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Another empire in the making. Not so long ago the great and the good decided quite rightly that the walk in Asda Surgery was a huge drain upon the resources of the City GP Practices. Every single time a patient walks inside the Asda surgery the Practice that the patient is registered with gets the bill. It's hugely costly, its a huge drain upon the NHS resources and as far as Im concerned getting rid of Asda would make financial sense.

But what do they do to rid themselves of this problem? They create Taurus. They grab a hold of Berrows House, get a pile of funding from all the Doctors Surgeries and its decided that their brief will be to take on the responsibility of examining patients who might have an orthopaedic injury. The idea I guess is to get the patient referred from their local doctor, decide whether or not there is a need for a referral to a Consultant and away we go saving us all millions.

Trouble is, they quickly decided that it wasn't working, it was a money loss making machine and so they changed the rules and began carrying out general work dressing it up as taking away the strain and still saving us millions.

Course, to make it all function, you need an empire and that is now whats been done. They've decided that the Asda walk in centre ain't never going to go anytime soon so they've conveniently forgot the original grand and noble cause and simply begun to build their empire by paying the best to get the best. Every day and night of the week the place is staffed by a Doctor who's on two hundred quid an hour, two nurses on eighteen quid an hour, Health Care workers who are on a lump of money and nobody knows where they are. That's right! Nobody knows where the premises are.They are actually to be found in Wargrave House and the staff who are there sit there bored for hours on end because very few patients ever come through the doors. They ain't doing anything. There's little or nothing to do because few people know where they are and the local GP Surgeries can't be bothered to send their patients there because they'd pretty much decided its a huge waste of time and a waste of money.

But that's only the start of it. They are building big. They are recruiting staff at a fast rate of speed and albeit the contracts are for only nine months, they are paying way over the going rate and telling the staff that this little gravey train ain't for stopping and the employment will go on beyond the end of the nine months.

Staff who are working within local Surgeries have signed up on the Taurus recruitment data base so that they can get some evening work doing nothing and getting paid a great deal more than they get normally get paid. The fact that few people ever get through the door to see them is something that seems to be of little concern. They've got their grand titles, their huge hourly rate and pretty soon now, they'll be able to produce you and I a graph that'll show how they are saving us all millions and how they've taken the strain away from all the overwhelmed surgeries who can't cope because there are far to many people registered for care.

It's madness! If you ask any public servant or health care professional how to go about building an empire they'll say build, build quick, pay the best, create pointless tiers of bureaucracy and do it so quickly that it'll be near on impossible to dismantle the madness.

This is the way it is. This is the way of things. You can take some really good and capable Doctors and other Health Care professionals, seduce them with the idea of power and increased wealth and before you know it you've created another slice of pointless rubbish that'll eventually end up filed under, 'Another Expensive Bad Idea' that didnt save us money, didnt reduce the strain on GP Surgeries but made a lot of people a great deal of money doing next to buggar all.

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Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to have an on call doctor from your own surgery?


If you were ill, out of GP surgery opening hours, or on the weekend, you could ring and get a familiar face who was perhaps familiar with your own medical history, to either visit or conduct a telephone consultation. This would cut out the need for Crime Care ,sorry- my mistake-Prime Care, walk in medical centres, the 111 service, and help reduce the ever increasing abuse of our 999, and A and E department.


It really isn't that long ago that this was normal practise. Giving GP's the choice of opting out of providing this service, was a huge mistake in my humble opinion.

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I agree Dippy. The problem is, for the most part but not all, the Doctors don't want to do more than thirty hours. Most work a four day week, they don't want or like the Call Out duty, they don't like House Visits and many, not all, have lost the will to care as much as they once did. They've become wealthy, many care more about the money their Surgery makes and like the nursing profession it's been overwhelmed by many who don't like or care for people the way they once did. Go onto any Ward and you'll soon spot the Carers. They are the ones who don't mind popping a bit of lippy on the old girl who's keen to look her best. Most nowadays cannot be bothered and consequently the rot sets in and all become infected by this couldn't care less attitude.

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I wish you were a real journalist Bobby.  I learn more from you than the BBC and the HT


Do you think the name Taurus was in honour of the deity that once graced our county in charge of both the council and the healthcare.  A man with a brain so big we paid him two salaries, and a man whose name translates into Latin as 'Taurus'

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  • 4 weeks later...

Every single health care professional that I encounter, and believe me, there are lots of them, they all conclude the same thing. It's yet another costly mistake by the NHS created by the ethos of 'let's build an empire', pretend to ourselves that it'll save us all millions and then, after the passage of time and the realisation that it wasn't such a good idea, it'll go belly up and every single staff member who's managed to negotiate an hourly rate considerably higher than they ever imagined Taurus would pay, well, they'll all go scurrying back to the Hospital or Doctors Surgery in the hope that their old job hasn't been taken by another.

It's bloody crazy! I was chatting with a recruit T'other day and the money was far to good to turn down. 'Im going to earn in six months what would normally take me a year to earn'. That's what they say! Where's the bloody funding coming from that fuels this place that doesn't have many patients.

Show me the money! Good bloody Lord! There's no end to the mistakes and miscalculations that the public health body make. And worse, once they realise its all a mistake, and its only been a few months before everyone within the profession pretty much has said, 'this was a mistake', still, even then, they continue to compound the problem, pay exorbitant wages to fuel the madness.

Oh! There'll be a graph in response to my pigswill. The red bloody spike will be there hurtling upwards past the line on the left side that says, 'hoorah! This was a great idea and its all been worthwhile'. They always have a graph!

Mind, when it all become to expensive, the NHS stop funding this company and the realisation that it was all a 'dog of an idea', some clever fool will pull the plug to this madness and say, 'if only we'd known that it was going to cost us this much to serve so few patients'.

How can staff leave the Hospital, Doctors Surgery of wherever they came from and join Taurus on a great deal of more money than they were on before they signed up with Taurus. It makes no sense, unless the NHS are encouraging privatisation and to speed it along huge sums of public money have been thrown at this venture in order to get it going.

Mind, I do know that Taurus haven't got all the kit they need. They're borrowing kit from other surgeries. They've got the staff. They've got the building. They've got the management structure which, predictably is already becoming top bloody heavy. What they haven't got yet is the patients and the kit. Once they've got the patients and the kit and a few local surgeries have folded because we've become short of Doctors and Nurses, then I guess Taurus Healthcare will be ok just as long as the NHS fund it and they continue to pay high wages.

It's madness!

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  • 3 months later...

I went to my local surgery in the week to pick up a prescription, and whilst I was waiting I saw a poster on the noticeboard mentioning this.


No address is given for it, the advice given is....if you need to see a GP, and can't get an appointment....ring 111 AND ASK FOR Taurus Healthcare.


Not exactly the same as a walk in clinic then???


When they are this difficult to access, I'm not surprised nobody has heard of them!

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More details here Cambo:


The hubs have been carefully chosen to best serve the rural and geographically diverse population that live in Herefordshire. An appointment can be made by calling the patients regular GP number and requesting an appointment during these times, calling 0800 121 7221 or by calling 111 and requesting a Taurus extended hours appointment. Details of the appointment will be made available to the patient’s regular GP.


Hereford Hub

Wargrave House Surgery
23 St Owen Street
T: 0800 121 7221
M: 07876 473629


Dr Paul Harris GP, from Belmont surgery in Hereford said: 'This pilot is popular with patients and staff alike. It demonstrates that we can see patients in a convenient location for them and share records in a secure way with local GPs’ surgeries. This is helping develop additional capacity in a system that is under pressure.â€


There is great stress on patients allowing their medical records being stored and accesed by others.


Currently patients’ health records are not available outside individual GP’s practices. If a patient needs to seek medical care when their own GP practice is unavailable, the onus is on them to remember all the relevant details. By making health records accessible to other medical professionals we believe the quality of healthcare patients receive will be improved.
The LHRN covers the 24 GP practices in Herefordshire. It is planned to go live on 1st July 2014 when health records will be made available to approved, local healthcare providers via Data Sharing Agreements between individual practices and 3rd party organisations. All staff accessing these records will have undergone appropriate training and will be properly accredited by Taurus Healthcare Ltd.
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Curse you Bobby47 for this is the one...a topic which stimulates a rage deep within. The sort that makes my colour turn green the old armour flex and creek where I will wake up later on some rubbish heap always with no gear on other than obligatory boxers and absolutely no recollection of what I've done.Even as I type the brain has triggered the adrenaline and the heart is screaming at the control room 'cause she can't take anymore Captain!


Our current big three parties spite each other over this subject yet they are all responsible for being in charge when this service started going down the swanny.


When Labour were in charge they basically gave GP,s a blank cheque literally..huge salary increases,reduction in hours and opportunities to even earn extra cash.....followed on by the Conservatives who carried on the good work by giving them almost total control over healthcare budgets and we all know how well that's going.


They can earn possibly £100k and more if they wish and for some well they can serve a basic level of hours and then set up private companies like Taurus and then 're charge the NHS for products and services at inflammatory prices.


In Herefordshire there is basically one Clinical Commissioning Group that controls the budgets,running a back up private organisation so if there are problems who is to blame?


So where are we now..Well we have doc's who don't have to work full time, are highly paid, and don't have to provide any form of emergency cover yet still they can't find GP,s.


Herefordshire is a great place to bring up a family or see out a career after all it is still possible to retire in the NHS when your mid-fifties and take a nice sum with you get we still have problems.


Many years ago there was a great plan where surgeries would provide lots of services like diagnostics,preventative healthcare even treatment and small surgery centres. All this could have eased the pressure on acute hospitals however it's just not happened.


I still work and rarely go to the surgery but if I need to I just know I won't be able to get through to the practice let alone make an appointment. I could not tell you who my GP is because we've never met even though a 50 something should at least have some form of medical assessment when joining a new practice.


I have to stop now because the rant will go on...however the big plan of continuity of care has failed ..at the start with general practices and the end with care in the community where someone forgot to budget for such a grand plan.


Backdoor privatisation of the NHS continues and no more so with General Practice.

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Bravo Green Knight!


Fantastic post, which I am in complete agreement with.


Your last paragraph...."The big plan of continuity of care has failed...at the start with general practise, and the end with care in the community, where someone forgot to budget for such a grand plan."


Just about sums it up for me.

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Just watching Countryfile where they discussed recruitment issues in rural general practice highlighting the Scottish Isles. If they can change working practices to make local healthcare delivery a positive experience then surely the problems in Kington for example can be resolved.

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Yep! Press the patients buttons and eventually the reflex will kick in and produce the wonderful piece by Greenknight. It's all so true, it's not embellished and the moment bloody New Labour gifted the Doctors with the golden opportunity to get Into a private practice, work a six hour day, four days of the week and never work a weekend or beyond 6.30pm of any day of the week, was the moment it all began to fall apart.

The Doctors I know, they really no longer care as much as they once did. It's the money you see. It's entirely about the money and what areas of business get the money to continue to roll in. Not so long back, they got extra rewards for checking your cholesterol and popping you onto a Statin drug. No smoking brings in a huge windfall, as does regularly checking your blood pressure. In fact there's a huge raft of stuff that earns them lots of juicy extras and there's also lots of stuff, that they no longer are so keen to get involved in, that brings them no financial reward.

Dressing wounds and treating annoying injuries bring them no financial reward at all and it probably explains why they are now becoming so keen on treating dementia. That'll bring in a tidy windfall if it catches on and ensure that the salary stays around the one hundred and forty thousand a year for riding the NHS gravey train. Believe me, all Surgeries are into all of these things that get them extra financial reward. Few are now interested in doing anything for nothing.

In the meantime, Taurus staggers on, rarely seeing a patient, still not equipped to deal with a straightforward ECG and sending patients away if they want treatment that'll cost them anything to be taken from their 2.7 million funding that was originally granted to rid the local Trust of the Asda walk In centre.

As for Asda, there's no slaying this beast. The patients know where they are, they know that they'll be seen and for the rural workers who are the main users of this facility, they continue to march through the doors making the idea of Taurus totally irrelevant.

Incidentally, Taurus are paying the best to get the best. Well, you've got to haven't you? If you want the best you must pay the best and Taurus are most definitely paying the Nurses and the Doctors more money than they could ever earn whilst working for a local GP Surgery of down at the Hospital.

This is the way it is for our NHS and nothing we say or do will ever change the culture that's now firmly dug in. Greed! Indifference. Little care. No empathy. Nurses who should never have ever chosen nursing as a profession, nurses who cannot carry out the simplest of tasks because they specialised in their chosen field of work which never bothered teaching them how to take blood, carry out a Spirometry procedure, prepare and apply a good dressing to a wound and being bloody polite and shoŵing a little compassion.

As for the Doctors, well you've met some of them. You tell me! It's all a terrible mess and I've got no confidence that it'll ever get better anytime soon.

Oh Taurus? Yeah I forgot. In about twelve months time there will be a meeting attended by the great and the good, the failure of the idea will be completely ignored, they'll knock it all on the head and release a piece to the HT proclaiming it was all a wonderful excercise on the never ending learning curve of life beneath the NHS funding game.

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Wasn't Countryfile a breath of fresh air!!


Doctors and patients who really knew each other.


GP'S had amalgamated their practises....really joined together to provide an excellent service. Not only do they see home visits as the norm, they also provide a dispensing service, respond to call outs to accidents, provide support as police doctors, and a plethora of other things.


It made wonderful viewing.

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And just to increase the blood pressure of the Greenknight a little more and to emphasise the 'we have to pay the best to get the best' mantra, during the weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year the Nurses were getting £44 quid an hour, £66 quid on a Bank Holiday and for every single Nurse who made themselves available for the Bank Holidays, whether they worked or not, they received £150.

As for the Doctors, my source ain't so sure of the hourly rates but the figure of £4,000 quid a shift ain't to far wide of the mark. Madness or what? When you consider that the normal hourly rate for a Nurse is around £22 quid you'll hopefully grasp how bad things are now getting for our wonderful NHS.

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Had a flyer through the door this morning offering their services - its ambiguous in as much as it does not make clear what the set up is in relation to my GP surgery (not the Hereford one they offer). Can I pitch up there out of my Surgery's hours? Do they have access to my records and if not will they update my Surgery? For something that has NHS stamped large on it, and no contact details for Taurus, it’s less than helpful

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I'm impressed. I knew it would happen sooner or later but I didn't think it would happen only yesterday. Yes, those who are monitoring Taurus and acting upon feed back from the Receptionist, the Health Care assistants, the Nurses, the Nurse Practioners and the Doctors, have grasped the notion that nobody has got anything to do within the organisation because nobody knows anything about Taurus and nobody knows whereabouts they can be found.

The response? You've got t'ill July of this year to make sure that every household in the County is informed of who they are, what they do and where they can be found. You can't make this sort of stuff up can you? Anyway, they're in the process of producing ten thousand letters, which is a start I suppose, all fully funded by us, and these letters will be posted to household and organisations around the County.

In the meantime, the bubble of wealth is already deflating because Taurus have been told that their funding will be cut by three quarters down to a single quarter slice of 2.7 million quid. To encourage Taurus along the way, they've been told to put in a bid and been made aware that a Private Operator will also be entering the game of 'get what you can from the NHS funding'.

Lord help us!

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Bobby , Very good update because I had a Dr appointment this morning - asked the Receptionist if they had any information on Taurus - short answer was NO , not yet ! Appears that at our expense help is on the way.


( as an aside my appointment was at 0900 and was summoned in at 0850 - that's a first .)

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Now my old mate Merlin ( he will attend other Knights not just Arthur...for a fee of course) has given me some pretty good stuff so that I can read this thread without blowing the coronaries!

Firstly it's no surprise about additional parties entering the mix. This will be another set up probably called Aries or Gemini and they are part owned by GP,s from outside Herefordshire wanting a piece of the rural action.

But the most shocking news from the last thread was that Ubique was seen ten minutes early!😀

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Spot on as usual Bobby!


I was over at HT earlier....there new annoying banner advert??? For none other than Taurus!


"A new type of GP service" it proclaims....before changing to ..."7 days a week!".....before changing to....."Ring 111"


So still not actually wanting to disclose their location to the great unwashed!

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They're now looking for permanent premises to lease Dippy, which, given the circumstances and the normal way you'd set up to trade, is a little late in the day. Taurus seem to have gone about things in an entirely different way.

First they set up the management structure and begged a tiny room at Wargrave House, then they commissioned Hoople to staff the place which is why the wages are so high( we have to pay the best to get the best) and now, after trading for months, they've decided to advertise their presence.

Oddly enough, they still haven't addressed the fact that they've no medical equipment, they've got a box of stuff the Wiggins First Aider would be ashamed of and last but not least, they've yet to be granted any licences to perform action on a whole bunch of human ailments.

The attitude amongst the front line staff is, 'it's going to go belly up but at least we're earning more in six months than we possibly could working twelve months down the Hospital or in a GP Surgery.'

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Speaking of consultants and going a little off topic, the firm known as Meridean Plc have recently been commissioned to look at our local District Nursing team and the Virtual Wards.

The District Nurses used to be scattered across the County and housed within GP Surgeries. Then, some twelve months ago, they decided to centralise the operation and have them all based at the NHS premises at Belmont. The new brief was, if the patient requesting a visit can walk, drive or catch a bus they won't get a visit from the District Nursing Team.

The result of this decision, District Nurses sat inside Belmont doing nothing for long periods of the working week. Now cognisant that this move was a disastrous decision, they want to shift all the District Nurses back where they once were. The problem? The space within Surgeries they once occupied are gone and being used for other purposes.

The 'rot' is compounded because after Meridean have done a time and study survey of what they've been doing, and this study also involves the staff of the Virtual Ward, Meridean are going to shortly announce savings that'll involve the loss of (19) Nurses.

As for the Virtual Ward, they've really been given a kicking from Meridean. After sitting alongside a number of journeys from A to B, Meridean are suggesting that the Nurses are spending too much time treating the patient, they are driving upon routes which are not the shortest possible route and are basically being encouraged to get from one place to another as quickly as possible in order to make better use of their time.

One particular example is a Nurse being requested to arrive at the patients house at 8am, even though they don't start work until 8am and then being expected to travel a nine mile journey in five minutes. It's all madness!

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All these posts are very interesting to read - but so worrying - so much money appears to be wasted - not wanting to go down the political road but one hears so much shouting at the Government of the day because they are apparently underfunding the NHS .

This topic started by Bobby suggests different .

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As a result of following up Hereford Futures Ltd - Board Meeting Minutes from a couple of years ago I came across this piece here:


Following the Audit Committee meeting, it was agreed that Jonathan Bretherton should pursue a vigorous reduction in the legal costs invoiced by Wragge’s.
Having a look at Wragge's on the web, I then came across this piece on Healthwatch Herefordshire News:
Tuesday 10 February 2015, 6-8pm
The Kindle Centre, ASDA, Belmont, Hereford, HR2 7JE
This is your opportunity to ask the key health leaders in Herefordshire questions
Joining us on the panel to answer your healthcare questions:
West Midlands Ambulance Service – Debbie Small, Area Manager for Herefordshire
Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group – Dr Andy Watts, Chair/ Clinical Lead
Wye Valley NHS Trust – Richard Beeken, Chief Executive
2Gether NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust – Ruth FitzJohn DL, Chair
Taurus Health Group – Graeme Cleland, Chief Executive
Registration starts from 6pm. Question time will commence at 6:30pm and finish at 7:45pm
Tickets are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment
If you need assistance with transport, or have any special requirements, please contact the office in advance on 01432 364 481.
I had a look at the on-line booking form and only 13 places left. If it is run on the lines of the BBC's Question Time I think the questions will be sifted and answered accordingly.
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This is interesting but actually there is one group missing Herefordshire Council!! Looks like you can pitch questions about healthcare at the start of the 'client journey'..GP or Emergency pathway. Even delve into hospital practice and unbelievably representation for the often forgotten mental health but one of the biggest problems in continuity of care is care in the community....whose going to take these questions?

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Bobby is so right about timings of visits, but it is not only nurses who are suppose to be in two places at once. Before I retired as a care worker last year, I was often with a client in the Clehonger area at 8.55pm and schedualled to be in Marden at 9pm. Even if traffic lights were all on green it still would take at least 15 minuets if driving responsibly. My partner who is still a care worker, still is expected at times to be in two places at once.


I am going to the Healthwatch Question Time event. The panel are the experts in their disciplines, so hopefully the questions asked will get the proper answer. I have two questions in. One of mental health, Cinderella of the NHS and much neglected out in the community, and one about used equipment, hoists, Zimmer frames etc, which appear to be thrown away when no longer wasted!

I hope others will take up tickets as not enough questions are asked about healthcare in Herefordshire.

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