I have been having a think about the Labour Party motion to the Special Council meeting at 6pm on Wednesday 16th April, and the recently-announced LibDem amendment.
Imo, a people’s commission of inquiry should be set up by the independent campaign group, Band Together For Our NHS – not by the two councils and clinical commissioning groups, as both Labour and LibDem motions propose.
Plans on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard
It seems to me that leaving it to the councils and clinical commissioning groups would be likely to end up with us all waking up one morning like Arthur Dent in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who found a yellow bulldozer ready to raze his house to make way for a hyperspatial expressway. As he lay in the mud in front of the bulldozer, the Council Official, Mr Prosser, told him,
“You were quite entitled to make any suggestions or protests at the appropriate time you know… the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months..the plans were on display …”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a torch.”
“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.”
In Lewisham, Save Lewisham Hospital campaign set up the people’s commission of inquiry, with wide ranging terms of reference which I believe the Councils and CCGs would be unlikely to come up with.
My proposed amendment to both Labour and LibDem motions
Both Labour and LibDem motions share the first two paragraphs of the Labour motion (see below). The LibDem amendment (also below) is to the third para of the Labour motion.
I think that the first two paragraphs of the Labour motion are fine, until they get to the bit that reads,
“to enable the two local authorities and the two Clinical Commissioning Groups to lead an open consultation about future health and social care provision in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield.”
I would like the motion to take out that bit and everything that comes after it, and substitute this:
“to enable the Band Together For the NHS campaign group to set up a Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield People’s Commission of Inquiry (CHPCI) that shall examine the decision of CHFT,Locala and SWYFPT to issue a Strategic Review and Strategic Outline Case for the transformation of NHS and social care, that includes reducing and downgrading hospital services and replacing them with a cost-cutting system for integrated health and social care in the community that is not evidence based, and the context for this: the fundamental changes being made to the NHS over the last 40 years.
The commission would examine:
1 a The original vision and principles underpinning the NHS, with particular reference to the community it serves and its accountability to that community.
1b The extent to which the vision and principles have been eroded by the imposition of the internal market and recent moves to open the NHS to external market forces and the degree to which these changes have been openly debated.
2. The extent to which this process has culminated in the potential destruction of quality healthcare for the community of Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield, exemplified by the proposals for reducing beds and services at Calderdale Royal Hospital and for downgrading its A&E to a Minor Injuries Unit with not even a guarantee of 24 hour care.”
Labour Party motion
This is the Labour party motion:
This Council :-
- Notes that the Strategic Outline Case produced by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, Locala Community Partnerships, and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust, and particularly the ‘preferred option’ identified by CHNT, has generated wide spread public concern and debate about the future of hospital services in Calderdale;
- Further notes that in November this Council called on all partners “to develop the longer-term strategic means of ensuring continued, safe and appropriate access to 24-hour urgent and emergency care within Calderdale, in full consultation with the public”; and
- Believes that the preferred option does not guarantee this.
This Council therefore calls on the three provider Trusts to withdraw the proposals set
out in the Strategic Outline Case, and in particular the ‘preferred option’, to enable the
two local authorities and the two Clinical Commissioning Groups to lead an open
consultation about future health and social care provision in Calderdale and Greater
Council believes this will be best achieved by the establishment of a health and care
commission, to take evidence, lead consultation and produce proposals regarding
future health and social care provision across the Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield
health and social care economy, and requests Cabinet to take all necessary steps to
secure this outcome.
This is the Liberal Democrat amendment:
AMENDMENT TO Council Procedure Rule 14 Motion submitted by Cllr Tim Swift
– Item 2 on Council Summons
Delete all after “Greater Huddersfield;” in paragraph (b)
“(c) this Council believes this will be best achieved by the establishment of a
‘People’s Panel’, to take evidence, lead consultation and produce proposals regarding
the future provision of integrated health and social care services across the Calderdale
and Greater Huddersfield health and social care economy. Cabinet is therefore
requested to establish such a Panel, the membership of which shall be wide-ranging,
and include local people and relevant groups to allow the input of local people’s
perspectives on future service provision; and
(d) this Council calls upon the relevant local NHS bodies to provide, as a matter of
urgency, this People’s Panel with detailed proposals relating to extended opening
hours of GP surgeries, the future development of Todmorden Health Centre, and other
proposals resulting from the Strategic Review of the health and social care economy.”