Truth will out, even in a post truth age.

Response to the STP update at the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting on 24th November 2016.


Dear Cllr Viv Kendrick

Further to the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWBB) meeting and the update by STP Lead Rob Webster, I would like to take this opportunity to make a few points about his statement and also pose some questions.

He says in the briefing, that the local Healthwatch is involved “to plan how best to meet the needs of local people, thus ensuring local people have a strong voice”. Please answer how this can be?

Healthwatch compiled an award winning report a couple of years or so ago about the lack of NHS dentistry in Dewsbury. Everyone involved complained, it was not good enough, an MP called for more provision! Has this addressed the needs of local people, was their strong voice heard. Emphatically, No! There is still no NHS dentistry in Dewsbury and indeed there is a rumour that the third world charity which was doing some emergency dental work, has left to go to Bradford. Rob Webster’s own mental Health Trust at it’s Consultation on it’s move to Care Closer to Home in March 2015, said that they could not match the Locala single point of access time of 2 hours between phone call to home visit and it would have to be 4 hours. There was no room for negotiation. The SWYPFT Care Closer to Home, involving nurses traveling to patient’s houses 4 times a day to give drugs, was challenged as an expensive way to carry on at the time, and the answer was that they were not doing it to save money. So why were they doing it? Why are they going to be doing it? They could not give an adequate answer at that Consultation about the change but the hospital beds are still being removed as far as I know, even though Rob Webster gave an undertaking on 24th, to have no patients moved out of area.

Dr Kelly at the HWBB meeting challenged the discrepancy in underfunding figures given in the report. We have no way of knowing which assumptions were made about what and can have little concept of the financial underpinning of the plans, until the spreadsheets are published. At a Kirklees CCG meeting earlier in the year, the STP transformation budget revealed then, amounted to around £2m which spread between 11 CCGs is peanuts. So how can we have ‘a strong voice.’

The pockets of deprivation mentioned in the plan, are definitely in North Kirklees and some areas of South Kirklees. While mentioning the deprivation and affluence determining life chances, the plan says nothing about social conditions and environmental pollution which are determinants of ill health. Closing the so-called Gap needs bullying, isolation, poverty, poor quality food, lack of education, air, water and food pollution to be removed, and good quality, safe, accessible parks and green space put in. The plans look at a small silo of measures for prevention but until they address the wholeness of these aspects of life in a deprived area, are the outcomes going to be any better? Especially in formerly wealthy, healthy areas in North Yorkshire and Denby Dale area, now designated as suitable sites for fracking and all the likelihood of pollution attendant on that. (Sellafield had accidents at first and milk, land and sea, were affected by radioactivity so do not believe claims it is not possible.)

I challenge the paragraph, beginning “It’s great news that people are living longer.” There is then an exposition “the reality is” but the paragraph is not talking about a reality, because the end of the paragraph is “2/3 of people COULD spend their retirement years in ill-health” (my capitals) They could, or they could not! The whole construction of this paragraph, is to mislead. The truth is that the majority of people use the NHS most in the last 2 years of their life, whether that life finishes at age 50 or 90.

Are you tired of being blamed for the underfunding of the NHS? I am. An aging population! It is an excuse. It is not my fault that my parents wanted a child.There are an increasing number of babies and young children too by comparison with the 1980s.

Working together differently means outsourcing NHS services in the same way that Care Homes and social care has been outsourced. Can you hand on heart say that such a move has been an unmitigated success? (see the link at the end.)

I hope you rise to the challenge Rob Webster has repeated again, about Health and Wellbeing Boards providing a way of ensuring local people have a strong voice and not only that, but that it is listened to and acted upon.


How are you going to support the West Yorkshire Council Leaders who refused to endorse the STP in their letter to NHS England and also how are you going to put into effect the Council’s unanimous rejection of the STP at a recent council meeting?

As we have learned at the Meeting the Challenge, and also at the Right Care Right Time Right Place, by the time a Consultation is launched, all the ‘Authorities’ can do in response to public outrage, dissent or disagreement, is decide what colour the door is. Your support is very valuable. Thank you.

This article looks at assumptions in the STP plans, which are the same in all of them not just concentrated on London:-

Also an investigation into Patient Voice in the NHS and how it has been silenced, here:-

Board Papers and STP update here:- reports pack 24th-Nov-2016 14.00 Health and Wellbeing Board.pdf?

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