Outside BBC Leeds on Saturday 28th January, we howled, bashed saucepans, blew whistles pumped bullhorns and made a lot of din. Demanded that the BBC reports the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainabilty and Transformation Plan and agreed that after the protest, we’d contact our MPs to ask them to support this demand.
We also performed a skit where BBC reporter Laura Pangloss interviewed West Yorkshire and Harrogate Chief NHS Axeman, Rob Webster, about his String Vest Award for a Sustainabilty and Transformation Plan that is full of holes. Watch out for this on a street near you soon.
Campaigners also shared new info about the West Yorkshire & Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Plan:
- Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals trust did not sign the 2017-19 contract that was due to be sent off to NHS England on 23rd Dec, because the CCG hasn’t got enough money to pay for the levels of activity the Trust needs to provide and the contract has gone to mediation or arbitration.
- The public wants to know about £1bn+ cuts and restrictions to treatment, not about turn- off words like Sustainability and Transformation Plan.
- Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group has told the voluntary and community sector that it will not be renewing their contracts and will not be funding any Voluntary and Community Sector groups from now on. But the Sustainability and Transformation Plan says the Voluntary and Community Sector is crucial to the Care Closer to Home scheme to transfer services out of the hospital into the “community”, since voluntary organisations will be expected to provide much of the caring. So what happens now? Shockingly, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s statement blames “the inefficient and outdated model of hospital care” for their decision. They should be putting the blame where it lies – on sustained, destructive government underfunding of the NHS. When they decided in August 2014 – without bothering to carry out any public consultation – to go ahead with the Care Closer to Home scheme, it was already clear there was not going to be enough money to cover setting up Care Closer to Home at the same time as continuing to run existing hospital services over the transition period. So now the government underfunding chickens have come home to roost. CK999 will be asking Calderdale CCG if this turnaround is because the Clinical Commissioning Group have to put more money into the disputed hospital contract. (See 2nd bullet point, above.)
- Calderdale and Huddersfield Hospitals trust has had a big cost overrun on its new Cerner electronic patient records system from £4.47m up to £12.24m, which was to have been installed by November but is now only going to start in March. This means that the Trust has to find an extra £7.5m from somewhere, because NHS Improvement won’t let the Trust add the amount onto its agreed deficit of £16m by the end of Feb. So Halifax and Huddersfield hospital buildings and equipment will have to go without required maintenance and refurbishment. (Cerner is the former employer of NHS England director Matthew Swindells, who was Cerner Senior Vice President and is now pushing digitech as key to Sustainability and Transformation Plans.)
If you haven’t already, please will you sign and share this petition to Jeremy Corbyn to get Labour MPs to attend the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2nd reading on 24 Feb? We urgently have to stop and reverse NHS privatisation and this is what this Bill will do if it becomes law.