Lib Dem dismay at heartless Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group still not listening to families

May 29, 2018 9:17 AM
Originally published by Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats

Cllr Mark Watkin with concerned parents

Lib Dem spokesperson for Children's Services, County Councillor Mark Watkin has expressed his dismay at the decision to severly cut funding for the provision of an ongoing services at Nascot Lawn beyond October. This decision was taken without any review ot the current needs of the families.

He said, "During the meeting a number of the Board members expressed their sympathy for the plight of these children, yet when the moment came for them to support these words with action, they remained mute. It was shameful!"

They have been warned by the County Council's Health Scrutiny Committee that if they don't improve their engagement with parents, their decision will be referred to the Secretary of State." It looks like they have a long way to go."

The Board of the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group met recently and County Councillor Mark Watkin went to the meeting, accompanied by 10 of the parents. However, the Commissioning Group agreed the recommendation of its Finance Committee to cease their £600k funding of Nascot Lawn from November 2018. It would instead provide an annual £100k towards the provision of the remaining service.

However during the meeting the transition plans provided to the Board did not match the actual situation of the families. It became very apparent that there has been a failure to engage properly with families over their transition plans. In spite of this, the Board which is comprised of GPs, and lay people, unanimously accepted the Finance Committee's recommendations without a single person proposing any form of wording highlighting the need for improvement in the Group's engagement approach.

Lib Dem County Councillor for Tring added, "The changes to the NHS which the Conservatives introduced in 2013 have proved disastrous. The former Primary Care Trusts were NHS admin units with indicative budgets and a great deal of flexibility, which minimised most financial crises as they arose. The Conservatives replaced them with free-standing membership organisations called Clinical Commissioning Groups, and every GP practice with an NHS contract had to join one of other of these. They then split 80% of the NHS operating budget between 211 Commissioning Groups as fixed and inflexible budgets. The GPs - and yes, your GP too - are supposed to run these CCGs, but of course they have more than enough to do already and have to employ administrators to run them. The end result is a series of fixed and inflexible budgets run by anonymous administrators not really accountable to anyone and out of control."