NHS Detectives to deliver STP joint commissioning open letter to Joint Health Scrutiny Committee Friday 22 Sept

Please join us to deliver the open letter to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, calling on them to meet urgently to investigate West Yorks and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Joint NHS Commissioning arrangements and plans. We are delivering it to Leeds City Council at 11am on Friday 22nd September, and meeting up at 10.30am outside M&S at Leeds train station.

There’s a facebook event here – if you’re on fb, please say if you’re coming and also share it widely to anyone who might be interested.

Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships are being driven through our NHS like Boadicca’s chariot with knives on its wheels. Cutting off our health service at the knees.

All without ANY democratic mandate or accountability.

Calderdale & Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS have been carrying out an epic battle to get the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Joint Clinical Commissioning Committee to explain how it is lawful for them to bind their individual Clinical Commissioning Committee members to majority decisions about Sustainability and Transformation Partnership-wide commissioning – which means centralised services and cuts to local services – when on the face of it this forces Clinical Commissioning Groups that do not agree with the majority decision, to abandon their responsibilities to provide health services for their local population.

Finally after more than 20 emails over 10 or 11 weeks, they have given us an answer.

And guess what? The regulation under which they claim this is lawful is a statutory instrument that came into force in October 2014 – just around when the 5 Year Forward View was being forced into the world.

A statutory instrument is a change to the law that is made without coming before the House of Commons and so has no scrutiny from MPs. How is this ok?????

The Statutory Instrument in question is 2014 No. 2436, Regulatory Reform, National Health Service, England
The Legislative Reform (Clinical Commissioning Groups) Order 2014.

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group’s reply to our question goes like this:

‘The legal basis for the establishment of the Joint Committee is set out in the Memorandum of Understanding, Background (A), which states that:

“Under section 14Z3(2A) of the NHS Act 2006, the Parties may establish a joint committee of the Parties to exercise the Parties’ commissioning functions jointly”

The Definitions and Interpretation in the MoU (Section 1.1) defines Law at (a) as “any applicable statute or proclamation or any delegated or subordinate legislation or regulation” .

Section 14Z3(2A) of the NHS Act 2006 was amended by the Legislative Reform (Clinical Commissioning Groups) Order 2014. For ease of reference, a link is attached below: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/2436/contents/made

The explanatory note to the Order states that “This Order amends section 14Z3 so that, where two or more clinical commissioning groups are exercising their commissioning functions jointly, those functions may be exercised by a joint committee of the groups.”

So maybe the Joint Clinical Commissioning Committee is in itself lawful  – although they still haven’t explained how it can be lawful to force a Clinical Commissioning Group to abandon its responsibility for its local population, by binding it to a majority decision by other Clinical Commissioning Groups that it doesn’t agree with.


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