Leeds Community and Mental Health Services across West Yorkshire

In Leeds ‘there is a need’ to collectively deliver £800m of savings across health and social care over the next five years based on poorly designed policies from the recent governments at national level and unrealistic levels of investment in the NHS to make way for the private sector which has always been Simon Stevens’ preferred option since his early roles in health policy for the Blair government, his role at United Health (including his interest in Optum – the United Health subsidiary in the UK taking over large framework agreements for services) and his role at NHS England. Don’t believe us? Read on !

Leeds, as part of West Yorkshire, had been successful in becoming an ‘Urgent Care Vanguard’ site the city as a health and social care economy was unsuccessful in its bid to be a ‘Multi-speciality Community Provider (MCP) Vanguard’ site. Despite this there is an expectation from NHS England that the development of new models of care should not wait for the results of Vanguard prototypes and that all parts of England are now expected to develop new models of care at pace, or have a model imposed on them in the not too distant future. In summary let’s not wait for evidence of whether anything from these expensive restructuring experiments works or not !

The joint LYPFT & LCH tender for prison services had scored better than the preferred provider across all elements of quality, however, they were beaten on price by Care UK, who have been awarded the contract of £370,000 with effect from the 1 April 2016 and that 9 Trust staff will be transferred across to the new service provider. There is continued activity looking at appeals within the council and NHS Trusts. The news this week about £165k paid to  private sector provider for 2 home visits during a year in the West Midlands continues to highlight not just the disastrous inefficiencies of privately delivered care but service users left with poor care and the NHS is expected to pick up the more complex pieces.

Care UK as a private provider will cherry pick the community services as warned by NHS campaigners over a number of years. There is more work to be done with commissioners in Leeds to highlight the dangers of privately delivered expensive, fragmented care that results from less skilled staff delivering less skilled care,  impossible large scale purchasing efficiencies and worse health outcomes overall for patients and service users.

The recruitment crisis brought on by these ill-thought out decisions nationally continues to result in services being closed unnecessarily. Service users are reporting less consultation and involvement with own care over the last five years.

If you want to have a say, join us on the march on 16th in Leeds and/or help campaigners across Yorkshire work together to restore a publicly funded, accountable and delivered NHS. You may know someone who works in health, social or council services and wants to see people get the best care from staff who are happy, trained well and able to deliver it well, we can use all help! Care is not just for a privileged tax avoiding few but for everyone.



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