Protest secret plans to cut and further privatise NHS – Halifax Town Hall, Thursday 25 August, 9.30am.

A secret process to cut and further privatise NHS services is charging ahead across England. It goes under the name of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).

England has been divided into 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plan ‘footprints’ which must make huge spending and service cuts and increase NHS privatisation in order to access “transformation” funds.

STPs are being drawn up in conditions of secrecy imposed by NHS England. Their North Midlands Director of Commissioning Operations, Wendy Saviour, told a recent meeting of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group:

“STPs are not meant to be published at all. They should not go to Board meetings. Some of them contain very radical things… These are highly political and highly contentious…
Once they’re washed off and the national messages are gathered together, they will be published.”

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Care Closer to Home – “Patients Will Suffer”

Kirklees and Calderdale people are very upset about the proposed hospital cuts and changes and A&E closure – but related  proposals to move hospital services into the “community” are equally devastating. Continue reading

NHS Commissioners’ meeting “like North Korea”

At the 20th January Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Groups meeting, the governing bodies’ unanimous decision to go ahead with a public consultation on plans to cut hospital and close hospital services was immediately denounced by a member of the public, who said:

“This is like North Korea”.

Amid general outcry, someone called out, to a round of applause.

“Shame on all of you”,

While another calmly said,

“You’re a cabal preparing for privatisation. That new hospital will be wrapped up in a pink ribbon and sold off.”

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Monitor wants to slash our hospital services – Calderdale NHS commissioners say nowt

A crucial time for one of the main schemes to cut NHS services is now upon us.

From April 2016, NHS Foundation Trusts will be able to to stop providing certain NHS services, that are currently protected. This is due to changes to hospital licenses,  brought in by the hospitals regulator and competition enforcer, Monitor.

At the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group meeting on 24th September 2015, Plain Speaker asked questions about how these licence changes are going to affect the range of services that Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals provide.

Particularly: how this will affect Calderdale people’s access to comprehensive, universal healthcare that is free at the point of delivery and based on patients’ clinical needs. Given that it seems that services that are currently mandatory will fall away. Continue reading

Growing Futures are very shocked at what’s happening to the NHS

As a group working for a fair, healthy, sustainable food system that can help solve the epidemic of obesity and diabetes caused by the current dysfunctional food system, Growing Futures recently took part in the Voluntary Action Calderdale workshop on Understanding how the NHS works in Calderdale.

The  main information at the Workshop was that the NHS in Calderdale now operates just like any marketplace.

The VAC training workshop was part of its 3 year, £750K contract with Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, for Third Sector Development and Support. Continue reading

Ernst & Young calling the shots over Right Care Right Place Right Time scheme

The clinical model for the proposed Right Care Right Place Right Time scheme, that NHS commissioners and the Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals have finally agreed after arguing about for two years, could be thrown up in the air yet again by a cost-cutting 5 year hospitals financial plan that is being drawn up by Ernst and Young (EY), at a cost of £0.5m to the deficit-ridden hospitals Trust.

Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 10.58.27Our hospitals may be broke, but the global management consultancy company EY had a global income of $US28.7bn in the financial year ending 30 June 2015. This is its fastest growth since 2008, an 11.6% increase over 2014. Obviously clearing up the mess from the 2008 bankers crash of the world economy is good business for EY and its ilk. Continue reading

Protesters belie NHS bosses’ claim there’s NO public opposition to hospital cuts and changes plans

Members of the public protested outside the August 13th meeting of Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body, as the NHS bosses met to consider “evidence” of their “engagement” with the public about plans to cut acute and emergency hospital services and replace them with care the community, aka Care Closer to Home. Continue reading

Calder Valley NHS Vanguard – fast tracking the 5 year plan to dismantle the NHS

The not-so-hidden agenda of the government and its NHS privatisation quango (the NHS Commissioning Board, aka NHS England) is to de-fund, run down and privatise the NHS by the end of this Parliament.

Here is how this is playing out in Calderdale.


Cutting £20m/year from Calderdale’s NHS budget until 2019

The Care Closer to Home scheme, which NHS England is imposing in Calderdale and across the country, is dressed up as an improvement to NHS and social care services, but it’s really about making £22bn worth of NHS cuts by 2020.

According to Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, Calderdale’s share of these cuts amounts to £80m in the four years between 2014/15 and 2018/19, and its Care Closer to Home scheme is key to making these cuts. (Source: Calderdale Care Closer to Home Service Specification, 20 Jan 2015 Version, Draft 13.1, p19) Continue reading

Barcoding patients at heart of hospital contract row

The contract for Calderdale Royal Hospital services, which should have started on 1 April 2015, is still not signed and on 24th July both parties entered arbitration with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDAR) as mediator. The outcome is not yet public knowledge – but contract negotiations were still continuing on 4th August.

Problems with the contract from the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s) point of view were discussed at the June 11th Calderdale CCG Governing Body Meeting, while the hospital Trust’s 28th July Board meeting papers show some of their side of the conflict.

The Trust are holding out for a Payments by Results contract, which Dr Matt Walsh told the CCG Governing Body “is not the CCG’s preference”. Until now, the contract between the CCG and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT)  has been a block activity contract, where the CCG pays for a set amount of clinical activity.

The barcoded patient Continue reading

Upper Calder Valley to be “Vanguard” testbed for cost-cutting model of NHS and social care

Last year saw big protests against proposals to close Calderdale A&E and other acute Calderdale Royal Hospital services like acute paediatrics and complex maternity, and to transfer hospital services for the frail elderly and people with chronic illnesses into GP-run services in four “localities” in Calderdale, in the hope that this will reduce acute and emergency admissions.

Although there is no evidence that this will work, these so-called “Right Care Right Time Right Place” and “Care Closer to Home” plans haven’t gone away – far from it.

Dr Matt Walsh, Chief Officer of Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), told the 11th June CCG Governing Body meeting that these plans are now accelerating, as a result of the Tory government’s pressure since the election. He said,

“Work is going on apace on future models of service delivery.” Continue reading