Demand for democratic control in new Integrated Care System for NHS and social care dominates Devon County Council cabinet discussion

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A passionate demand by Labour Councillor, Hilary Ackland (below), for greater democratic control in the new Integrated Care System for health and social care made a major impact as Devon County Council’s Cabinet finally considered the proposals which Hilary Ackland.JPGthe Clinical Commissioning Groups have been developing since September.

Cllr Ackland said that a revamped Health and Wellbeing Board should be an Integrated Commissioning Board with decision-making powers in the new system, and proposed broader, cross-party representation.

I agreed that ‘democratic control is not an optional extra’, and said that governance proposals should be discussed before the Council approved the system. Replying, the opportunity for greater democratic input into the local NHS was emphasised by Chief Executive, Phil Norrey. Conservative Cabinet member, Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, had proposed a paper which agreed that governance issues needed to be addressed but made no specific proposals. The issue will now go to Health Scrutiny, hopefully on 22nd March.

In my speech, I welcomed the CCGs’ retreat from the idea of an Accountable Care Organisation, for which I said the judicial review joined by Stephen Hawking, as well as the hung parliament and local campaigners’ pressure, should take the credit.

  • I also drew attention to uncertainty about how the financial organisation of the new system will impact on chronic failures of patient care.
  • I warned that attempts to equalise funding between areas of the county could lead to even sharper cuts in Eastern Devon.
  • I pointed out that the CCGs, even after 6 months, had failed to produce a single paper describing the Local Care Partnerships which are a key element of the system.
  • The paper called for ‘public engagement’ – but there has been none, and even councillors do not understand the proposals.

I called for a delay in decisions until fuller information on all these points, as well as governance, was available. But the Cabinet unanimously adopted the proposals as they stood – the issues will go to Scrutiny before coming to full Council.

The debate is at 1.44, resumed at 2.22, in the webcast.

3 thoughts on “Demand for democratic control in new Integrated Care System for NHS and social care dominates Devon County Council cabinet discussion

    Paul F said:
    March 14, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    On behalf of the CCG I would like to thank Cllr Leadbetter (once again) for allowing CCG plans not to be delayed by trivia like detail or transparency or scrutiny. These things are not helpful to a CCG which needs to make progress at any cost (cost, in this case, being the misery and possibly death caused by a failure to provide health and social care services to people who need them).

    As usual Cllr Leadbetter is blind to the track record of the CCG, who promised they would not cut community beds until Care at Home was completely ready and resourced, but did so with indecent haste and when they quite plainly did not have the care staff to treat and care for people in their homes. The so called “Hospital at Home” turned out to be more “Out of sight, out of mind”, “Care at Home” more like “Who cares about home care”. Cllr Leadbetter’s attitude perfectly mirrors the CCG Leadership – more concerned about their own pay packets and saving money than the consequences on real people.

    Conservatives – saving money at any cost, turning incompetence into a virtue.


    […] meeting in January), and challenges to the Conservatives’ attempts to push them through at DCC’s Cabinet 10 days ago, this Thursday’s Health Scrutiny called for a slow-down in the rush to implement a major […]


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