We are a number of South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw campaign groups that have started to ‘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 – PACtBCW Facebook Page
- Doncaster & Bassetlaw Keep Our NHS Public – KONP-D&B Facebook Page
- 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
Here is a brief explanation of why we are working together – but more detail of what is happening and why we are ‘fighting to protect our NHS’ in SYB is in our recent post: why-do-we-need-to-defend-our-nhs/.
The South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Accountable Care System (SYBACS) – who now call themselves ‘Health and Care Working Together’ – is already starting to change our health and care services as they planned in the STP (sustainability and transformation plan) that they wrote last year.
They told us the services had to change as there is a shortage of staff and of money.
But they have been told they have to find £571 million ‘efficiency’ savings in our STP area of South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw – out of the money allocated for the NHS services we need.
But they have told us that planned changes, now decided, cost more than the services they will replace.
The Collaborative Partnership Board, that has made all the plans so far, is where they plan what they will do next.
The attendance list at this Board meeting includes a number of people round the table that are staff appointed to work for the Acute Care Vanguard and/or for the ACS. There are now three times as many people at this Board from these new ‘system’ staff (October 2016) than there were in April 2016.
Another five people attend now representing National NHS bodies (NHS England, Health Education England and Public Health England)!
So more than a quarter (15 out of 56, or 1 in 4) sat round the table at this Collaborative Partnership Board table are NOT local commissioners or providers, who are the PARTNERS responsible for our local health and care services.
These vanguard and ACS are all at senior level and their wages and expenses will be management costs that will NOT be cheap and are EXTRA costs – and these costs have to be found – as well as the £571 million ‘efficiency’ savings!
Two of the seven hospitals that planned which services needed to be changed, (in the ‘Working Together Acute Care Vanguard) are not in the area covered by SYBACS but both of these seem to have been given a seat around the SYBACS decision-making table to discuss:
- how, and where, our local services will be delivered to us and
- how our SY & Bassetlaw allocated NHS money will be spent
But – the five local councils of Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, who deliver social care and public health servicers, don’t have seats around the final decision making table – that is ONLY NHS bodies.
AND – it is also not at all clear any more who is responsible if any of these resdesigned services go wrong!
Accountable in name only!
IN FACT IT’S A MESS!
As one of our activists in Sheffield says:
“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.”