Ask your Health & Wellbeing Board Chair to call for suspension of 2017-19 STP contract negotiations

Please will you ask your Health and Wellbeing Board Chair to call on the local Clinical Commissioning Group to suspend the 2017-19 Sustainability and Transformation Plan contract negotiations?

You can download this template email and change it as you see fit.

Here is the template email

Dear Councillor

I am writing to you in your capacity as Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

As you will know, the West Yorkshire & Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Plan is due to have to have its operational contracts for 2017-19 signed off by Clinical Commissioning Groups on 23rd December.

I understand that the West Yorkshire and Harrogate HWB Chairs are to have an STP meeting on 21st December. In advance of that meeting I would ask you to please act on your Council’s refusal to endorse the West Yorkshire & Harrogate STP by:

  • writing to your area’s Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body members asking them to suspend the 2017-19 STP contract negotiations
  • asking the other HWB Chairs to write to their CCGs’ Governing Bodies with the same request.

The contracts will enforce cuts inherent in the STP.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP has yet to disclose financial details, but it is not possible to take around £450m out of the WY & Harrogate NHS & social care budgets in 2017/18 and £690m in 2018/19 (the funding shortfalls identified in a table on p20 of the WY&H STP, that dwarf any contribution from the Sustainability and Transformation Fund), without severe consequences.

It is against the public interest to proceed with this negotiation of contracts to deliver the STP, with its drastic financial controls and destabilisation of our local NHS hospitals and services.

The STP has changed the position of the CCGs to such an extent that Calderdale CCG Governing Body heard on December 8th that its assurance framework is no longer fit for purpose, since many risks are now system-wide and so outside the control of the CCG.

Calderdale CCG is also now in financial turnaround, due to the STP’s impossible demands for “efficiency” cuts; and it is unable to meet statutory requirements such as the referral to treatment time. As a result it  is considering how to reduce referrals – and remove GPs’ control over referrals, as it cannot pay for all the referrals that would be needed if the referral to treatment time target were to be met.

So far, there has been no consultation with the public, councillors, NHS staff and their trade unions on the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP as a whole, the principles that underlie it or its devastating effects on the NHS and social care.

Appendices with details about STP finances, workforce and other key issues have not been published and the Kirklees HWB Chair says she is still awaiting a decision about when they will be published.

Engagement exercises do not constitute consultation, nor is it possible to engage  without transparency, including the full financial details of the STP.

The 8th December Calderdale CCG Governing Body meeting heard that the engagement officer doesn’t know how the CCG can consult on WY& Harrogate system-wide changes that the STP will make.

She didn’t say what these system-wide changes are. We all need to know.

For these reasons, please ask the CCG to ask suspend the contract negotiations and disclose the full financial, workforce and other details of their plans, and ask the other HWB chairs to make the same request of their CCGs.

Then the public, elected representatives, NHS staff and their trade unions can all decide what is the best way forward for the NHS.

There is a public protest about the STP contract signing from 11.30am – 1pm on Friday 23rd December outside the NHS England offices at Quarry House, Leeds LS2 7UE. You are all very welcome to attend and to speak out against the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP’s secrecy and its cuts and privatisation agenda.



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