Joan Stewart, Oxfordshire KONP, Speaks to Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee about CCG Response to HOSC Concerns, 6 April 2017

Address to HOSC 6 April 2017 – on item 10

Phase 1 consultation: Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (OCCG) response to the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC’s) concerns

  • Thank you Chair. Your report (item 10) includes OCCG’s response to the serious and justifiable concerns the committee has about the lack of clarity, detail and vison in the phase 1 proposals. OCCG’s failure to clear up the ambiguities and to clearly make the case for change has led to confusion, uncertainty and even greater suspicion about the erosion of services, especially in the north of the county.
  • OCCG’s response, disappointingly, again falls short of expectations – evidenced by the evasive, derelict and high-handed way OCCG have dealt with your challenge.
  • You would have thought that OCCG would have used their formal response to allay genuine fears. But their case for splitting the consultation in the way they did, is flawed. Their arguments for the proposals are weak and don’t hold up to scrutiny, even after a second attempt to convince you and us that they have dealt with our concerns.
  • They have hoped to silence you by implicating you in the decision to split the consultation, saying you agreed with them, despite the lack of critical detail available to you and the public – then and now;
  • They have ignored your genuine concerns about the knock-on effects of phase 1 decisions on phase 2 – with their obvious interdependencies, especially in the north of the county – and with 146 acute bed losses all too real but with proposals for the shift to the community unavailable until phase 2;
  • Their response to your concern about how inequalities will be tackled was one of the feeblest in their whole letter: in essence – wait and see!

The list goes on:

  • They have attempted to shift responsibility to OUHT for access and car park issues, and have ducked accountability for the elephant in the room – investment in the Horton – which they’ve dumped on OUHT too (the buck doesn’t appear to stop with them!);
  • They have sidestepped the whole question of whether the proposals are workable and sustainable, given the available financial resources and limited workforce capacity. And so on and so on…[more detail can be found in the paper we circulated to members]
  • Of course, you can draw your own conclusion about OCCG’s intentions in responding to you in the way they have, and why they would want another meeting. But if once again you are left with more doubts about these proposals than reassurance, then OCCG has clearly failed to make their case, and your way forward is clear: REFER to Secretary of State for Health!

Joan Stewart, Oxfordshire Keep Our NHS Public, 6 April 2017

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