Scrutiny Committee must stop consultation on unfit Right Care hospital cuts scheme

Jane Rendle, chair of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS campaign and Jenny Shepherd, chair of Calderdale & Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS both made “deputation” statements at the Calderdale & Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee (JHSC) meeting on 29 January 2016.

Jane pointed out that the clinical senate says there is no evidence that the new care models will deliver the required standard of care, and Jenny called on the JHSC to stop the consultation on the grounds that the proposals to be consulted on are not fit for purpose for the people of Calderdale and Kirklees.

Both campaign groups have now agreed to:

  • gather evidence to show clearly how the proposed hospital cuts and changes scheme is unfit for purpose
  • produce straightforward public information leaflets explaining how both the hospital cuts and changes scheme and the “Care Closer to Home” scheme are unfit for purpose
  • Produce a consultation crib sheet with suggested responses to the consultation, if it goes ahead as planned
  • Produce guidelines for members of the public to monitor and report on consultation events.

If anyone would like to work on these tasks with us, please email changingmorethanlightbulbs@gmail.com and we will add you to the wiggio group where we are doing the work. In the subject line, please put: Please add me to wiggio consultation group.

A report on the meeting will follow shortly. The main point here is that, yet again, the Scrutiny Committee let the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) get away with producing the a key document  to be scrutinised a mere half hour before the start of the meeting. This meant, as Councillors said, that they hadn’t had time to read the draft consultation document they were supposed to be scrutinising. This meant they were unable to properly scrutinise it.

They ignored both Jane’s and Jenny’s statements.

We have been asking for months for the Scrutiny Committee to postpone the meeting if the CCGs don’t provide the documents at least 7 days before the meeting. This is essential if the Scrutiny Committee is to do its job. But it was unable to. All it did was feebly:

  • ask for clarification of  what the CCGs mean by urgent care, emergency care and community services.
  • agree that JHSC will collate all their comments by Monday
  • request 12 drafts of the CCG’s consultation proposals to look at before they’re published
  • agreed that they well test the consultation questions
  • require the CCG’s consultation timescales for decisions by scrutiny, so that the JHSC can plan their work.

Paul Cooney, Chair of Huddersfield Keep Our NHS Public simply stated the obvious when he said that the target of starting the consultation  in the first week of February is too soon for the work that needs to be done.

Cllr Smaje, the JHSC chair replied:

“The consultation materials need to be right which is why the JHSC wants sight of them before they’re published.”

But this means Scrutiny will be carried out in secret, not in public. How will we know what Councillors on the JHSC have told the CCGs and whether they have represented the public interest properly?

The Webcast of the JHSC meeting is here

JHSC agenda and links to documents here

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