by Adam Goddard under “Privatisation is causing stress”

p. 20 “Survey to find out quality of mental health care services”, subtitled “800 people asked for feedback”
Letter by Gwyneth Dunkley under “Bleak prognosis for troubled NHS” – this needs an urgent answer/further clarification, pointing out that the NHS is being run down so as to facilitate increasing privatisation
Survey Leicestershire GP receptionists
p. 22 “New arrivals urged to get TB checks”
p. 15 a letter, no name, under “Next time I’ll bypass my GP” – i.e. go to Urgent Care – the problems of getting seen in surgery and outpatients

p. 22 “NHS cuts plan criticised”, subtitled “Watchdog says Rutland bears brunt of £400m proposals” – Healthwatch Rutland”

p. 23 “Hospitals cancel ops”, subtitled “Winter vomiting bug outbreak and surge in A&E admissions blamed”
p. 24 “Under fours having teeth taken out in hospitals”, subtitled “Toddlers’ dental hygiene report”

6/3/17 – 12/3/17

12th March
***Q and A: Chief executive of Leicester’s hospitals on what to expect from health services this year

Cutbacks to care will put pensioners’ lives at risk’”, subtitled “Changes to support proposed” – City Council: supported living accommodation

10th March

***(Glenfield children’s Heart Unit) “No assurances of help to meet surgery standards”, subtitled “NHS England says number of procedures still an issue with Glenfield”

9th March

****“Hundreds in rally protest against heart unit closure”, subtitled “Campaigners make feelings known about threat to Glenfield centre” – outside consultation meeting

p. 10 “Apology for woman’s death”, subtitled “Pensioner, 77, left to choke on doughnut and suffered brain damage” – Inquest; Evington Centre, Leicester General

p. 15 a long letter by Michael Barker under “Listen to public on NHS cutbacks”8th March

7th March
p. 8 “After 30 years of campaigns £7.5m treatment unit opens”, subtitled “After a catalogue of delays, Harborough has new health centre” – St. Luke’s, Market Harborough
p. 26 “New team gets contract for crisis house, subtitled “Turning Point for care services” – Box Tree Farm mental health crisis house contract given to Turning Point
(No online link.).This marks a change of contract from one charitable organisation to another. Leicestershire Partnership Trust Mental Health Services.

27/2/17 – 4/3/17

Councillors don’t have expertise to scrutinise health service cuts” –FullSizeRender


“£7.5m centre to open”, subtitled “Healthcare services transferring to new treatment unit” – St. Luke’s, Market Harborough
“Hospital photo appeal” – as Market Harborough’s Cottage Hospital is closing
Core: p. 3 an NHS advert for “Free health MOT” – t

“Extra appointments on offer at city health hub”, subtitled “Plan to make it easier for patients to see doctor or nurse” – Westcotes
“Breast screening rate high” – Leics. Highest in England, lower in the city

1 March

Call for staff for LRI new Emergency department



20/2/17 -25/2/17

South Leicestershire MP (Conservative) meets Jeremy Hunt…….Alberto Costa under “Committed to efficient, good value health care”

p. 26 “’Two-year waits for mental health help’”, subtitled “Services rated ‘inadequate’ by inspectors”

p. 35 “Prescription scheme pays off”, subtitled “Practice Medicine Coordinator project has saved more than £24,000”
a letter by Javed Khan, Barnado’s, under “Massive problem facing the young” – mental health

“Have your say on radiography services” – patients’ survey by e-mail or paper questionnaire

p. 25 “Five-year deals for new urgent care services”, subtitled “Home visits and hospital ‘hubs’” and “Inspectors found raft of failings at health company” – new company and new service created – article by Cathy Buss

p. 30 “Vital devices bought with charity funds” – better and more comfortable hysteroscopes

p. 32 “Protecting our children” – good uptake of nasal flu vaccine, esp. since giving the option of having it at school or pharmacy

Heart unit meeting venue ‘takes mickey’”, subtitled “Campaigners angry that few will be able to attend” – booked room which holds 120
p. 15 a letter by Maureen Harrison under “Ideal period of convalescence”

p. 32 “Don’t suffer in silence – see your local pharmacist” -NHS advertising campaign
4pc council tax hike to help pay for social care” – Rutland
p. 15 a very good letter by Arthur Tolton under “What we won’t be consulted on” – STP

NHS shake-up needs major investment, doctors warn” – warning letter by Dr. Peter Holden, East Midlands BMA chairman


13th – 18th February 2017

17th February

**** Jon Ashworth under “Urgent action is needed to help patients and save NHS” –

15861616-largeAshworth: ‘Behind each statistic is a patient suffering’
It is now mid-February and the NHS is still in the grips of a crisis. Theresa May has lost control of the NHS this winter and it is patients who are paying the price. Standards of care are…

excerpt: Further pressure is being put on our local services by the upcoming Sustainability and Transformation Plan known as STP.
The Government is asking for local people and all agencies involved in health and social care to help redesign services, but they are pushing the finances extremely tight.
Nearly £400 million has to be saved by 2021 at a time of transforming services which actually costs money. The initial STP plan for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland suggests we will lose 250 acute hospital beds and 40 community beds by 2021.

letter by Patrick J Bowe under “This key centre shouldn’t shut”, Kingfisher Unit, cares for 37 vulnerable elderly people
p. 15 a letter by Derek C Goodwin under “I’m so impressed with or fine NHS” – frequent treatment for chronic illness

about Saturday’s march under “Plea to NHS: Don’t go breaking our hearts”

30 January -4 February 2017

CQC report:Report highlights problems with patient end of life care”, subtitled “City hospitls’ staffing levels below recommendations,

p. 22 “Hospitals under fire for patients’ letters backlog”, subtitled “4,000 are waiting to be typed up”

3rd Feb
cannot find online p. 32 “Meeting on health care decisions” – Tue , 7th Feb, 10 am at St. John’s House

7 “Operations cancelled to help staff cope with busy A&E, subtitled “650 patients a day in casualty”

p. 9 “£50k pledged in support of heart battle”, subtitled “Cash for campaign fighting fund” – County Council

letter by Mrs M Levesley under “There’s still value in small hospitals”
p. 24 “Battle to save town hospitals, subtitled “Campaigners’ bid to prevent loss of Hinckley and Lutterworth services”

31st January
CQC report: Clinic cancellations and long waits are criticised”, subtitled “Eye unit overcrowding ‘unpleasant, unsafe for patients’”

p. 16 “Teen waited three days for emergency op”, subtitled “No eating allowed before surgery” – a must-read, appalling demonstration of what under-provision can lead to

p. 21 “’Disappointment’ at UK’s first proton centre delay”, subtitled “Mum campaigned for specialist brain tumour treatment”

CQC report: Inspectors lavish praise on children’s heart centre

Not from Leic Mercury: contract for 111 services goes to Derbyshire Health United-a not for profit Company.

23 – 28 January 2017


* “Fears over lack of staff at city maternity units”, subtitled “Care inspectors say shortages ‘on occasion’ posed risk to patients” CQC inspection of maternity units
A total of 5,774 babies were born at the infirmary and 4,492 at Leicester General Hospital between June 2015 and May 2016.
*Inspectors lavish praise on children’s heart centre”, subtitled “’Outstanding’ rating for services”
p. 21 “’Let’s make the whole country organ donors’”, subtitled “System of presumed consent should be adopted in UK, says mum

p. 17 “GP to answer allegations of care failings”, subtitled “Retired doctor facing a tribunal
*p. 6 “City’s hospitals told to improve performance”, subtitled “Inspectors critical of care and conditions at three sites” – quite bad, needs reading
p. 22 “Volunteers sought for hospitals” – UHLNT appeal


Hundreds join battle to save health centre”, subtitled “Anti-closure petition signed by 850 people so far” – Merlin Vaz centre
Why is Leicester City CCG closing a walk in centre??

p. 15 a short poignant letter by Malcolm Hunter under “Government is at fault over NHS”

16th – 21st January 2017

**Just hours left to sign up and save our heart unit”, subtitled “Campaigners determined as deadline for petition nears”
p. 13 “GP is cleared over poor care claims” – tribunal case, he was accused of not having done all the examinations documented

p. 16 a letter by Graham Beck under “’Little people’ of NHS trodden on” – contrasting the chief exec’s pay to that of the ex-Interserve lowest paid

p. 25 “Heart specialist honoured” – Prof Tony Gershlik
letter by P. Williams under “NHS cuts despite bigger population”

p. 18 “Hospitals hunt for new staff”, subtitled “Open day for possible recruits”

???Continuing health care? {not found online.)p. 22 “Patients face new funding shake-up”, subtitled “NHS bosses seek to bring down £73.5m bill – consultation about cutting budgets for people with substantial health needs
p. 28 Jon Ashworth in ‘In the House’ under “NHS is in crisis and the PM is to blame

City patients’ long wait for treatment”, subtitled “Mental health waiting times down since latest figures – spokesman” – average 68 days

“Only one in 10 patients want Sunday GPs” – Leicester patient survey
p. 17 “Recruitment open day for hospital staff”

NHS officials defend major pay rise for hospitals chief”, subtitled “Overall package o. £485k-£490k is almost double the previous year”
p. 7 “’Quality care’ pledge as pressure on A&E eases” – could be seen as part of above article
p. 18 “Course could be life-saver”, subtitled “Experts to discuss sudden arrhythmic death syndrome” – conference

6/1/17 – 14/1/17

Leicester Mercury 8-16 January

p. 8 “Fans urged to help save heart centre”, subtitled “Campaigners want Foxes supporters to sign petition at home match”
p. 16 a letter by John Mulcahy under “Glenfield service second-to-none” – comparing it to bad experience his wife had with Emas and LRI
p. 3 “Vigil held for at-risk hospital” – Hinckley
p. 40 “Faith leaders join drive to improve care for diabetics”, subtitled “Ethnic minorities being targeted”

Critical incident’ hospitals status at an end – for now”, subtitled “Bosses praise staff for response but warn of ‘challenging weekend’”

MP Vaz criticises plan to close city walk-in centre”

p. 15 a letter by Julian Branston under “A contender for Britain’s worst ever PM” – incl. NHS and social care provision
p. 15 a letter by Councillor Anne Bond under “Stop sending aid and divert money” – i.e. cut foreign aid to finance NHS
p. 15 a good letter by Geoff Stock under “NHS not safe in Jeremy’s hand”
Woman, 91, endures a five-hour wait in the back of an ambulance

The NHS has made a grim start to the year with a crisis in emergency care pages 2 and 3 “If Hunt has a view on this mess he’s not telling us
You can help your loved ones to recover at home’” – incl. teaching relatives how to inject etc.


all of pages 1, 2 and 3 “999? You will have to wait”, subtitled “1,300 are stuck outside A&E for over one hour and 2,000 hours of crews’ time lost”


1,100 attacks on NHS staff at Leicester’s hospitals”
a letter by Stephen A Warden under “Profit in getting ambulances right”

“Red Cross steps in to help at city’s hospitals”, subtitled “Situation is ‘badge of shame’ for government, says MP” – Jon Ashworth

***Patient care put at risk by A&E staff shortages'”, subtitled “Infirmary lacks ‘correct skills mix’ and experience -claim” – by insiders and union officials

p. 13 “Team tackles over-reliance on antibiotics”, subtitled “Researchers explore GP’s attitudes to prescribing life-saving drugs” – Research Council UK’s grant to UL
p. 27 Liz Kendall In the House under “My main priorities as we prepare for challenges of 2017” – no. 1 to save Glenfield heart unit6