'No secrecy' over hospital lab service changes

Dorset Echo: PROTEST: Campaigners urge people to sign a petition petition to keep DCH’s pathology department publicly owned. County Councillor Ros Kayes is on the right PROTEST: Campaigners urge people to sign a petition petition to keep DCH’s pathology department publicly owned. County Councillor Ros Kayes is on the right

HOSPITAL bosses have hit out at campaigners fighting to retain pathology services at Dorset County Hospital over accusations that managers are refusing to reveal details of the proposed changes.

Four outside bodies have been invited to bid for the Dorchester hospital’s pathology services, a move which has sparked the newly-formed Dorset Health Campaign into launching a petition to keep the laboratory in the county town.

The petition has already attracted hundreds of signatures and members of the campaign group have now asked the hospital if they can see the specification for the new service, which would list exactly what the prospective new providers would be asked to deliver.

However, Sally Cooke from the DCH says she was told by the hospital’s director of finance and resources Libby Walters that the specification was ‘not a public document’ and was only shared with the bidders that had been shortlisted through the procurement process.

Sally said: “I can’t see why the hospital feels the need to be secretive about this. I understand that even the hospital Governors have not seen this document, and they are meant to be looking after the public interest in the hospital.

“This is an example of how ‘commercial confidentiality’ is used to hide what is going on in what should be a public service.

“It shows that the new structures in the NHS are turning it more and more towards an American-style system driven by profit, and not by an ethic of public service, on which our NHS was founded.”

Dorset County Hospital’s Chief Executive Jean O’Callaghan responded: “This campaign group seems intent on spreading misinformation about the pathology project.

“We are not being secretive. In fact we have been very open about the project and the reasons why we are going through this tendering process.

“We have shared a lot of background information and myself and the hospital chairman are meeting with Cllr Ros Kayes next week.

“There is a procurement process which must be followed and that is what we are doing.”

Comments (3)

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5:12pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Speak Up1 says...

Not surprised by this hiding behind "commercial confidentiality" as usual they fail to listen to those that provide the service - and if those that understand the job (by actually doing it!) call them to account, they are attacked by the bean counters and they hide behind the procedure!

It's about time people woke up and realized this is the slow death of the NHS and this kind of management will spell the finish of what we have invested and paid for. I would suggest that these contracts and the consequences should be in the PUBLIC domain because we pay for the NHS - there should be no commercial confidentiality where a public service is concerned.

They will sell off bits here and there and before you know it they will hold up models etc and suddenly we will be paying private firms for everything and handing more and more money to shareholders - American Style!

These professionals (scientists) are hard working, dedicated and above all loyal to the NHS - they are essential to a County Hospital - if this service goes anywhere else there will be dire consequences for the people of this county (and those visiting) - without this department the hospital simply cannot function. There will also be delays in getting results back if this is moved away from the county hospital location which if you are waiting for a relative to be helped could have dire/life threatening consequences....

I do hope these management types who do nothing but push pencils and work on spreadsheets understand that this is a SERVICE for us and not for money making for private firms. THEY WILL BE HELD TO ACCOUNT BY US - if we wake up and understand that we OWN this service.
Not surprised by this hiding behind "commercial confidentiality" as usual they fail to listen to those that provide the service - and if those that understand the job (by actually doing it!) call them to account, they are attacked by the bean counters and they hide behind the procedure! It's about time people woke up and realized this is the slow death of the NHS and this kind of management will spell the finish of what we have invested and paid for. I would suggest that these contracts and the consequences should be in the PUBLIC domain because we pay for the NHS - there should be no commercial confidentiality where a public service is concerned. They will sell off bits here and there and before you know it they will hold up models etc and suddenly we will be paying private firms for everything and handing more and more money to shareholders - American Style! These professionals (scientists) are hard working, dedicated and above all loyal to the NHS - they are essential to a County Hospital - if this service goes anywhere else there will be dire consequences for the people of this county (and those visiting) - without this department the hospital simply cannot function. There will also be delays in getting results back if this is moved away from the county hospital location which if you are waiting for a relative to be helped could have dire/life threatening consequences.... I do hope these management types who do nothing but push pencils and work on spreadsheets understand that this is a SERVICE for us and not for money making for private firms. THEY WILL BE HELD TO ACCOUNT BY US - if we wake up and understand that we OWN this service. Speak Up1
  • Score: 8

2:57pm Sun 29 Jun 14

weymouthfox says...

The secrecy in a public service like the NHS is incredible. I worked at DCH for many years and an old colleague tells me the idea is to send all the blood samples to a private firm in Barnstaple because they will do it cheaper. Not as well possibly, certainly not as fast as the inhouse laboratory, but some money may be saved until it all goes wrong. Then the Directors will keep everything secret again so the public doesn't know whats going wrong. It's about time Mr Jullien the patient governor pulled his finger out.
The secrecy in a public service like the NHS is incredible. I worked at DCH for many years and an old colleague tells me the idea is to send all the blood samples to a private firm in Barnstaple because they will do it cheaper. Not as well possibly, certainly not as fast as the inhouse laboratory, but some money may be saved until it all goes wrong. Then the Directors will keep everything secret again so the public doesn't know whats going wrong. It's about time Mr Jullien the patient governor pulled his finger out. weymouthfox
  • Score: 5

8:12am Mon 30 Jun 14

MaidofDorset says...

How many days delay this will add to a blood test I have done at the GP's, how much longer it will take to get my results when I'm an inpatient?

How many urgent blood tests will be taxi'd to Barnstaple every month? How much will that cost and what impact will that have on seriously ill patients?

How long before Dorset County is re-branded Dorchester Community Hospital?

The questions need answers.
How many days delay this will add to a blood test I have done at the GP's, how much longer it will take to get my results when I'm an inpatient? How many urgent blood tests will be taxi'd to Barnstaple every month? How much will that cost and what impact will that have on seriously ill patients? How long before Dorset County is re-branded Dorchester Community Hospital? The questions need answers. MaidofDorset
  • Score: 3
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