Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group meeting 14th March, 2pm – open to public

People who want to keep tabs on what the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is up to can attend its next meeting, which is open to the public.

The 14th March Calderdale CCG meeting starts at 2pm, in  the NHS Calderdale premises, 4th Floor, F Mill, Dean Clough,  Halifax, HX3 5AX (near the Travel Lodge hotel in Dean Clough).

There is every reason for the public to be vigilant about CCGs – a British Medical Journal study has just found that one in three GPs who are members of CCGs have financial links with a private healthcare provider; and that this represents a clear conflict of interest for CCGs when they come to commission health care services. For example, the Guardian report on the study says,

“six of the eight GPs on the board of Blackpool CCG have an interest in Fylde Coast Medical Services, the local out-of-hours provider, and five have an interest in Virgin Care, which is part of Richard Branson’s business empire.”

A member of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS has submitted a question for Calderdale CCG to answer at the meeting:

“In view of the recent disturbing news that a culture of secrecy and bullying was at the root of many of the problems at Mid Staffordshire Hospital, Calderdale 38 degrees NHS believes that in order to build public trust, Calderdale CCG must hold ALL its planning and commissioning meetings open to the public.

Does Calderdale CCG agree that it will then be seen to be fulfilling its legal duty to “involve and consult patients and the public…. in the development and consideration of proposals for changes in the Commissioning arrangements where the implementation would have an impact on the manner in which the services are delivered to the individuals, or the range of services available to them?”

Freedom of Information request about Calderdale CCG relationships with private health care providers

Dr Chris Day, also of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS, is waiting for a reply to his Freedom of Information request to Calderdale CCG:

“Calderdale Commissioning Group Commissioning Plan (– 2013-2014 (Version 4.0)  Section 2: What are our Plans? Part g) states that:

‘We take a pragmatic, risk-based approach to aligning contracting capacity and clinical leadership with the range of providers with whom we have contracts. In addition to the large NHS providers, we also have close working relationships with providers in the independent sector – particularly BMI and Spire – given the significant growth in those contracts in recent years.’

Could you please provide further details of the working relationship and of contracts that are held already or are pending with these two companies (or identifiable subsidiaries)?

Could you please also provide details of any contracts that the Trust currently holds or is about to hold with any of the following companies (in addition to those already noted in italics below)?

a) Virgin or Virgin Care (or identifiable subsidiaries)

b) Assura Medical (or local partnerships, e.g. Assura Leeds, Assura Reading)

c) Peninsula Health LLP

Please state what the contract is for, when it started, when it is due to expire, what the full-term value of the contract is (an estimated value will suffice), and which specific company the contract is held with.

NHS Calderdale has an Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) contract for Primary Medical Care Services with Assura Leeds LLP for equitable access. The contract commenced on 16/09/2010 and is for a 5 year term with a maximum value of £5m.

3. Could you please also provide a full list of all services that the Trust intends to supply or contract out (or is currently supplying/contracting) under Any Qualified Provider or otherwise in 2013/14 as well as the chosen contractor over this period for the Trust’s Community Health services, Mental Health, Diagnostics or Ambulances services and the length and value of the contracts. If no contract has yet been awarded, please list the short listed bidders, and advise when an award is expected.

Please state what the contract is for, when it started, when it is due to expire, what the full-term value of the contract is (an estimated value will suffice), and which specific company the contract is held with.”

If you would like to make any FOI requests about the operations and decisions of Calderdale CCG, the place to email them is

It would be good to know how many members of the Calderdale CCG have financial links to private health care providers.

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