Are Calderdale Councillors scared of the Government and NHS Bodies?


Huddersfield TUC, campaign groups and the public, begin to assemble outside Huddersfield Town Hall.

On 21 July 2017 Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Scrutiny Committee met to discuss whether the proposals they had made to the Greater Huddersfield CCG, Calderdale CCG and Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust (CHFT), about their  plans to reconfigure the Hospital Service in the area had been met. If they had not been met then the Scrutiny Committee had the powers to refer the proposals to the Secretary of State for Health. Campaign Groups Hands off HRI, Let’s Save HRI, Friends of HRI, Huddersfield Keep Our NHS Public and Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS, were in attendance. All the campaign groups in their deputations called for the proposals to be referred.

Joint Health Scrutiny Committee – please refer the hospitals and community care reconfiguration to the Secretary of State

Here is the deputation from CK999.


I’m speaking as chair of Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS.

We’ve carefully read the CCGs’ and Trust’s reports to this meeting and it’s clear that they haven’t satisfied the Committee’s recommendations – which were designed to make sure that the proposals would meet the health needs of the population.

So we’re extremely concerned that the NHS organisation’s failure to satisfy the recommendations means that these proposals won’t meet the population’s health needs.

We therefore ask you to refer the proposals to the Secretary of State for Health.

The CCGs and CHFT have had months to do the recommended work to make their proposals safer, but they haven’t got round to it.

The Trust’s failure to sign off and publish the Full Business Case makes it impossible to assess the finances and what the costs of a second PFI debt would be.

The CCGs say they will only support the Full Business Case – once they’ve reviewed it – if it fits in with the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s cost cutting plans.

More important than money – the CCGs have failed to come up with a coherent plan for providing enough Care Closer to Home capacity to make up for the 105 lost hospital beds.

They plan for a 3.5%/year reduction in A&E attendances by patients with long term illnesses, but the NHS Transformation Unit  are very doubtful that they could achieve this when they’ve not managed anything like it so far.

And the CCGs haven’t yet done the community modelling work to figure out how this will be possible.

As a result, proposed measures to make sure 111 sends patients to the right places will have to wait until the CCGs have clarified what the right places are.

And the Clinical Senate are still unable to confirm that the “plans” will provide the required standard of care, because the CCGs won’t have the information the Senate needs until the implementation planning.

Staffing is vital for patient safety – but CHFT plans to cut 479 staff over the next 10 years.

It says this will be possible because there will be “clinical networks” and centralised hospital services for very seriously ill patients.  In other words – such patients will go to Leeds or Pinderfields and our hospitals here will shrink.

The Trust’s workforce strategy indicates a 3.4% increase in Community Nursing staff, which is totally inadequate for the task in hand; and although there’s no pool of trained staff to recruit from, it doesn’t accept any responsibility for ensuring that training is available locally.

The CCGs have refused to say what their Primary Care strategy is, so there’s no idea if or how they plan to restore the numbers of GPs  – who will be responsible for more acutely ill patients.

The NHS organisations have recklessly disregarded the JHSC’s recommendations. Their proposals do not meet the public’s health needs and the JHSC’s clear duty is to refer them to the Secretary of State.

You can see the meeting in full here. (copy and paste the link into your browser)
Or read a comprehensive account here:-
The issue is important to Keep All Services at Dewsbury Hospital because when the reconfiguration to Dewsbury District Hospital was at the Consultation Stage in 2013, acceptance was undertaken on the premise that there was a fully functioning A&E in Huddersfield. These plans remove that certainty and replace HRI with what sounds like a GP surgery with a 64 bed Urgent Care Centre for minor injuries plus elective day case and elective short stay cases, with no intensive care or high dependency beds. The knock on effect of more ‘blue light’ cases going to Halifax, Pinderfields and Leeds will increase the already overcrowded facilities there.
Save Dewsbury Hospital Services banner before the meeting.
Paula Sherriff MP for Dewsbury,  Denby Dale Mirfield and Kirkburton gave a deputation statement reminding Councillors of this fact. The Chair of the Joint Scrutiny Committee said she was also on the Scrutiny Committee for that Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust reconfiguration, which incidentally has seen the difficulties with the Care Closer to Home provision and the Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust has moved to put all the planned changes at Dewsbury, in the slow lane. See more here:-
 The Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Scrutiny Committee adjourned after the deputations, and consideration of the report involving  questions to the NHS bodies, on their proposals. It is interesting that the Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG was not present, only Carol McKenna, the Chief Officer. Finance Officers were present from Calderdale CCG but neither the Chair or Chief Officer attended. CHFT was represented by Owen Williams the CEO.
It was following the adjournment that the 2 new proposals drafted by the Scrutiny Committee on the consultation, were read out and Councillors asked to vote on them.
It was then that the 3 Calderdale Councillors, gave their shocking opinion that if they were to refer these proposals to the Secretary of State, then they may get something worse, so they would not vote to refer.
Nevertheless, fortunately other Councillors used their common sense and the proposal to refer was carried by 5 votes to 3.
A retired Consultant joins the members of the public.
This blog is considering whether to accept that the fear of Government and NHS bodies by the Calderdale  Councillors, is evidence of an increasing rise in Private Government in the NHS, where ‘capital’ is seen to control working lives, such as GPs being asked to refrain from prescribing
  •       paracetamol,
  • antihistamines,
  • gluten-free foods
  • sunscreens for skin protection from UV radiation
  • soya and thickened infant formulas
  • infant formula for lactose intolerance
  • cream for unwanted facial hair and other products that have a predominantly cosmetic action
  • emollient (moisturiser) for minor skin conditions
  • camouflage products e.g. for port wine stain birthmarks
  • multivitamins, where no specific deficiency has been identified

Hospital staff being made to work shifts of 12 hours and out of social duty, choosing to  forego  breaks, due to pressure of patients, would be another indicator.  What would happen if they worked to rule?

See more info on that here:-

2 thoughts on “Are Calderdale Councillors scared of the Government and NHS Bodies?”

  1. I tried to share this to Save Calderdale Royal Infirmary facebook page but facebook removed it because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive. This is the Facebook “community standards” page that says why they will block content (which they did with regard to this post) I can see nothing on it that matches your rather sober report of the Joint Health Scrutiny meeting. I have told fb the post was not spam, as they messaged me, and asked them to reinstate it.

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