This post has been updated on 7 November and now contains two emails from a constituent to Bournemouth Council Leader and three replies from the Bournemouth Council Leader to the constituent.
Bournemouth Council Leader, Cllr Beverley Dunlop, has dismissed a constituent’s concerns about the Dorset Sustainability and Transformation Plan.
In response to a constituent’s request to the Councillor not to rubber stamp the Dorset “Footprint” Sustainability and Transformation Plan, which NHS England wanted sent in by 21st October, Cllr Beverley Dunlop emailed
“There are no discussions about cutting NHS budgets, and absolutely no mention of anything to do with privatisation so this is completely misunderstanding where they are.”
She also said,
“I can assure you that the council are very much involved in both looking at the Bournemouth issues and in looking at the wider pan Dorset issues through joint overview and scrutiny.”
And she added,
“I stress again that the work we have done so far is to simply get to the situation where this can go out to public consultation, which will be another opportunity for any resident to express their views.”
This last point is hokum that other Councils are putting about too. The fact is there is no time for consultation about the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).
The 44 STPs that were submitted from all areas to NHS England on 21 October were the Final STP Delivery Plans. In order to start operational delivery of the STP, Clinical Commissioning Groups have to sign two year operational contracts with NHS providers on 23 Dec 2016. This is for the first two years of the STPs, 2017/18-2019/20. The contracts will kick in on 1 April 2017. (See NHS England’s instructions, P21.)
This allows NO time for public consultation. By not insisting on proper oversight of and participation in developing the STPs for their “footprint”/area, Councils have failed to exercise due diligence on behalf of the public whose interests they are supposed to uphold and represent.
This negligence is worsened by misleading the public that the STPs that were sent to NHS England on October 21st are
“simply to get to the situation where this can go out to public consultation”.
The constituent replied to Cllr Dunlop’s 1st November email with information about the big NHS funding shortfall that the Dorset STP has to operate within, a long list of service cuts proposed in the 8th June version of Dorset STP, and the information that the Dorset STP proposes delivering NHS and social care services through public/private partnerships called Accountable Care Partnerships – like PFI, but for services as well as buildings.
Here is the constituent’s email to Cllr Dunlop about the 8th June version of Dorset STP.
Cllr Beverley Dunlop has replied to her constituent’s second email as follows:
Your first email asserts that the council is not scrutinising so I have responded with details of what action the council is taking. I am sincerely sorry if you feel my response was dismissive, it certainly wasn’t intended to be. You clearly disagree with the proposals; I am neither defending them or disagreeing with you but ensuring that scrutiny is taking place as you raised a concern that is wasn’t. What you are asking me to do is represent your personal views and interpretations on the proposals and disagree with government policy, which I am unable to do. Scrutiny panels including Dorset Health & Wellbeing board are public meetings and members of the public are encouraged. You can submit questions to scrutiny panels, boards or even full council.
If you require any assistance with ward matters I will very happy to assist.
If you have questions or comments about the Sustainability and Transformation Plans, please email the STP Agony Aunt at email@example.com, and/or visit the Stop Sustainability and Transformation Plans facebook group and website
If you would like to ask your Council leader to publish the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for your “Footprint” (area), here is a link to a downloadable template email along with information about how to find your Council Leader’s contact details.