Since April 2017 the three Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups have have been working together as the NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership, with a shared leadership team and joint governance arrangements.
NHS Detectives fear that these arrangements may be unlawful.
The information is on the Leeds NHS Commissioning Partners’ webpage which invites members of the public to their Annual General Meeting on Weds 13th September, from 2 – 3.30pm at Leeds Town Hall, Albert Room, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD.
NHS Detectives say this throws up the same questions about the lawfulness of a joint commissioning arrangement, as are raised in the urgent Open Letter to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Health Overview Scrutiny Committee. Please sign and share it if you haven’t already.
West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP Scrutiny Committee is asleep on the job. Let’s wake them up!!!!
The Open Letter calls on the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP scrutiny committee to meet asap to scrutinise legal advice to the 11 Clinical Commissioning Groups who, from April 2017, constituted themselves into a West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Joint clinical commissioning arrangement. The Joint Clinical Commissioning Committee has now met twice.
On the face it, this requires Clinical Commissioning Groups to abandon their statutory responsibilities to people in their local areas, in favour of Sustainability and Transformation Partnership commissioning decisions that are binding on all the Clinical Commissioning Groups – even if a minority disagree with the joint Sustainability and Transformation Partnership commissioning decisions and even if they damage the health services in their local area.
Despite CK999’s best efforts over the last two months, no information has come to light about the legal advice Clinical Commissioning Groups acted on, in agreeing to potentially abandon their statutory responsibilities in favour of Sustainability and Transformation Partnership commissioning.
Questions the Leeds Commissioning Partnership needs to answer at the AGM
The three Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups need to say if their own joint commissioning arrangement also binds the individual Clinical Commissioning Groups to joint decisions even at the expense of their own individual decisions and statutory responsibilities.
What legal advice have the individual Clinical Commissioning Groups have received about both the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership commissioning arrangement and how this can be lawful? And about the Leeds commissioning Partnership arrangement and how it can be lawful?
Where do both the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and Leeds Partnership commissioning arrangements leave the individual Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership, regarding meeting their statutory duties to the people of Leeds?
What legal authority do individual Clinical Commissioning Groups have to delegate their statutory powers to a Joint Committee that is not a legal entity -and in the process, risk abandoning their statutory responsibilities to their local populations, by virtue of the fact that they are bound by Joint Clinical Commissioning Committee decisions that may not be in the interest of their local populations?
How does this this potential abandonment of their statutory responsibilities to their local populations affect any engagement and consultation processes, since there is no guarantee that the Clinical Commissioning Group would be able to act in accordance with their outcomes?
Doesn’t this render unlawful any Clinical Commissioning Group consultation or patient/public “engagement” on changes that are subject to either Sustainability and Transformation Partnership commissioning or Leeds partnership commissioning decision?
Is it correct that each of the 11 individual Clinical Commissioning Groups had to constitute the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Joint Committee as a committee of their Clinical Commissioning Group, in order to try to stay within the law? If so, please explain how this works in legal terms and the legal advice received on the lawfulness of this arrangement.
Please explain if the Leeds 3 in 1 commissioning arrangement has also had to constitute itself as a committee of each individual Clinical Commissioning Group.
How do they know if they’re coming or going in this maze of committees of uncertain lawfulness?
As part of their legal advice, did they receive information about what penalties they might face if it turns out that they have been flouting the law as laid down in the 2012 Health and Social Care Act?
Have they considered the dire consequences when public bodies put themselves above and outside the law?