On October 12th Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body will meet at Shay Stadium in Halifax, to consider the recommendation that they tell the NHS England quango that they support Calderdale and Huddersfield hospital trust’s Full Business Case.
The recommendations in a paper to the Governing Body say that the Full Business Case is in line with the clinical model that was consulted on; is affordable; and provides a sustainable plan not only for the Trust but the wider Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield System of care.
NHS protectors challenge this perception. They point out that Calderdale and Kirklees Councillors’ Joint Health Scrutiny Committee have referred the hospital cuts and changes plans to the Secretary of State for Health as unfit for the people of both areas, unfit for the local NHS and lacking in the consultation department.
The Clinical Commissioning Groups reckon all the 19 problems and flaws the Councillors pointed out have now been fixed.
Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS don’t think so. In a report to the Independent Review Panel the group, that is campaigning to keep both District General Hospitals each with their full blue light A&E 24/7, have detailed over 15 areas where the Full Business Case is seriously flawed and/or at variance with the proposals that were consulted on last year.
They are asking all the area’s MPs to support their call to the Independent Review Panel to carry out a thorough investigation of the plans by visiting the area and holding public hearings where NHS and social care staff, patients and public can tell them what we think of the plans. Please contact your MP to tell them to do this.
You can download the Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS report to the Independent Review Panel here.
Campaigners are asking both Clinical Commissioning Groups to confirm that they will not take any steps regarding the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposals, pending the outcome of the referral process to the Secretary of State. It would not be responsible of them as public bodies to take any steps pending the outcome of the Independent Review Panel process, because if the Independent Review Panel orders changes, there would be a waste of public money in undoing changes that had already been made.
The Greater Huddersfield CCG website says,
We await the Secretary of State’s decision. Meanwhile, Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield CCGs, along with CHFT, will continue to plan for changes to hospital and community health services pending the outcome of the referral process.
The paper to the Governing Body meetings says
“The three external governance processes (The referral to the Secretary of State by JHOSC, the further assurance by NHSE and the assessment that is being undertaken by NHSI in relation to the submission from CHFT) will progress in parallel to each other. The CCGs will be providing information to support each of these processes as requested. The CCGs’ Governing Bodies will be updated as this further work progresses. The timetable for determination of these processes has not yet been established.”
Here are the downloadable agenda and papers for the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body meeting. Please send in questions and attend the meeting to tell them what you think. This matters.
If these plans go ahead we will lose both District General Hospitals and have to make do with one overcrowded acute and emergency hospital in Halifax for both areas, and one tiny planned care hospital in Huddersfield, also for both areas.
Hospital services will be cut and farmed out into the “community” – although there are no community NHS workforce plans in the Full Business Case. GP services will be overloaded and lower skilled, less qualified new grades of primary care staff (imported from the US health insurance-based managed care system) will be employed to deliver tick box “managed care” – in other words, a standardised set of treatments for specific diagnoses. Woe betide patients whose illnesses don’t fit in the box of the “managed care pathway”.
Volunteers, families and “self care” will be expected to take up the slack resulting from “hospital beds in people’s homes” – aka “Care Closer to Home”. For these patients with long term illnesses, NHS care will be privatised through the back door through personal health budgets that will blur with the means-tested social care system and risk ending the principle of NHS care that is free at the point of need; health care paid through personal health budgets may well require patient top ups, as the NHS and social care systems blur.
At the same time the NHS and social care budget will be savagely cut compared to what spending would be if it continued as at present (when huge cuts have already been made over the last four years). This will lead to restrictions and denials of care, passing the risk of this kind of managed care from providers anxious not to treat more patients than their fixed whole population budgets will stretch to, onto the patients.
This is the endgame for the NHS as a publicly funded, provided, managed service that offers comprehensive care to everyone who needs it, free at the point of access. We have to stop and reverse it.