Confused and worried about lack of accountability and transparency in Clinical Commissioning Groups

The Dewsbury Reporter recently published this letter from Jennifer Devlin:

I wonder if anyone else is struggling to make sense of the labyrinthine structure of NHS Commissioning for local health services? I refer in particular to the Care Closer to Home Contract (CC2H) for Kirklees, worth £238.4m.

The bidders were, on the one hand, a consortium of Mid-Yorkshire Hospital Trust with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, and on the other, Locala, a Community Interest Company. (A Community Interest Company is required to have a social purpose, but it allows reasonable remuneration for directors and a limited return for investors.)

Those responsible for awarding the contract were the Clinical Commissioning Groups for North Kirklees and Huddersfield.

In January 2014, Curo Health, a private company limited by shares, was registered with Companies House. Its shareholders are the 29 GP practices which make up the North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group. After an unexplained delay of 8 weeks, the North Kirklees and Huddersfield CCGs have recently announced their decision to award the contract to Locala, but this decision is being contested by the hospital trusts which stand to lose substantial sums of money. At the same time, it will surely be the case that Locala will need to sub-contract some services, under this huge contract, to local GPs, in other words, Curo Health, for ‘out of hours services’.

Chair of North Kirklees CCG, Dr David Kelly, himself said that he had been prevented from talking about the CC2H contract because of ‘conflict of interest’.

Confused? Worried about lack of accountability and transparency? I certainly am.

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