Do you remember back in the day, when the campaign group Save Our Local Hospital Services (SOLHS) was struggling to do just that, by holding a march round Dewsbury, lobbying Meeting the Challenge ‘consultation events’ and giving presentations to the Joint Kirklees and Wakefield Overview and Scrutiny Committee? The Joint Scrutiny Committee was not convinced the changes were in the best interests of the local people and referred the matter to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State was Jeremy Hunt, that failed marmalade salesperson and he referred the matter to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP). This process is presumably to ‘persuade’ the public into thinking there is some kind of democracy in this country and that local people elected as Councillors, have a say.
However, SOLHS discovered that the ‘Chair’ of the IRP was a Conservative Party Peer, Lord Ribiero. The question then was, ‘Is a Conservative Peer going to overturn policy decisions of the Conservative Government?’ It transpired that he was not, so the appeal was rejected and the changes started to happen.
The Dewsbury Hospital downgrade was one of the first to be implemented and many more are now following. The Kirklees and Calderdale Joint Scrutiny Committee have decided not to refer the proposed Huddersfield hospital closure and demolition plans to the Secretary of State, so far. Why not?
In Lincolnshire, a Conservative led Council, the Scrutiny Committee has referred the overnight closure of Grantham A&E to Jeremy Hunt who in turn has referred the issue to the IRP.
However, local Lincolnshire campaigners have discovered that Lord Ribiero is also an advisor on hospital reorganisations, for Price Waterhouse Cooper. Not only that, but Price Waterhouse Cooper have a contract with South Lincolnshire CCG for the clinical workstream of their Sustainability and Transformation Plan called Lincolnshire Health and Care.
“So the Independent Reconfiguration Review Panel whose Chair advises PricewaterhouseCooper is going to investigate the Scrutiny Committee’s referral of an A&E overnight closure, which is part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan which PricewaterhouseCooper has been paid to work on.”
Read more about that here:-
According to the report above, Pricewaterhouse Cooper also has links with the Care Quality Commission, (CQC), the standards regulator for GPs,surgeries, Care Homes, hospitals etc, and NHS Improvement (NHSI) , the NHS Trusts regulator . According to Private Eye 1438 (p15) last October 2016 a coroner found the London Bridge Hospital, run by US healthcare giant HCA, was negligent and led to the death of a heart patient, after an essential humidifier which ensured his airways were kept clear, was switched off and successive nurses, did not notice for 19 hours. In spite of this, the CQC issued the hospital with an ‘outstanding’ rating, three months later.
How can the citizens of North Kirklees believe the assurances made on 2 February 2017 by the CEO of Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust, that wards will be opened and services installed in Dewsbury Hospital because assumptions made at the Meeting the Challenge consultations had been wrong. The public knew in 2012/3 the assumptions were wrong. The CQC has closed down services before on the grounds of safety and could do so on someone’s whim, in Dewsbury.