Wholly Owned Subsidiaries

Paula Sherriff MP for Dewsbury, Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton has replied to a request for her views on Wholly Owned Companies/Subsidiary Companies/ Special Purpose Vehicles, whatever you want to call them,  in NHS Hospital Trusts.  Her first sentence on the subject starts with the phrase “I am alarmed…..”  so we are not alone.

 Paula Sherriff MP on Subsidiary Companies 

The attempts to dismantle the NHS have been going on for over 25 years.  The changes to legislation inching closer and closer to the healthcare multinationals global policy aims, become clearer when we find the legislation to allow the SubCos, was introduced in 2006, two years before the need to create  the campaign organisation Keep Our NHS Public and probably one of the driving factors in its creation. This is before all but the most eagle eyed of the public,  even began to suspect anything untoward.

Messages released by Government are sometimes contradictory. On the one hand you have a letter to Trusts from the Department of health suggesting these companies are not allowed as a mechanism to save VAT, yet the Trusts using that argument as the main motivator for spending the money to do it. Companies need capital to set up that surely could be used for treatment. Why now?

DoH Tax Avoidance Letter

Yesterday in Leeds the landmark England wide Judicial Review brought by a grass roots campaign group 999 Call for the NHS, against NHS England for its proposed Accountable Care Contract,  was heard. The case examined a point of law, which the group believe is unlawful in the ACO contract and will encourage providers to cherry pick patients rather than provide comprehensive treatment for all, according to need. Since this is already beginning to happen and patients made to wait, such an outcome seems more likely with every passing day. Even if the campaign wins the Judicial Review, NHS England will have suffered a set back but will be able to try again.

The second Judicial Review is about the new health system Government and NHS England want to legalise, with no recourse to Parliamentary debate or public vote.  That is due to be heard on 23rd and 24th May in London.

The West Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) has been published.


People across Kirklees and Calderdale have been writing to Councillors to ask them to refuse to endorse the STP for West Yorkshire because it has been worked up in secrecy and clinicians and GPs have had no say in it.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability Transformation Plan

A new BMA survey has revealed that over two thirds of doctors say they have not been consulted on STPs. The survey also shows that a third of doctors have never heard of STPs and a fifth do not support the introduction of the plans.

BMA analysis has found that NHS sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) will have to deliver £22bn in cuts by 2020/2021 in order to balance health and social care spending across 44 ‘footprint’ areas, raising serious concerns about cuts to services and the impact on patient care.

Officials in each area have been asked by NHS England to predict in their STPs the financial hole they face in their budgets and set out how they can close it. The savings figures were found in papers from 42 of the 44 areas across England.

standard_method_of_preparing_nhs_for_privatisation_by_chomskyCampaigners for Dewsbury hospital have found that the reductions in A& E provision had been planned for much longer than had been realised at the Meeting the Challenge consultation and that the plans for further cuts had been shelved as politically sensitive before the last election in 2015. However, STPs have brought the plans off the shelf and more cuts are in the pipeline, for all areas. We have seen this in the devastating proposals for Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, which are featured in the STP.

Although the plans have been published in West Yorkshire there are no financial, activity or workforce plans in the public domain, which were also submitted to NHS England as appendices. Campaigners are asking their Councillors to press for the publication of these documents, in order for the public to be able to see the cuts and redisorganisation to come.

Model letter to Councillors.

Dear Councillor……………….

Some time ago, I emailed you asking you to urge the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Council Leaders to publish the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

This STP has now been published. However, although according to NHS England guidance it is the Final STP for operational delivery of the plan in 2017/18 – 2018/19, it seems that the published version is not the complete version. It lacks any appendices with detailed information about:

  • finances,

  • workforce,

  • the move to turn the Alliance of Acute Hospitals into a foundation group and what that will mean for the reconfiguration of acute hospitals across the region

  • how and when the big changes to NHS governance and commissioning are intended to take place and how and whether the proposed establishment of accountable care organisations or systems are likely to conflict with current legislation governing NHS governance and commissioning, and if so, how that is going to be dealt with.

I therefore am asking you to use your powers to make sure that publication takes place swiftly, of all the missing appendices and any other related documents covering these and other topics that have been sent to NHS England along with the published STP.

Further, since the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP – if implemented beyond the current initial year – will have a significant effect on the area’s NHS and social care, please will you demand that a footprint – wide Joint Health Scrutiny Committee is immediately set up and that it sets about the task of scrutinising the STP at once.

The Harrogate Examiner reports that the N Yorks Health Scrutiny Committee is not happy about the WY & Harrogate STP but has no means to scrutinise it alongside the other Councils that are affected by it, since the Joint Health Scrutiny Committees are not coterminous with the STP footprint. This is clearly daft.

I hope you will take it upon yourself to protect the NHS and social care in our area by making sure that ALL the STP information that has gone to NHS England is published

Yours sincerely


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