The Chairman of the North Devon Council Scrutiny Committee Lib Dem Brian Greenslade told colleagues at last week’s meeting that he was still worried at the safety of acute health services at the NDDH following questions he had posed at the DCC Health Scrutiny Meeting at County Hall on 13th September. Exchanges can be seen on the DCC webcast site.
He said “that at the Health Scrutiny Committee I questioned the CCG representative about how they were going to reconcile the recent commitment to keep A & E, maternity and stroke services functioning at the NDDH while they were being pressed by the NHS to cut spending on services.
Barnstaple County Councillor Brian Greenslade and a member of the Devon Health Scrutiny Committee, has welcomed the acute service review statement which headlines that acute services like A & E , Maternity and Stroke will continue at NDDH.
He said “this is a tremendous reward for all the campaigning done by the community over the implied threat to these key acute services. In particular thanks to the umbrella organisation SOHS. I have used my position as a member of the Devon Health Scrutiny Committee to fight the corner as well as writing to the Prime Minister, Health Secretary and Chief Executive of NHS England about our concerns. It appears from the headline it's so far so good.
County Councillor Brian Greenslade wrote to NHS England asking for a breakdown of the £2.7m spent on the Devon “Success Regime” project in just 6 months. After sometime he received a reply from a Mr Mark Cooke on behalf of NHS England refusing to give the information and suggesting that Cllr Greenslade make a FOI request to the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for information.
Brian Greenslade said “this is just obstruction by the NHS because I suspect they would be embarrassed by giving information about where this £2.7m was spent. I shall be raising this contempt of the democratic system at the next Health Scrutiny Meeting. How glad I am that I got a place on the Devon County Council Health Scrutiny Committee which gives me a platform to contest the wholly unnecessary, expensive, wasteful sustainability and transformation plan (STP) process for Devon!”.
From County Councillor Brian Greenslade to Theresa May:
Dear Prime Minister,
I write with reference to your oral reply re the North Devon District Hospital to a question from your colleague Peter Heaton Jones on February 1st. Specifically your comments "I know that the input of local communities will remain crucial throughout the process, and I can assure him that of course it is this party in government that is putting the extra funding into the NHS and show how we value it.". I cannot find any evidence that the North Devon MP disputed any of this by means of a supplementary question but I certainly dispute what you say.
I must put to you how can the public have confidence in a process where Mr Mark Cooke from NHS England has written to me and accepted that the driver for the Success Regime/STP process is the need for the NHS to make cuts to close the financial gap of £22bn. How can the Devon community have faith in a process when current NHS funding delivers £226m extra funding to Cumbria, a very similar community to Devon. Had Devon received a similar level of funding per head of population then the claimed deficit facing Devon of some £400m to £500m would not be an issue.
On 29th January, Lib Dem Devon County Councillor Brian Greenslade, sent the following email:
To. All Devon Conservative MP's
By e mail
Possibly you are aware that at our DCC December County Council meeting, on an all-party basis, members supported my motion calling for a halt to the NHS Success Regime/STP process. Explanation please see below. At a meeting of the DCC Health Scrutiny Committee in January members, on an all-party basis, reconfirmed their support for a halt to this process by supporting the resolution I put to this meeting.
We call for a halt to this work because there is a need to firstly look at NHS funding for New Devon. Cumbria is a very similar area to our county. Yet NHS funding tables show they receive £226m more funding than Devon does. I have put this to senior NHS Managers asking for an explanation. The NHS have not disputed my figures neither have they offered an explanation why Cumbria does so much better than Devon does.
Devon County Councillor Brian Greenstreet explains how Devon County Council are resisting the Sustainability & Transformation Process as currently proceeding in the county.
Further to Mark Cooke's letter stating he sees "Devon County Council as a full partner in the STP process", Cllr Greenslade replies as follows:
Further to County Councillor Brian Greenslade's email of 23rd January, Mark Cooke, Director of Commissioning Operations
NHS England South, South West, replied:
Read a further report on the mounting cost of the Devon health service review in the North Devon Gazette.
Brian Greenslade replies to Director of Commissioning Operations, NHS England SW insisting that until a fairer funding model for Devon is in operation, any attempt to determine what and where cost reduction is needed is a waste of time.