Halifax Tory Parliamentary Candidate’s unfounded “good news” claim that hospitals shake-up is off

Phillip Allott, Tory Parliamentary Candidate for Halifax, has sent Halifax voters a letter containing the unfounded claim that Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group has rejected the hospitals Trust proposal to turn one of our hospitals into a small planned care hospital with a Minor Injuries Unit and the other into a specialised acute hospital with an A&E Department.

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body Chair, Dr Alan Brook, told the 30th October 2014 Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board that the CCG had decided not to consult the public about proposals in the hospital Trust’s Outline Business Case – because “it needs more work”.

But the CCG has at no time said that this means it has rejected the Trust’s proposals.

The Outline Business Case proposals are: to cut hospital beds, put all acute and emergency services into one specialist hospital – most likely Huddersfield Royal Infirmary –  and turn the other hospital into a small planned care hospital with a Minor Injuries Unit, a care home and a hospice.

Ms Mulcahy, the Commissioning Support Unit Programme Manager for Right Care Right Place Right Time, told Calderdale Health & Wellbeing Board that the Clinical Commissioning Groups need to set out the potential model for hospital care in Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, based on NHS England’s 5 year forward view which sets out 7 models of care:

  1. Multi-speciality community providers – extended, larger GP practices that include nurses, therapists, consultant geriatricians, paediatricians and psychiatrists, pharmacists, social workers etc, and  that focus on targetting services on patients with complex chronic illnesses and the frail elderly. NHS England will make it possible for these larger GP practices to form either as GP Federations, networks or single organisations. They would shift most outpatients care out of hospitals & could take over running community hospitals. They would also use volunteers and carers. N Kirklees GPs have already set up as a GP Federation and have awarded themselves a substantial contract [link]
  2. Primary and acute care systems (PACS)- “vertically integrated” care systems, modelled on US and Spanish Accountable Care Organisations, that provide GP and hospital services within one organisation. Variants of this system include joint ventures and prime providers which subcontract to other providers, (which is the model proposed for Greater Huddersfield’s Care Closer to Home contract, which is currently out to tender with a 24 November deadline) Link.
  3. Urgent and emergency care networks – making better use of primary care, community mental health teams, ambulance teams and community pharmacies as well as the 379 urgent care centres throughout the country. These networks will include a “strengthened” triage and advice service.
  4. Viable smaller hospitals – models for making smaller hospitals “viable” include ‘hospital chains’ which exist in Scandinavia and Germany; specialist hospitals providing services on ‘satellite’ sites in smaller hospitals; use of the PACS model where a local acute hospital and its local primary and community services form an integrated provider.
  5. Specialised care – greater concentration of care in specialist centres eg stroke units, specialised surgery and some cancer services.
  6. Modern maternity services – make it easier for midwives to set up their own NHS-funded midwifery services to increase the availability of midwife-led units
  7. Enhanced health in care homes.

Ms Mulcahy said that the two Clinical Commissioning Groups will get together to look at possible models – for example, to include the public’s travel considerations.

This strongly suggests that the Outline Business Case proposals for the hospitals shake-up are still very much on the cards – because if not, why would travel considerations be an issue?

Mr Allott’s letter also contains the inaccurate statement that:

“…it is only because the plans have been rejected that they can now be published”.

This is not the reason why the Trust has published the Outline Business Case (OBC).

The hospitals Trust’s email to me, explaining their final refusal of my FOI request for a copy of the Outline Business Case, clearly states that their refusal is under section 22 of the FOI Act 2000 – and Section 22  applies when the document is intended for publication.

(The Trust had previously refused my FOI request on the grounds that the OBC was commercially confidential.)

The Trust’s email explaining that they had changed the grounds for their refusal clearly states that they would shortly publish the OBC, since it would no longer be commercially sensitive after the deadline had closed for bids for GH and N Kirklees CCGs’ Care Closer to Home/ community health care contract.

The Trust and Locala have separately bid for the contract.


You can read Mr Allott’s letter here.

You can read CHFT’s final refusal of my FOI request for the Outline Business Case here.

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