5th February 2018
By Graham Smith
A national campaign has ridiculed the Inquiry Panel report to be considered by Cornwall Council’s scrutiny committee today (Monday) ahead of the council’s takeover of the National Health Service.
The 999 Call for the NHS group, which is behind one of the Judicial Reviews trying to stop Accountable Care, describes the Inquiry Panel report as “negligent, vague,” and “entirely hollow and vacuous.”
The group’s critique compares the Inquiry Panel document with the much more rigorous NHS Kernow report, due to be considered by the Clinical Commissioning Group board tomorrow.
The NHS Kernow papers admit to concerns and risks, the lack of evidence supporting Accountable Care, and the need for great caution. The 999 Call response says: “So what about Scrutiny Committee concerns? Are there none? Has the Scrutiny Committee abandoned its duty to scrutinise – and instead assumed the task of propagandising?”
Cornwall Reports’s coverage of the Inquiry Panel hearings has previously drawn attention to the occasionally-farcial “evidence sessions”, particularly that which allowed the council’s chief executive Kate Kennally to speak for more than an hour, without pause, in support of her preferred option.
“Kate will have a full-on carpet-biting tantrum if we delayed the launch beyond 1st April.”
Cornwall Reports also suggested some questions for Inquiry Panel members – none was asked.
The “Option 6” identified by the Inquiry Panel as its preferred recommendation has become known as Kennally Care.
The 999 Call group, supported by London-based law firm Leigh Day, is now threatening to seek an injunction against Cornwall Council unless it “ceases and desists” its ambition to take over the NHS with effect from 1st April. The first of the Judicial Review hearings is scheduled for Leeds High Court on 24th April.
Several councillors believe it would be sensible to pause the creation of an Accountable Care System, but today’s Health & Adult Social Care scrutiny committee meeting is likely to vote on party political lines, albeit for different reasons.
One Liberal Democrat councillor told Cornwall Reports: “The Tories are for it because it makes it easier to privatise the NHS. Their motives are ideological. But so are ours. We think the font of all wisdom rests with parish councils. We think that whatever it is, locals know best and that we can run the health service better than the experts.
“When it comes to the NHS, I don’t think that’s true. I tried to raise this in (Liberal Democrat) group but Adam (Paynter, group leader) is in full zombie mode on this. There is no rational argument to shift him. Kate (Kennally) will have a full-on carpet-biting tantrum if we delayed the launch beyond 1st April.”
Cornwall Reports has asked the council to respond to the 999 Call criticisms, and threat of an injunction. The council has yet to respond.