Dr Kelly emphasised the value of consultation for the future of the NHS In his letter but at the North Kirklees Commissioning Group Meeting (NKCCG) he only paid lip service to this principle by the general responses made to either written or direct questions.
The NKCCG must have robust data concerning existing NHS provisions in order to make a considered judgement that private contracts provide value for money. I asked “Have the NKCCG got forensic (not general) data identifying the true costs of any NHS provision?” A “yes” or “no” answer was required instead Steve Brennan (Chief Financial Officer) waffled at length to say that the NKCCG were required to ensure both quality and cost benefits for
subcontracted services. Dr Kelly effectively stifled the opportunity for any challenge to this inadequate answer.
I asked how will multiple private companies ensure that records of their various treatments and existing NHS records be integrated to provide an overall record of a patients treatment? This question was dismissed by the statement “this issue is being dealt with nationally and is not within the CCG’s remit”!
A written question was raised about Jeremy Hunt significantly changing the assurances given by David Cameron and Andrew Lansley during the NHS Bill passing through Parliament. They confirmed that local CCGs would have the responsibility to decide which services would be contracted out.
Jeremy Hunt’s secondary legislation contradicts this basic principle and removes this right from local CCGs and requires them to open up all of the NHS to privatisation by the back door. This question seemed to fall on deaf ears.
The GPs involved in the NKCCG should take heed of the coalition’s present mantra to denigrate the NHS in any way possible. When things go wrong in the future local GPs and the NKCCG will be in the ‘coconut shy’ blamed for any failures with the government standing back saying “not us Guv”.
Every reader should be very worried about this back-door privatisation of our NHS and should support the petitions currently being run on the 38degrees website; 38degrees.org.uk.