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Protest to kick off on Thursday over Devon’s looming shady accountable care system

Monday, 19 March 2018 1 Comment by Claire

Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) Devon demonstrate their opposition to Devon County Council who are determined to quietly force through NHS England’s Integrated Care System (ICS) plans without Parliamentary Scrutiny, despite two judicial reviews and the neighbouring local council in Cornwall who have rejected the NHS England’s alternative to the unpopular Accountable
Care Systems and Accountable Care Organisations(ACOs) which were seen by health service campaigners as a further budgetary restriction on provision of a consistent level of access to all health service across Devon leading to a post code lottery on patient access to urgently needed medical operations.

The demonstration is scheduled for 12.00 midday at County Hall, Exeter

SOHS Devon are calling for these ICS plans to be fully scrutinised to ensure that the Healthcare of the County is not put into further crisis as seen to reach a peak particularly in A&E in recent weeks.

In an extraordinary move, DCC Health & Adult Care Scrutiny Committee has been forced to allow an urgent item on the agenda about the subject at 2.00pm on Thursday 22nd March at County Hall, Exeter, after a challenge by Councillors to a DCC Cabinet decision to allow the introduction of ICS without any consultation or scrutiny.

SOHS Devon are concerned that the Scrutiny Committee were not aware of the plan to introduce Integrated Care Systems across Devon and have raised 12 questions in a letter to Dr Tim Burke, Chair of the NEW Clinical Commissioning Group and SOHS campaigners will address the Committee at 2.00pm on Thursday raising these same questions which cover governance, accountability, and seek clarity as to how the NHS principle of providing a comprehensive health service for everyone who needs it, free at the point of need, is going to survive
when merged into this cash-strapped, means tested, largely privatised system.

All Devon residents are invited to join under the SOHS banner to demand answers to questions that will impact on everyone’s healthcare in the future.

North Devon campaigners are arranging a coach to join the protest while South, East and mid Devon campaigners are expected to join the protest at 12.00 outside.

Presentations will be made to the Clinical Commissioning Group meeting at 1.00pm and to the DCC Health & Adult Care Scrutiny Committee at 2.00pm as both meetings are being held at County Hall on Thursday.


1. At 10:44 am on 24th Mar Chris Wakefield wrote:

Watched the webcast of this meeting.

Several things to note. First Sarah Randall-Johnson’s chairing skills quickly found their limits again - she seemed to think her job was controller and enforcer of rules rather than managing a dynamic political activity. Maybe the democratic watchdog person in attendance frightened her a bit, but for heaven’s sake, the public participation was not well served by her calling time on the speakers. They all had their papers - they all knew about the three minutes, so why not give them five? The heat of the issue required it, and it would have done no harm to democracy. So null point again for the chair.

Also curious was the CCGs ‘internal’ consultation about the merger of two CCGs into one. This we might be tempted to welcome - a merger and attendant efficiency saving by reduction of costs no doubt - to eradicate duplication of effort and so on. The results of the consultation were confidential although we did learn a little about the new structure, which has increased to include a new member of staff appointed to oversee the merger. So not much in the way of efficiency savings there, and since we learn (2015) that 56% of senior CCG officers are paid more than NHS recommendations, this might be viewed as contrary to the universal spirit of austerity.

You have to pinch yourself to remember that local CCGs are funded by the taxpayer, but that they are not properly accountable to any locally elected body. Scrutiny Committee is invited to applaud their efforts occasionally, but as councilor Acland pointed out, CCGs do as they please, then present a series of ready-made policies that are not accessible to local democratic oversight. ACOs under any pseudonym will tip us over a cliff edge into unaccountable health services. It has to be stopped before local powers to make a change slips out of public hands altogether.

Good contributions from the public speakers and several councillors attempting to halt the NHS-busting juggernaut, and one rather pointless spoiling amendment to Claire’s proposal from Cllr Crabbe. Well done SOH, and all those doing their best to save the crown jewels of post war public policy.

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