West Cornwall HealthWatch warns councillors

West Cornwall HealthWatch warns councillors

West Cornwall HealthWatch warns councillors they risk “destroying the trust and support of residents” if they endorse Kennally Care

2nd February 2018

By Graham Smith

One of Cornwall’s longest-established and most highly regarded community campaign groups, West Cornwall HealthWatch, has launched a strong attack on Cornwall Council proposals to take over the National Health Service and set up an Accountable Care System.

WCHW, launched in 1997, has secured a reputation for well-researched critiques of NHS management and a calm, sober consideration of the various policy and organisational changes which have swept through the health service over the past 20 years.

The WCHW evidence submitted to Cornwall Council’s Health & Adult Social Care scrutiny committee, which meets on Monday to consider the Accountable Care proposals, warns councillors they “risk destroying the trust and support of residents” if they push ahead with the idea.

The two-page summary of WCHW analysis concludes that the ACS proposals are being rushed, and that councillors do not yet have the necessary information on which to reach a sensible judgement.  You can download and read the WCHW document here: WCHW

The WCHW evidence says the organisation “has serious concerns about the pace of the moves to set up an Integrated Strategic Commissioning body in Cornwall, believing that it would be appropriate to take more time to:

  1. Meaningfully consult with all key stakeholders, particularly the public of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and the health and social care workforces.
  2. Clarify how the STP/SOF, the Five Year Forward View and the ACS will fit together and define the organisational structures and measures appropriate to the STP/SOF.
  3. Wait for evidence and outcomes from the current pilots elsewhere in the country.
  4. Wait for guarantees regarding immediate and longer term funding, including funding to implement the ACS itself.
  5. Await further developments in the financial, regulatory and legislative or guidance systems for ACS.

Our immediate fear is that Cornwall Councillors, acting without sufficient information or time to reflect, will agree to impose a system which is not fit for the specific circumstances and priorities of Cornwall, and is not financially sustainable, and will thus destroy the trust and support of residents.”

Such is the public interest in Monday’s meeting that officials have agreed it should be webcast.  The scrutiny committee is nevertheless expected to divide largely on party political lines, with the Liberal Democrats and most Conservatives joining together to ensure that the council’s chief executive, Kate Kennally (above), becomes the overall Strategic Commissioner for healthcare on 1st April.

Ms Kennally’s enthusiasm for the Accountable Care project, which stems from her takeover of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan in November 2016, has led to the ACS being dubbed “Kennally Care.”

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