Assurances were thick as fog

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The joint CCG board meeting in public, to vote on the Meeting the Challenge Proposals, on Thursday afternoon was as slick as a stage show, with only Mike Wood MP, able to introduce a note of reality into the proceedings. (They would discuss that later.)

I was reminded of the mid 1980s when I bought a house and was assured by my mortgage broker that the endowment mortgage I was recommended to buy, would pay off the mortgage and at the end of 25 years, I would have money, as a ‘bit of savings’ as well! At the meeting, there were assurances flying round as thick as fog.

Yes, the Wakefield CCG would accept the need to identify exactly, the particular requirements of the types of Kirklees residents, which are different in nature from those of Wakefield, name them and address them.

Yes, the ‘Care in the Community’ services would all be in place by the time the proposals were implemented.

Yes, the transport issues had been looked at and money would be set aside to improve the shuttlebus service between the hospitals. Yes, improved transport home on discharge, for those brought by ambulance would be factored into the costs, involving Metrocards at night, staff training to deliver knowledge about transport routes etc.

Yes, MYHT would have more money to do these things from savings made by putting the extra 50 beds needed into offices (and having the office staff locate elsewhere) in the PFI Pinderfields building, so not needing a £21m extension.

Yes, yes, yes. The show of hands on the Wakefield side was unanimous. The vote on the Kirklees side was not. Someone, somewhere in Kirklees, has seen the assurances, for the smokescreen that they are. At the end of 25 years I had to find £9,000 to pay off my mortgage.

It is incumbent on every one of Kirklees residents to collect evidence of departures from the rosy picture the assurances were meant to provide, as soon as possible. North Kirklees CCG will need to know, so that they avoid a shortfall, not in pounds, but in life.

CHRISTINE HYDE

Scarr End Lane

Dewsbury