Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

Comments on "Protest to kick off on Thursday over Devon's looming shady accountable care system"

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.