Campaigners from the region met today 23 December 2016, in Leeds to mark the day contracts for two years, were handed in to NHS England in a great rush, three months earlier than normal and valid for two years rather than the traditional one year.
Christmas carols with appropriate words for explaining the Slash Trash and Privatise plans were sung
by the sizeable crowd gathered at the NHS England headquarters at Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, before the hand in of a letter signed by hundreds of people. G4S security at the door, went to the offices of NHS England to let them know there was a letter waiting, but NO ONE was prepared to come down to receive it. What did they think would happen? Campaigners recognised that this was their Martin Luther King moment but in the absence of a nail and a wooden door to bang it into, resorted to tying the letter to a pillar before leaving to blend in with the throngs of Christmas shoppers.
The text of the letter is available to read here:-http://www.stopthestps.org.uk/open-howl-at-stp/4593415239
The North Kirklees NHS Support Group met first on 23 November 2012 as the Health and Social Care Bill was struggling through Parliament. Following the official start of the North Kirklees CCG in April 2013 campaigners met with CCG members and told them that they were a vehicle for the privatisation of the NHS and they were either set up to fail, or to morph into something else.
Lo and behold it has come to pass. The North Kirklees CCG’ s “functions need to change” and it is handing much of its commissioning responsibility to a Multispeciality Community Provider, (MCP) or as the Secret Theft Plan (STP) calls it, a ‘New Model of Care’. Plans for the associated GP Forward View are due to be finished next week but there will not be time to bring them to the CCG Governing Body meeting, as they need to be submitted to NHS England on 23 December 2016. The Quality and Safety Officer asked the Governing Body for permission to delegate the scrutiny of the plans to the Quality Performance and Finance Committee (QPFC) which does not sit in public. This was granted, but I hope the North Kirklees CCG does not make the mistake that Wakefield CCG made. According to a letter seen by the HSJ, GPs in Wakefield are very unhappy that there has been ‘inadequate’ consultation about the MCP plans that Wakefield CCG has drawn up. According to the HSJ, Wakefield and district GPs can not move forward with the plans until their concerns about the ‘virtual model’ developed by the CCG, have been addressed. Where that leaves the submission on 23 December is anyone’s guess but we hope they are feverishly working away to sort it out.
“We need to be open and honest , encourage GPs to work at scale get value for money and hope the finances come together!” said an enthusiast on North Kirklees CCG. The evidence is, however, that patient satisfaction is greatest when they can have their own GP on a General Medical Services (GMS) contract and that the worst patient experience is delivered by the Any Providers Medical Services (APMS) contract. (link to follow) The CCG chair stressed, for the benefit of assembled members of the public that they would do what is right for patients, however a GP said “Define ‘what is right for patients’!”
This is pertinent. Another layer of bureaucracy, the MCP ensures money is diverted away from Patient Care, into managers, lawyers, consultants, and shareholders pockets. It’s not about what you need, it’s about whether you can be persuaded you don’t actually need it!
A good number of people gathered outside Dewsbury Hospital Main entrance on 3 Dec 2016 to explain to passers by that the new plans for the NHS were all about cutting services and privatising what was left. NHS England guidelines show that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be judged on how well they have outsourced, or as STP Lead Rob Webster put it ‘delegated’ services into the private sector and if CCGs are found wanting in that regard, they will be taken over by NHS England itself.
The engagement in Batley Town Hall last week was all about the local STP, now called the Kirklees Health and Wellbeing plan. Views of small charities and service providers with regard to what services smokers and obese people should be allowed, was the focus this time. There were one or two members of the public there also. The whole thrust of the new plans is to sort people into the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ and the move to a ‘decision maker’ not a clinician who will ever meet you, deciding what treatment you get, if any. This system is used in the US, so that Insurance Companies can refuse treatment because you are too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too young, too old. It is called Managed Care. The North Kirklees CCG is in the first wave of this system which is being rolled out across England. Here it is known as RightCare. There is not another word in the whole of the English Language which has been degraded as much as the word ‘care’.
We got lots of hoots from passing vehicles and more people were stopping to talk than we had expected. Many thanks to all who turned out.