“False, flawed and fraudulent” says “Save Our Hospital Services” of NHS plans for Devon


The ‘Success Regime’/STP Team in Devon

“Save Our Hospital Services Devon (SOHS Devon) is today calling for the abolition of NHS England’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Wider Devon and the suspension of the so-called Success Regime for North, East and West Devon that is now an integral part.

“These two programmes are false, flawed and fraudulent,” says Dave Clinch, a spokesperson for SOHS in North Devon. “They are riddled with public-private, professional-personal conflicts of interest.”

SOHS Devon points out that the Case for Change document on which both the Success Regime and the STP are based was produced by a private-owned health service consultancy, Carnall Farrar. One of the consultancy’s founding partners, Dame Ruth Carnall, is now the ‘Independent’ Chair of the Success Regime pushing through the STP in Devon.

“SOHS Devon believes that there is a pre-determined agenda in Devon to cut services, limit access and reduce demand by redefining medical need to ensure that government cuts are carried out. How can Ms Carnall, who produced the blueprint for the STP, be considered remotely independent in assessing our needs or services to meet them?” asks Mr Clinch.

SOHS Devon points out that to push their agenda for cuts to NHS services and staff, the Success Regime/STP team will have been allocated £7.4 million between 2015 and 2017. Some of this funding has been used to recruit senior staff from those same services they plan to cut; for example, Andy Robinson, who left his role as Director of Finance at the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust to join the Success Regime in Exeter. What is more, Mr Robinson happens to be the partner of the Chief Executive of the Trust, Alison Diamond.

“Professional or personal? How can this relationship avoid directly impacting on the life-and-death decisions now being made?” says Mr Clinch.

Meanwhile, the proposed relocation to Exeter of acute services based at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) is being overseen by the Success Regime’s Lead Chief Executive Angela Pedder, the former CEO of the Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation Trust.

“How can she be considered unbiased given her former role?” says Mr Clinch. It’s no coincidence that RD&E needs to cover a much bigger deficit than NDDH in Barnstaple.”

On top of this, the two leads on the STP’s Acute Services Review programme are both from hospitals in South Devon, namely Derriford in Plymouth and Torbay in Torquay. SOHS Devon can find no evidence that they are talking to the clinicians working in acute services at NDDH. And the fact is, if the proposed acute services cuts go ahead, people here in North Devon will suffer and die”.