“I am the County Councillor who first put the ICS (Integrated Care System) on the Council’s agenda, at the last Health Scrutiny in late January. This is what has led to the item at today’s meeting. Then, the CCGs and the Council’s leadership had failed to bring the proposals to Council - although they had been agreed since September. They did not want debate on the proposals in the Council – still less for the public to know what is planned.
I shall be telling Health Scrutiny [Committee, meeting today] that even now, despite having 6 months to produce proper information, they still haven’t revealed some of the most worrying aspects of the ICS:
funding of services in the new system, how contracts will work, and whether these will lead to privatisation
details of the proposed Local Care Partnerships for N, S, E & W Devon and for Mental Health which are key to the system, and how they will be funded/contracted
the governance of the system – as things stand, Devon County Council could be handing over control of its social care services to unelected quangos (the CCGs)
plans for public engagement – the Cabinet paper says this is necessary but there are no proposals.
However, we do know there will be equalisation of funding between Eastern and Western Devon. Because the CCGs say Western Devon is relatively underfunded, this means deeper cuts in Eastern Devon – probably including closures of community hospitals. Scrutiny should reject this ‘equality of misery’.
On governance, I support the proposals of Cllr Hilary Ackland that if integrated commissioning in the ICS is to go ahead, a reformed Health and Wellbeing Board with proper all-party representation should become the integrated commissioning board. Democratic control is not an optional extra.
Devon County Council cannot support these proposals as they stand. Without full answers to our questions, Health Scrutiny should call in the plans.
I should be happy to talk to (journalists) today. I shall be with the Save Our Hospital protestors outside County Hall between 12.30 and 1 or you can phone me on 07972 760254.
Independent East Devon Alliance County Councillor for Seaton & Colyton”