Before it’s too late, please sign an open letter to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee, asking them to meet as a matter of urgency to scrutinise the activities of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s Joint Clinical Commissioning Committtee.
In particular, to:
- Ask the Joint Clinical Commissioning Committee and the individual clinical commissioning groups to present legal advice they have received about the lawfulness or otherwise of the Joint Clinical Commissioning Committee’s decision-making and disputes resolution processes, as laid out in the Memorandum of Understanding.
- Thoroughly scrutinise the clinical evidence base and the material resources for the proposed centralisation/reconfiguration of West Yorkshire and Harrogate Hyper-Acute Stroke Services.
You can sign this open letter to the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee by adding your name (and campaign group) in the comments box – or write your own and send it to the Leeds Scrutiny Officer firstname.lastname@example.org. Best to include in the subject line: FAO West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee
What’s the Joint Clinical Commissioning Committtee and why does it matter?
The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Partnership aims to cut the area’s NHS and social care spending by around £1bn by 2020/, compared to current spending levels.
One way of doing this is by setting up a Joint Clinical Commissioning Committee to make decisions about cutting local services and centralising them on a regional basis, as a way of making sure that spending stays below harsh financial controls that the government’s quango NHS England has imposed on the whole Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.
There is a real question about whether the 11 West Yorkshire and Harrogate clinical commissioning groups have acted legally, in setting up this Joint Committee with the power to make region-wide commissioning decisions that are binding on individual clinical commissioning groups, whether or not they agree with them.
The 11 Clinical Commissioning Groups have worked together for years to coordinate planning and purchase of NHS services across the area, without surrendering or delegating their decision making powers.
So why do they suddenly need to set up a decision making process that is binding on all of them, even if a minority of the Clinical Commissioning Groups is not happy with the decision?
It is all about disciplining Clinical Commissioning Groups to accept collective punishment from the harsh financial cuts and privatisation agenda that is being imposed by the government’s quangos, NHS England and NHS Improvement.
You can find out more in the Background info for Scrutiny Committee Councillors here.
They have very serious concerns over both the effect and the legality of the five Clinical Commissioning Groups in their STP area planning to combine together, as one, for many important decision-making areas.
They are urging everyone to tell their CCGs that they are acting against their duties as laid down in the Health & Social Care Act 2012 to base their decisions on the best interests of the populations that they specifically represent, by agreeing to Mid & South Essex STP Joint Committee Terms of Reference, July 2017, that require Clinical Commissioning Groups to take decisions on behalf of the 1.2 million STP population, not their own CCG populations. They are also asking their CCGs:
“In order for any CCG to agree to this principle, would it not be necessary for further primary legislation to be passed in the UK Parliament?”