The shadow Integrated Care Board in West Yorkshire and Harrogate has a GP member who works for the big Modality company. But when Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS asked some time ago about conflict of interest, we were told there was none.
Now concerns have been raised that the Health and Care Bill – currently at the Committee stage in Parliament – will put big business at the heart of Integrated Care Board decision making and delivery of front line health services.
There is nothing in the Bill to prevent private healthcare providers from membership of Integrated Care Boards, their committees and sub-committees, which will plan NHS services and decide how to spend NHS money. (Clause 13 – Establishment of Integrated care boards, and Schedule 2;Explanatory Notes, para 38)
Christine Hyde, a member of Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS and N Kirklees Support the NHS, asked the 1 June 2021 West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Care System Board meeting:
“Is/are the Future Design and Transition Group and/or the Governance Working Group ruling out the possibility that either or both boards, and any Joint Committees, may include private/third sector companies?”(You can find info on these two groups in the blue box, below)
The ICS replied by email:
“The Partnership does not currently envisage that private providers will be included in the membership of ICS Boards at system or place level. However, we will have to ensure that our arrangements meet the requirements of the legislation and statutory guidance, once published.”
Today (7 Sept 2021) Christine and I agreed to ask the Integrated Care System a follow-up question:
“Does that mean that Modality (currently a member of the non-statutory ICS Board) would not be able to be a member of statutory West Yorkshire ICS Boards/Joint Committees at system or place level?”
The Integated Care System swiftly replied,
“In line with national legislation and guidance the Board of the Integrated Care Board will include GP provider leadership, as well as nursing and medical leadership.
“We are working through how this will be provided, but we are clear that the role is to provide clinical and professional leadership and representation, rather than to represent the view of a specific provider organisation”.
CK999’s observation is, that it seems that the Integrated Care System has now heavily qualified – if not negated – its reply to Christine’s question, that “The Partnership does not currently envisage that private providers will be included in the membership of ICS Boards at system or place level.”
And in the process, the Integrated Care System seems to have set itself an interesting condumdrum – how to manage the conflict of interest, between corporate goals and clinical and professional leadership and representation, that exists when a Board member works for a private company?
Info here about the groups that are making these decisions: