NHS Cornwall – Write to your Cornwall Councillor – Model email/letter:
I am writing to you to protest in the strongest possible terms about the recent decision of Cornwall Council to allow just six councillors to decide something that could potentially see the end of the NHS in Cornwall as we know it.
It seems a Cornwall Council committee has been created which aims to begin setting up so called Accountable Care Systems (ACOs) on 7th February 2018!
I would draw your attention to the fact that ACS are facing a judicial review being brought about by a group of professional medical experts and senior NHS staff. This action is being taken because Jeremy Hunt and Simon Stevens the Chief Executive Officer have taken it upon themselves to commence implementation of this massive structural change and NHS reorganisation without any parliamentary scrutiny or oversight. It is therefore outrageous that Cornwall Council intends embarking on this reckless endeavour before proper democratic processes have been completed.
ACS also known as Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) are new commercial, non-NHS bodies which will run health and social services without proper public consultation and without full Parliamentary scrutiny. They will be governed by company and contract law and can be given “full responsibility” for NHS and adult social services.
ACOs are an idea imported from the United States, where they were first implemented about 12 years ago. They are not recognised in any Act of Parliament in the UK. If implemented as planned, they will have the power to make decisions on what care is free and what has to be paid for, yet they can include non-democratically-accountable private companies (eg Virgin in Frimley, Circle in Nottinghamshire) and private insurance and property companies, which will make money from the contracts.
GP practices are also likely to be caught up in this structural re-organisation, in which case people on GP lists will automatically transfer to the ACO in order to be entitled to services – new patients will also have to register with these non-NHS ACOs.
Furthermore, private contractors will be allowed to further sub-contract all “their” services, making accountability even more opaque.
This whole project is a wild gung-ho folly and is against the Public Interest, Cornwall Council should have absolutely nothing to do with it, especially at this stage when the whole ACO project is facing challenges in the courts.
I strongly urge you as my local councillor (I live in your ward) to do all you can to oppose these plans which Cornwall Council intend to initiate on the 7th Feb 2018.
I look forward to your confirmation that you will take action in this respect.
With thanks to Dawn Evans – St Ives CLP.