Public to be denied sight of commercially confidential plans for Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals

Thanks to Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group asking a question at Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body meeting on 12 June 2014, we now know that the public will be kept in the dark about next stage of planning the NHS and social care shake up in Calderdale and Huddersfield.

Planning document “will be held securely”

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning group told the Calderdale 38 Degrees,

“The Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust Outline Business Case will be submitted to commissioners during the month of June. This is a commercially confidential document which will not be available to the public. This will be held securely whilst commissioners develop their proposals for Care Closer To Home and outline our strategic intentions for hospital services.”

Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group, along with Calderdale Trades Council and other Save Our A&Es campaigners, is demanding that Calderdale Council’s Adults Health and Scrutiny Panel hold an urgent inquiry into the Trust’s Strategic Outline Case proposals, calling in the NHS organisations to explain the proposals and the evidence they’re based on, as well as inviting the public to give their views.

This is particularly important given that the public is to be kept in the dark about the next stage of the planning process. The hospitals Trust  Business Outline Case is deemed commercially confidential and will be held securely away from public eyes.

The hospitals Trust was due to present the Business Outline Case to the Clinical Commissioning Group in mid June. It should provide clinical evidence for the shakeup proposals, known as “Right Care, Right Time Right Place”, as well as  financial costings for the proposals, outcomes of the recent public engagement process, the outcomes of the Trust’s discussions with Yorkshire Ambulance Service and filling in other gaps in the Strategic Outline Case.

In addition, a leaked Trust plan for £13.5m spending cuts this year shows that the Trust is now making cuts and changes that are part of the proposed shake-up, before the public has had a chance to take part in the consultation about the reorganisation of services. If this turns out to be the case, it would be unlawful, according to legal advice provided to Plain Speaker.

This makes it a matter of urgency for the Scrutiny Panel to call in the Trust (and its partners) before it makes these cuts and changes, which the leaked document says are mostly to be carried out between July and December this year.

There is a lobby of Scrutiny Panel members at 5.30pm on 1st July outside Halifax Town Hall. All are welcome to attend. A petition calling for an immediate Scrutiny Panel inquiry into the Strategic Outline Case will be presented to the Scrutiny Panel.

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