DCC Health and Social Care “Scrutiny” – Claire Wright continues her battle

“Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee meeting: A PACKED AGENDA….

I asked for several items, including the future of our community hospitals, the plight of local carers, the local NHS deficit and what is being done to reduce it.

Also, on the agenda is how the local NHS coped with winter pressures (something I have asked for, for months and even resorted to a Freedom Of Information request on – it was refused, I have issued a formal complaint)……..

I have been really disappointed in recent months and years at what I see as a systemic lack of accountability in the NHS. As a Health Scrutiny Committee member, I would expect to get straight answers to straight questions at meetings, but unfortunately this rarely happens, which is why I was forced to submit a Freedom of Information request about a basic set of data tables relating to winter pressures.

I will not hesitate to do this again.

The report on carers starts on page 55 of the link below. This came about after I read a detailed survey and saw that local people who are caring for loved ones may not feel very supported.

I subsequently had a meeting with senior officers and saw the raw (anonymised) data from local focus groups. It was disturbing and it appeared to me that many local carers are having a really hard time managing, because of the government’s austerity agenda. I asked for the report to be referred to the Health Scrutiny Committee, but was told this wasn’t possible as consent had not been given by the participants of the focus group.

A version of the report has been submitted instead. I am pleased that a number of measures have been put in place by officers to try and improve matters, however, I have already told senior officers that leaving out the comments has meant that the voice of carers has been lost, in my view.

I believe that there should have been an attempt to secure retrospective consent for the publication of the report, as without a proper voice, the government will simply carry on ignoring carers’ plight – and they deserve better.

If you want to read the reports – and if you care about our NHS I would urge you to! The link is here
http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx

Members of the public are permitted to address the committee in the 15 minute slot at the beginning of the meeting, but need to register four days ahead to do so. Email Gerry.rufolo@devon.gov.uk

The meeting starts at 2.15pm on Thursday 7 June. It will be webcast from this link:

https://devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

and archived afterwards.

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