Bilfinger tries to resuscitate Todmorden Health Centre white elephant

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s Head of Service Improvement Debbie Graham has said that Todmorden Health Centre belongs to the people of Todmorden.

In fact, it belongs to a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) called Assura Group Ltd.

And Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has hired a commercial property development company, BIlfinger GVA, to work out how to bring in new tenants to fill all the unused spaces in Todmorden Health Centre  and make it work as the “hub” for the Vanguard/Care Closer to Home scheme. This aims to cut acute and emergency hospital services and replace them with care in the community for frail elderly people and people with chronic illnesses.

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American corporate foxes to ransack NHS henhouse in £3bn-£5bn privatisation

A huge privatisation is underway that will put US health insurance company United Health in a position to bid for contracts to provide NHS clinical services, at the same time as it advises clinical commissioning groups on what clinical services to plan and buy.

NHS England – increasingly looking like a Trojan Horse for United Health (the previous employer of the NHS England CEO, Simon Stevens) – is pushing one of the biggest NHS privatisations to date, worth £3bn-£5bn. 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

Calderdale Councillor chides NHS bosses for speeding ahead with shake-up plan that the Council unanimously rejected last year

Several members of Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS attended the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting at Halifax Town Hall on Thursday 2nd July.

This Board is a statutory body set up by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, with the intention that the local authority should plan strategically to integrate health and social care services. It has little statutory power.

Rosemary Hedges, Secretary of Calderdale 38 Degrees, reports on Councillors’ challenges to the NHS bosses’ cost-cutting plans for Calderdale hospital and community health care services.

But do these challenges have much substance, given the Board’s lack of statutory powers? These lie with the Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel. Continue reading

Will Calder Ward Forum tell us about impacts on patients of the secretive new Upper Calder Valley NHS Vanguard scheme?

This evening’s Calder Ward Forum at Hope Baptist Chapel (6.15pm for 6.45pm start) is a chance to ask Councillors for information about how a new model of NHS care that is being set up in the Upper Calder Valley is going to affect patients.

The Upper Calder Valley Multi-speciality Community Provider (MCP) Vanguard scheme is a pilot funded by NHS England that aims to set up a “new model of care”, based at the Todmorden Health Centre.

It will fast-track the so-called Care Closer to Home scheme that is part of the Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal to cut and close acute and A&E hospital services, including acute children’s and complex maternity services.

Care Closer to Home aims to make this possible by taking services for the frail elderly, chronically ill and children out of hospital and putting them into the community, on the unfounded assumption that this will cut acute and A&E hospital admissions. 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