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Devon County Council Cabinet rejects own health watchdog’s recommendations on new care system

Thursday, 12 April 2018 2 Comments by Claire

The all Conservative Devon County Council Cabinet has thrown out its own health watchdog’s resolution on deferring the implementation of Devon’s Integrated Care System, while a range of assurances were received.

Dozens of objections from members of the public came flooding in at the 22 March Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee meeting and my resolution on the thorny issue, which can be found here -…/devons_nhs_asked_to_provide_… ... had been backed unanimously by councillors.

The Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee’s resolution had, I believe, been agreed by all except one Conservative councillor, Richard Scott, who voted against it.

A revised resolution that the cabinet supported yesterday, merely noted that the new system was being set up and everything else was so watered down as to be almost meaningless.

The message was repeated at length that this was not an endorsement but simply noting that it was happening and that progress will be monitored.

I reminded the cabinet of the County Solicitor’s advice to the Health Scrutiny Committee in November that it is unique in scrutiny committees in that we provide a legal check on health services - the only legal check - and that our remit is to take up issues of public concern. And we were flooded with emails of public concern.

I then went through the issues as I saw them.

When summing up, Cabinet member, Andrew Leadbetter, accused me of bringing a set of ‘pre-determined’ proposals to the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee.

This is a serious allegation and I immediately asked him to withdraw it. Leader, and Cabinet Chair, Cllr John Hart, backed me up and Cllr Leadbetter retracted his statement.

I had in fact prepared the proposals during the lunch-hour before the meeting. it is quite permissable (and very common) to conduct business in this way.

There was cross party support for the Health Scrutiny resolution with Cllrs Alan Connett, Brian Greenslade and Rob Hannaford also addressing Cabinet along similar lines.

Here is the Cabinet’s final resolution, which you can compare with my proposals which are set out in yesterday’s post below:

(a) that the original recommendations of the Cabinet (a - d), as outlined in Cabinet Minute *148 and reproduced below, be re-affirmed:

(i) that the key features of an emerging Devon Integrated Care System being a single Integrated Strategic Commissioner, a number of Local Care Partnerships, a Mental Health Care Partnership and shared NHS corporate services, be noted.

(ii) that the proposed arrangements in Devon as set out in paragraph 4 of the Report be endorsed, reporting to the Cabinet and Appointments and Remuneration Committee as necessary.

(iii) that the co-location of NHS and DCC staff within the Integrated Strategic Commissioner, subject to agreement of the business case, be approved; and

(iv) the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee be invited to include Integrated Care System governance in its work programme.

(b) And, in light of the Scrutiny Committees deliberations, Cabinet further RESOLVE

(i) that the Health and Wellbeing Board is reformed to lead new governance arrangements for the development of integrated strategic commissioning of health and social care; and

(ii) that there is continued proactive communication to the public using clear and consistent messaging and where appropriate there will be relevant involvement and engagement.

Here’s the webcast -…/po…/webcast_interactive/325467


1. At 06:21 pm on 12th Apr Jenny Shepherd wrote:

How can they overrule the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s decision? That implies that the OSC has no real powers of Overview - surely that can’t be the case?

2. At 10:14 am on 13th Apr Sue Matthews wrote:

I can only assume that the democratic process has failed at Devon CC and that by ignoring the HACOSC resolution, the centralised political mantra is more important than the needs and wishes of the public of Devon.
The role of HACOSC has been completely undermined by this decision.

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