Our NHS is Precious – We’re relying on Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group to Protect It

This was the message from Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS on 4th July, when they presented a petition signed by nearly 1200 Calderdale residents, to Matt Walsh, Chief Officer of the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

On April 1st this year, the CCG became responsible for buying the health care services that Calderdale NHS provides to the public.

At the same time, new legislation under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the rules governing purchase of health care services for the NHS. These changes open the door to the prospect of a privatised health care system, provided by health care companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin Care, Care UK and Spire Healthcare.

Members of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS outside Calderdale CCG offices- photo: Phil Smith














Our NHS is Precious – keep it intact and keep it public

The Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS petition – signed by nearly 1200 Calderdale residents and addressed to Calderdale CCG – says

“ Our NHS is precious, and we’re relying on you to protect it.  Please do all you can to stop local health services being broken up or taken over by irresponsible private companies.

    • Protect local NHS services and consult patients properly before making changes.
    • Spend money wisely and don’t do deals with irresponsible private companies.
    • Adopt policies and a constitution which reflect these values.”

Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS welcomes new members who want to join the group and take part in their campaign to keep the NHS public, and stop stealth privatisation of the NHS.

Anyone interested in finding out more, or supporting the Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS campaign, can get in touch with the secretary, at Calderdale38degrees@gmail.com .

How to support the campaign to Save our NHS

Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS meets regularly in Halifax. Members also hold public information events and carry out other campaigning activities that aim to inform the public about what’s going on in Calderdale NHS. The group intends to oppose any pressures to make Calderdale NHS serve the interests of private healthcare companies – rather than the interests of the public who pay for and need the NHS.

Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS campaigning in Halifax. Photo credit: Phil Smith

38 Degrees is the angle of a slope at which avalanches start and Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS aims to build an avalanche of public support to keep our NHS public.

The group is a regional affiliate of the national 38 Degrees, which describes itself as “ one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 1 million members. We share a desire for a more progressive, fairer, better society and come together to decide which issues we campaign on and the actions we‘ll take to help us achieve that.

Join 38 Degrees and be part of the avalanche for change. Anyone can become a member of 38 Degrees – it’s free and you can join just by signing a petition, or taking another action.”

Members of the public take interest in the campaign in Halifax. Photo credit: Phil Smith

Meeting with Calderdale CCG Chief Officer

After handing over the petition, Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS members met Matt Walsh to discuss 38 Degrees’ proposals for changes to the Calderdale CCG constitution. These proposed changes are designed to help safeguard the CCG against the potential danger of “stealth privatisation” of Calderdale NHS services.

The group also questioned Matt Walsh about a number of commissioning decisions Calderdale CCG has recently made, and requested information about the Todmorden and Halifax walk in centres.

Rumours have circulated about the termination of the Care UK contracts for these health centres at the end of October 2013 and the likely award of new contracts that will run until March 2014, alongside a public consultation on their future.

Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS asked Matt Walsh:

  • who now has the contract for running the Todmorden and Halifax walk in centres?
  • what services will the centres offer under the new contract, and how much is Calderdale CCG paying for this contract?
  • what were the terms of ending the Care UK contract?
  • how & when will the consultation on the future of these services be carried out?

The group asked for a discussion of their concerns about the influence of profit-seeking private healthcare companies, who are trying to win contracts to run local services. The group had spelled out these concerns in a document previously emailed to Dr Walsh.

Public Calderdale CCG meeting 2pm 11th July – anyone can submit questions to go on the agenda

Please come back soon for an update on the outcome of the group’s meeting with Dr Walsh, and information about the upcoming public Calderdale CCG meeting at 2pm on 11th July.

This will be held in the Shibden Meeting Room, 5th floor F Mill, Dean Clough, Halifax HX3 5AX. You can contact the NHS Calderdale CCG on Tel: 01422 281300 or
Email: CCG.FEEDBACK@calderdale.nhs.uk.

The agenda for the meeting will be here. If you would like to put a question on the agenda, send it to Jane Brownlie before 12 noon on 10th July 2013 (not by 12th July as stated in the public announcement in the local papers – Ms Brownlie has confirmed that this is a typo). Her email address is jane.brownlie@calderdaleccg.nhs.uk.

(Disclaimer: In order to avoid any confusion about the origin and editorial control of this post – this is a Changing More Than Lightbulbs report, not a Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS report.

Obviously CMTL supports the Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS campaign, but it has written this post as an independent report. If there are factual inaccuracies, this is the responsibility of Changing More Than Lightbulbs.)

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