Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield CCGs wave two fingers at public, Councillors and GPs

Calderdale & Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups today decided unanimously to go ahead to prepare a full business case for the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposals. In the process, they overrode two Joint Health Scrutiny Committee recommendations that the CCGs should hold off on deciding whether or not to go ahead, until they have:

  • developed a detailed description of the model of an urgent care centre and how it will be resourced; and
  • the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Senate has reappraised the proposed model of community and hospital services and provided assurance that there is enough detail in the proposals to satisfy the Clinical Senate that the new model of care will deliver the required standards of care.

They say the long long lists of issues raised by the public during the consultation will be taken care of in the Full Business Case – apart from the issue that 67% of the public who responded to the consultation said the proposals would have a damaging effect on them and 64% rejected the proposals, which they have brushed aside.

As well as  ignoring the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee’s (JHSC’s) request that they hold off on making a decision until they have provided a detailed explanation of the proposed urgent care centre model, and the YH Clinical Senate has- re-reviewed the proposed model of care for transferring hospital services into the “community”, they have said all the other 17 JHSC recommendations will be addressed in the Full Business Case.

Basically the Clinical Commissioning Groups have waved 2 fingers at  the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, the public and the Kirklees Local Medical Committee – who wrote to them on 16th October rejecting the proposals on the grounds of cost and safety and because they raise more questions than they answer.

Leader of Calderdale Council isn’t bothered

However, the  Leader of Calderdale Council and Chair of Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Tim Swift, is not that bothered.

He told the Halifax Courier,

“I was clear when the Health and Wellbeing Board considered these proposals in June that – just as councils are required to set a legal budget and take difficult decisions to reduce expenditure – we recognise the financial challenges that the NHS faces, and we accept that they have to work within nationally determined financial constraints…

“Following the decision of Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield CCGs to proceed with their hospital and community health services reconfiguration, Calderdale Council is committed to working closely with the CCGs and the Hospital Trust to make the plans a success.”

No economic justification for these NHS cuts

There is NO economic justification for these cuts.

Spending on the NHS has a significant multiplier effect – in other words it generates more money circulating in the economy and so increases the tax take.

Cutting NHS spending in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield, through these hospital cuts, will shrink the local economy.

As Dr Paul Hobday states,

“Those who have never liked the NHS , have peddled this “we can’t afford it” nonsense since 1948. What they really mean is they don’t want to pay for it. But it’s worse than that. They don’t want to help others in a time of need.”

No way these proposals can be a success, thanks to Sustainability and Transformation Plans – aka Slash and Trash Plans


There is no way these proposals can be a “success” – the Sustainability and Transformation Plan “financial reset” means that Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals Trust (CHFT) has to make “efficiency” cuts that Calderdale & Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups’ Finance Officer has described as “unattainable”.

At the 13th October Calderdale CCG Governing Body meeting, he said:

“The level of savings at CHFT is unattainable. This is why WY STP discussion is vital, we are entering difficult dilemma time.”

The Sustainability and Transformation “financial reset” also imposes conditions on eliminating the CHFT deficit that appear to be incompatible with the economics of the RCRTRP proposal.

The CCGs brushed this under the carpet at their meeting today – there was no mention of this during the brief, rehearsed discussion of the economics of the RCRTRP proposal, which added nothing to what we already knew.

But a week earlier, the Calderdale & Greater Huddersfield CCGs’ Chief Finance Officer had grim news for the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body, about the effects of the West Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan. He said that,

“The huge pressure the whole system is going though is driving towards difficult decisions about what the budget can buy in the Health and Social Care system.
We have to resolve this across the whole system.”

He asked if the Sustainability and Transformation Plan allowed the CCG to “meet the statutory asks” or not. This is about the range and standards of health services that the CCGs have a legal requirement to provide.

He said that the “huge asks’’ for QIPP (ie efficiency cuts) have to deliver around A&E and the 18 week referral for cancer treatments and added,

“Where does the balance come between quality and money?”

So these hospital cuts are to take place in the context of Sustainability and Transformation Plans that mean Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield NHS commissioners can no longer afford a comprehensive health care system and there are threats to the quality of the services it has to provide.

At the 13th October Calderdale CCG Governing Body meeting, the Chief Finance Officer said that “part of the governance issues” for the West Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan was how to involve GPs on the Governing Body in “providing clinical support and engagement”.

This is code for having medical considerations – as well as financial questions- at the heart of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan

He said,

“I don’t have an answer about how best to involve GPs.”

So we have a West Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan that faces us with difficult dilemmas about whether our NHS Commissioners can meet their statutory duties, and about the quality of care that  hospitals, community services and GPs will be able to provide, and whether it has the governance processes in place to allow GPs to discuss and make decisions about these dilemmas. To add insult to injury, the West Yorkshire & Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Plan has been prepared by a commercial consultancy firm, Attain at a cost to the NHS of £378K for six months work from April to October 2016.

Apart from the issue of lining corporate pockets with profits that should pay for public services, there is the issue of what the wearers of the Attain suits are telling the public service to do.

Really all these functionaries and their political poodles think we are idiots. But they’re wrong. We’re not. And we are going to stop them driving the NHS over a cliff, which is what they’re set on doing for their puppet masters Jeremy Hunt and Simon Stevens – however they spin it.

Please join us tomorrow, Friday 21st October from 12 noon to 1pm at the rally outside Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group offices, to Stop the Sustainability and Transformation Plan


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.