Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Health Scrutiny

One of the issues currently being discussed at County Hall is the make-up of committees for 17/18.

There will be a lot of negotiation before this can be sorted out but it is critical for the work of the County Council

The Health Scrutiny committee is very important for the NHS in Cumbria because it has the power to "call in" major decisions and send them to the Secretary of State.

The rather unfortunate outcome of the meeting to discuss call in of the "Success regime" consultation and decisions (and that is putting it very politely) shows the need for this committee to champion the interests of patients and staff in Cumbria. Initially Maternity, Children's Services and Community Hospital beds were called in but then after a recess during which some councillors, thinking the issue was determined, went home, the vote was taken again and the Children's Services and Community Hospital decisions reversed.

We cannot allow that sort of thing to happen again - issues of health in Cumbria are too important.

How much of the NHS has actually been "privatised"?

There is a lot of debate at the moment about to what extent the NHS has been or might be  "privatised" and by which parties.

There is an excellent fact check on the subject here by Full Facts entitled

"How much more is the NHS spending on Private Providers?"

Among the conclusions

1) The total amount of NHS spending outsourced to private providers has risen slightly over the last decade or so but is still less than 8%.

2) The rate of rise has been similar in the last years of the Labour government, to that under the coalition and majority Conservative governments, and

3) If you take 2010/11 as being the responsibility of the Labour government, the rise was slightly faster in the latter years of that government than subsequently.