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Agenda item

HEALTHCARE FOR THE FUTURE - WNE CUMBRIA

To consider a report by the Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

Members considered a report from the Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation which outlined, for consideration by the Committee, the decisions made by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS CCCG) Governing Body on ‘The Future of Health Care in West, North & East Cumbria’ proposals and as part of Stage 3 of the Committee’s Variation Protocol.

 

At its meeting of 24 February 2016 the Committee were advised that both the Success Regime and the NHS CCCG considered the expected proposals (referred to at the time as the Clinical Strategy) to be a substantial variation. Having consulted the chair of the variation sub-committee, the Committee agreed that they would be a substantial variation and agree to move to stage two of the protocol.  At that stage the detail of the proposals had not been announced.

 

The Cumbria Variation Protocol stated that where the parties agreed that a proposed variation was substantial the Committee would provide comments/recommendations to the NHS Organisation which would then consider the comments and go out to consultation formally with the relevant stakeholders in accordance with the relevant legislation.

 

The Committee received an update from the Success Regime/NHS CCCG on the development of the draft clinical Strategy at its 13 April 2016 meeting and again at its meeting of the 16 May 2016.  At these meetings the Committee had opportunity to make comments and recommendations about the proposals for public consultation, and consultation process itself.

 

The Committee requested:

 

  • additional public meetings, double the number of meetings originally proposed, including public meetings in all eight of the community hospital localities.
  • monthly briefing meetings for stakeholders to update them on consultation progress.
  • briefings for the County Council’s four local committees on consultation progress.

 

These were all accepted by the NHS CCCG and incorporated into the consultation plan

 

At the 16 May meeting the Committee agreed that:

 

  • the proposed extent of consultation activity is appropriate (incorporating the requests of the Committee);
  • no specific additional consultation activity should be considered;
  • That its comments and recommendations had been accepted by the NHS CCCG and that stage 2 of the variation protocol, with respect to consultation, had been discharged.

 

Stage 3 of the Variation Protocol stated that once the consultation had been completed the NHS Organisation would report the results of the consultation back to the Committee with its response and proposed next steps. If at this stage the Committee felt that the proposal would not be in the interests of the health service in its area, the Committee would then make a decision on whether or not to refer the matter to the Secretary of State.

 

The Senior Manager – Health and Care Integration explained to members that the circumstances for referral of a proposed substantial development or variation were laid out in legislation. That is, where a health scrutiny body had been consulted by a relevant NHS body or health service provider on a proposed substantial development or variation, it may report to the Secretary of State in writing if:

 

  • It is not satisfied with the adequacy of content of the consultation with the committee.
  • It is not satisfied that sufficient time has been allowed for consultation with the committee.
  • It considers that the proposal would not be in the interests of the health service in its area.
  • It has not been consulted, and it is not satisfied that the reasons given for not carrying out consultation are adequate.

 

He also explained that as set out there were four grounds for referring a proposed substantial variation to the Secretary of State. Three of these grounds (grounds 1, 2 and 4) related to consultation between the CCG and the Committee which were addressed at the Committee meetings on 13 April 2016, 16 May 2016 & 13 October 2016. 

 

As a consequence when considering whether or not to refer the substantial variation to the Secretary of State, the consideration for Members at this meeting was whether the proposal would not be in the interests of the health service in Cumbria.

 

The Chair explained that the Health Scrutiny Committee would be considering the CCG decision on paediatrics before the decision on maternity services due to the interdependencies between the two.

 

The Committee then considered each substantial variation in detail.

 

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