Scrutiny Councillors: get Integrated Care System answers about Covid-19 test and trace and proposals for secretive contracting

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Health Scrutiny Committee is meeting tomorrow. The papers are here.

The virtual meeting starts at 10am, 23.2.21. It will be screened live on Calderdale Council’s You Tube channel.

The CK999 Chair has sent this deputation statement.

Deputation statement – Jenny Shepherd

Thank you for accepting this deputation, about the Update on the ICS response to Covid-19 – specifically, Test and Trace; and ICS national policy development.

Test and Trace

Councillors, during this meeting please urge the Integrated Care System to support the call from Upper Calder Valley Contract Tracing Support to the Department of Heallth & Social Care Secretary of State, the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that they urgently provide proper financial support for all essential workers who can’t work from home – and for the small businesses that employ them – when they need to self-isolate in order to avoid infecting others.

As Independent Sage has explained, Test and Trace needs to be Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support if it is to be an effective intervention to suppress the virus.

It’s unethical to test for Covid 19 if people are unable to take up isolation. Many people can’t, because of lack of money and overcrowded housing. This then feeds the government agenda that Covid-19 transmission is the fault of irresponsible individuals.

You can download the letter to the Sec of State and others here .

Please also support the call in your own Councils – which may well be among those who told a new Local Government Chronicle survey they continue to be dissatisfied with central government’s response to the pandemic, which scored a net minus 34% satisfaction rating.

Integrated Care System national policy development

Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS strongly disagree with the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Care System view that

“There is much to welcome in the proposals for the future of ICS arrangements.”

We too responded to the consultation, and you can find our response here.

The White Paper has now been published. We are particularly worried about the opaque proposal for

“a bespoke health services provider selection regime”.

With the proposed repeal of s75 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, the minimal level of accountability and transparency that derives from public tenders for contracts will vanish; and there will be no oversight from the Competition and Markets Authority.

We fear this is a recipe for NHS contracting to descend into the secretive crony deals that have been such a costly disaster in the government’s reponse to the pandemic.

This already appears to be happening, even without the new ICS legislation proposed in the White Paper.

Along with numerous other national groups, 999 Call for the NHS has just signed a letter to the Secretary of State asking him to request an investigation by the Care Quality Commission, under section 48 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, of Centene’s takeover of GP services in London.

This takeover has taken place without any clarity that prior authorisation by Commissioners was granted, as required, for two significant changes of control of a large number of APMS contracts; and with much secretiveness on the part of the 13 London CCGs that are responsible for these contracts. The changes of control have led to the purchase by a UK subsidiary of Centene Corporation in the USA, of 40+ GP surgeries across London serving 375,000 patients.

We see nothing in the White Paper to suggest that such underhanded transfer of NHS services to global American corporations would not become commonplace.

The letter to the Sec of State is downloadable here:

This was once our NHS

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