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Sustainability and transformation cuts plan agreed to be an item on every health scrutiny agenda

Friday, 23 March 2018 0 Comments by Claire

It was agreed at yesterday’s Devon County Council Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee meeting that the programme of cuts and centralisation - the Sustainability and Transformation Plan, should be an item on every agenda, after I had requested we debate the issue.

I did ask for a report to be submitted from the NHS at yesterday’s meeting, on how they intend to achieve financial balance, as they had set out in their recent newsletter.

The last time the committee examined a report on this issue, it was September last year and plans were vague to say the least.

No report was provided. Apparently, a councillor, without the agreement of the committee, cannot unilaterally request a report from officers on any given issue.  This is frustrating and means a delay of a further eight weeks. However, NEW Devon CCG’s strategic director, Sonja Manton was present and gave a small amount of information.

Essentially, the NHS in Devon is looking at a £500m overspend by 2020 unless major cuts and centralisation of services take place. 

It is absolutely vital that the committee keeps a very close eye on what cuts are to be made and how this is affecting patients. We are their only ears and eyes on this.

When I made this proposal yesterday - that we receive a detailed report at each committee meeting.  Chair, Sara Randall Johnson appeared to be reluctant to introduce such a standing item, given all the other issues that needed to be examined.

I could not see her point of view at all. Surely, this is the most important issue facing Devon’s patients today?

Committee adviser, Anthony Farnsworth suggested that councillors have sight of the CCG’s own financial reports relating to the STP on a regular basis and this was a legitimate area of scrutiny. 

This was agreed.

Here’s the webcast -  https://devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/318671

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