Privatisation of the NHS in Leeds, the Better Care Fund, the Council

Health & Wellbeing Board and Health Scrutiny last week – trying to find unnecessary savings with another £2billion stolen from the NHS by the Treasury recently.

  • Leeds trying to save £24million out of a projected £163 million based on predicted demand with Better Care Fund (BCF) which is not new money but requiring savings to existing NHS acute care
  • Final version ofBCF submission signed off in March, 3 key high level risks:
    • consequences of proposals resulting through the complex nature of the Health & Care system and interdependencies
    • ability to release expenditure from existing commitments without destabilising system
    • due to short timescales to prepare submission (Leeds KONP suggest this is the ongoing rush to privatisation by Coalition), the inability to fully articulate the financial savings of the proposed scheme
  • CCGs preparing Quality Premiums with risks:
    • inability to effectively communicate variations in ambitions to citizens may cause disquiet
    • misalignment with provider plans may result in capacity issues in the system to meet demand
    • financial risk of non-achievement of Quality Premiums – needs to be a balance between realism and aspiration

In the Better Care Fund submission – p53 very high level risks scream out in particular

In order for the hospital sector to release efficiencies, it will need to close beds as activity drops

Sound familiar?

 Question: A member of Leeds KONP who regularly attends the meetings asked at Health and Wellbeing:

I would like to ask about the influence and attitude of this Board towards the commissioning of health services by the Local Authority. I understand that

  • the bidding process is now closed for a five year contract for Integrated Sexual Health Service starting April 2015 and
  • bidding for a five year contract for Community Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Recovery Service closes at the end of the month

If you are doing or will do anything at all to try to ensure that Addiction, Sexual Health Service and any others yet to be procured are run by people who will put the principles of the NHS before monetary concerns? I would also be interested to know how the Board envisages not just themselves but members of the public having a real say in the procurement process, having as one of your Board members said a few months ago – INFLUENCE not just VOICE?

Answer in summary: We want to improve services so the focus will be on improving in particular, quality.

The full answer will be in the minutes which will post here. It is no doubt delicate for a board to answer in front of a range of colleagues and the public but if members of the public are to be involved in decision making and allocated a few minutes to ask a question as others also want to ask questions on a range of issue that may be related to health (one was about noise pollution), what is our role in influence?

Its our NHS, developed, owned and paid for by the public. And we intend to keep it that way.




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