We are a number of South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw health campaigners and groups that ‘work together’ to protect our local NHS services.
So far this includes:
- Barnsley Save Our NHS – BSONHS Facebook page
- Parents Against Cuts to Bassetlaw Children’s Ward
- Doncaster & Bassetlaw Keep Our NHS Public
- Sheffield Save Our NHS – SSONHS Facebook page & website
- Rotherham Save Our NHS – RSONHS Facebook page
- And many individual members from each of the five places in SYBACS area
To contact the Doncaster or Bassetlaw campaign please send a message via this website’s contact page and we will put you in touch.
We are concerned that the way our services are delivered is changing:
- In secret without involving us (which is a legal duty)
- At a great rush without knowing all the facts, such as how much it will cost
- Without considering any potential risks, or inequalities
- By a group of people who answer to no-one
Our recent post: why-do-we-need-to-defend-our-nhs/. explains what happened in 2016 and 2017 to make us start working together in ‘fighting to protect our NHS’ in SY & B.
But here is a brief explanation of what is happening now and why you may wish to join us:
The South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (SYBICS)
Who now call themselves ‘Health and Care Working Together’ – is already changing our health and care services as they planned in the STP (sustainability and transformation plan) that they wrote in 2016.
They told us then that services had to change as there is a shortage of staff and money.
But they had been told to find £571 million ‘efficiency’ savings in our STP area of South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw – out of the money allocated for the NHS and care services we need.
But later they told us that some of their planned changes, now decided, will cost more than the services they replace!
The SYBICS Collaborative Partnership Board (CPB)
Is where they have made all the plans so far, and where they plan what they will do next. It publishes it’s minutes – usually a couple of months after the meeting – but not the reports and proposal papers that give the detail they discuss.
Top-level decision making bodies – above the CPB
There are higher up – but fully secret – decision making bodies over and above the Collaboration Partnership Board. These meet behind closed doors and do not publish any of their agendas, minutes, or the reports they may discuss. Our Councils are only involved in vision and strategies – not in the decisions about service delivery, who provides the service, how and where.
The whole thing is run by SYBICS managers working at the Sheffield CCG offices. They are not accountable to the public in any way – but they write all the plans and policies that decide:
- how, and where, our local services will be delivered to us and
- how our SY & Bassetlaw allocated NHS money will be spent
The SYBICS was formed in 2016 – but there is no public accountability – at all.
All other NHS bodies have, by law, to:
- Write Annual Reports and present these at an annual meeting held in public
- Meet formal targets and are formally regulated
- Their formal assurance assessments are put on public record
But, even though the SYBICS has existed since April 2016 – in a committee format:
- It has no legal status – no legal powers or legal duties
- It has not held an Annual General Meeting in 2 and a quarter years
- It has not written an Annual Report nor presented one to the public
- No-one regulates or assesses the ICS
- It only has one target to meet – to spend £571 million less on services by 2021
- They don’t report their progress on achieving this target – anywhere.
The SYBICS, and its managers, are accountable to no-one!
It is not at all clear any more who is responsible if their altered services go wrong!
IN FACT IT’S A BIT OF A MESS!
As one of our activists in Sheffield said last year – before the re-branding from ‘Accountable’ to ‘Integrated’:
“ACSs are not accountable, don’t care, and are selling off our NHS, but they are the model being fast-tracked in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.
What do Accountable Care Systems really mean?
All the experts agree that our NHS is underfunded. It needn’t be, though. Austerity is a political choice, not a necessity. It is about destroying the welfare state, for the benefit of the few, not the many. Recent governments found the money to go to war, bail out banks and pay off their political allies, but they won’t spend on things that keep people healthy and happy: decent housing, jobs, schools, environment, transport and so on. Austerity creates homelessness, poverty, unemployment and other stresses that make many people ill in the first place.
Meanwhile, we are told that the ageing population is the main problem for our NHS, when the truth is that the real pressures include lack of attention to disease prevention and primary care; plus high cost technology, with pressures from manufacturers and patient expectations.
NHS funding is not keeping pace with what the population needs.
COST-CUTTING, CLOSURES and CHARGES
Funding per head, already below other European countries, is set to fall. It means closures of many services already in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, such as Barnsley Emergency Stroke Service in 2016 and similar services in Bassetlaw and Rotherham closing soon. Services closed at night or weekends include Bassetlaw Children’s ward and children’s surgery.
The on-going Hospital Services Review will mean more closures soon. Some items are no longer available on prescription for many people, such as paracetamol and gluten-free foods: the thin end of a very fat wedge, no doubt.
All this is hitting the neediest hardest, as usual.
SECRECY, SPIN and SELL-OFFS
Key decisions are being made behind closed doors.
- There is no adequate public involvement.
- Consultations are a sham – they just tell us what they have decided already.
- Elected Councillors are sidelined in all this, excluded from key decisions.
- Their spin is full of buzzwords, like sustainability and working together. Don’t be taken in!
- NHS buildings are to be sold off, as recommended by the Naylor Report.
You could say they’re making a service fit for vultures to make a profit from.”