Thanks to everyone who’s read, contributed to or commented on Plain Speaker in 2015

Here’s a report on around 34,000 visits to this website in 2015, the most popular posts and other stuff about Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker readers.

Many thanks to everyone for supporting hyper local news reporting for Upper Calder Valley, by reading, contributing or commenting on it.

I hope 2016 is a good year for all of us and that this news website helps to voice what matters to people when it comes to social and environmental justice, freedom of speech, fully democratic decision making about public issues and general public spiritedness.

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body Meeting 10 April

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body meeting, which is open to the public and press, is at 2-5pm, Thursday 10th April, in Shibden Meeting Room, F Mill, Dean Clough, Halifax.

Agenda and meeting documents are online here.

Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker has emailed these questions for the Governing Body to answer at the meeting: Continue reading

Coop Community Grant presentation to UCV Plain Speaker, 4pm Thursday 10th April

Many thanks to the Coop Community Fund for awarding Upper Plain Speaker a grant to pay for upgrading the website to a proper magazine format.

The manager of Hebden Bridge Coop will be presenting the cheque to us at Hebden Bridge Coop, 4pm on Thursday 10th April.

If anyone wants to come along that would be fun! Continue reading

Seeking your views on Strategic Outline Case proposals for social care in Calderdale

UCV Plain Speaker is shortly to run a new article about the Strategic Outline Case for transforming Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield NHS and social care.

If you are involved in social care in Calderdale in any way at all, the UCV Plain Speaker article would like to report your views about what the Strategic Outline Case proposes for the future of social care. There is an online survey further down this page, where you can say what you think.

The Strategic Outline Case (SOC) proposes to completely transform social care as well as the NHS in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield. Continue reading

Lack of money stops #Calderdale Council’s air pollution monitoring

Sowerby Bridge resident Andrew Marsden received some staggering news when he asked Calderdale Environmental Health for the Council’s most recent Air Quality Management Report.

Andrew asked for this Report in the light of news that Calderdale Council could face fines of up to £1m/day for air pollution that still exceeds legal limits in parts of the Upper Calder Valley and other areas in the Borough. Continue reading

Cuts to A&E per capita payments mean A&E departments can’t meet costs

The Foundation Trust Network Chief Executive, Chris Hopson, recently blogged that cuts to the A&E tariff for patient admissions above the 2008/9 baseline have made it impossible for A&E departments to treat “skyrocketing admissions.”

Calderdale A&E must be running at a loss, because admissions have gone up since 2008/9, but under NHS payment rules drawn up by Monitor and NHS England, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group is only allowed to pay Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust 30% of the tariff for any A&E admissions over 2008/9 baseline.

Matt Walsh, Chief Officer of Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCG), told a CCG Governing Body meeting last year that this restriction lay behind CCCG’s request to Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust (CHFT) to commission the National Clinical Advisory Team (NCAT) to review urgent care and to report on recommendations for the CHFT to consider. Continue reading

Perfect Financial Incompetence in Kirklees community health centres

5 primary care/community health centres in Kirklees are a PFI project. Kirklees Primary Care Trust closed the financial deal for the PFI project in 2004.

The 2012 Treasury PFI spreadsheet shows the PFI contract is for 30 years and Semperian is the equity holder. The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is NK Facilities Ltd. Total capital costs are listed as £25m. The total unitary charge (which covers the mortgage repayment and service charges for operating and maintaining the health centres) is £89.6m over the contract duration. Continue reading

NCAT Report on future of Calderdale & Huddersfield A&E: wave goodbye to our NHS

The National Clinical Advisory Team Report on the future of Calderdale and Huddersfield A&E, commissioned by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, is now in the public domain after months of secrecy.

This is what its guff about “delivering more care outside the hospital“, “community-focussed care“, “putting the patient first” and “transformation” really means: yesterday £1,222,000,000.00 of our NHS was offered up to Private Health by
NHS Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit,

“Commissioners are seeking genuine, transformational and sustainable service change that recognises the primacy of the patient in the service model…” (links to the contract advertisements are at the end of this article)

West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit will be following hard on their heels if we let the CHFT Strategic Review (which is based on the NCAT Report) go through. Continue reading

NHS Privatisation news

Here is news about NHS privatisation, I’ll be updating this Storify collection often, so please come back from time to time for fresh news. The Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust strategic review, that includes proposals for closing Calderdale A&E, reducing hospital beds and treatment and “integrating” NHS and social care in the community, is basically a set of proposals for privatising Calderdale & Kirklees NHS. So it’s worth keeping an eye on new methods of NHS privatisation – forewarned is forearmed. Continue reading

Cuts, privatisation and next-to-zero democracy: the real story behind #Calderdale and Huddersfield #NHS and social care strategic review

The example of what’s already happening with Cambridge and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group’s “Integrated care for the elderly” contract has to be one of the strongest arguments against Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s proposals for reducing hospital beds, closing Calderdale A&E and integrating health and social care in the community.

The CHFT Strategic Review, and the related Better Care Fund Submission documents, make great play of their proposals for integrated, patient-centred care in the community.

But look at what’s happening with a near-identical proposal in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Continue reading