Independents knock some sense into DCC Tories about health and NHS

Thank the Lord for independent Councillor Claire Wright and East Devon Alliance Independent Councillor Martin Shaw

Press Release:

“In a hour-long debate in yesterday’s meeting, the Council adopted proposals which Cllr Claire Wright and I, the two Independent members from East Devon, put forward, in place of the original recommendation by the Cabinet. The ruling Conservative group adopted (with a small addition) the wording of my amendment, which Claire seconded, which proposed to work with to influence NHS decisions ‘in the direction of retaining all community hospitals to be used as health and wellbeing centres for their areas’, in place of the original Cabinet recommendation to merely seek ‘decision making appropriate to individual circumstances, including population need and the quality of building.’

This is an important change in direction by the Council, which is now committed for the first time to work to retain ALL hospitals, as Claire (who proposed the original motion) had requested. The Conservative leader, Cllr John Hart, insisted on adding the words ‘where appropriate’ to my proposal, which we opposed because it provides the NHS with additional leeway to close hospitals. Cllr Hart’s addendum was too much for one Conservative Councillor, Jonathan Hawkins (Dartmouth), who voted with the opposition for my amendment without this addition, in the light of his community’s experience of the closure of Dartmouth Hospital.

The Devon Clinical Commissioning Groups could end this controversy with a clear policy statement that all remaining hospitals will stay open and will be supported as health and wellbeing centres for our communities. Until this happens, Claire and I, with the support of tens of thousands of people around Devon who are fighting for their local hospitals, will continue our campaign. On yesterday’s evidence, we are winning.”

Martin Shaw
Independent East Devon Alliance County Councillor for Seaton & Colyton”

Report that Randall-Johnson was with Swire and Minister of Health at Ottery St Mary

“If you thought Health Secretary Matt Hancock was a safe pair of hands for the NHS after Jeremy Hunt think again. Comedy antics ensued when the Hancock turned up at Ottery hospital. First he hid, then he hurried.

Matt may well have been doing a favour for a rich mate, East Devon money-bags MP Hugo Swire, but at what price, making him appear a hapless lacky to East Devon’s Tory elite.

Hugo by-passed the Department of Health to take Matt hospital surfing. They went to Budleigh Salterton Hospital, before popping into in Ottery.

East Devon Councillor and Devon County Council Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee Councillor Claire Wright was on hand, along with some residents, to ask the Health Secretary some questions.

Unfortunately, he was holed up solely with a number of East Devon Tories, including Sara Randall Johnson, chair of the Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee. East Devon MP, Mr Swire and his aides were also present.

Have a read of Claire’s account. It certainly seems weird, so does the behaviour of the communication people of the NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group.

‘Why was he so frightened about talking to a dozen residents, and the local county councillor?’ asks Claire.

‘I had been quite encouraged that he was visiting the hospital and wanted to hear from him that he will protect Ottery’s and other hospitals. After all, Mr Hancock commands the NHS and also NHS Property Services, which now owns many hospital buildings in the area.

‘They are all at risk of possible closure and sell-off due to the lack of funding available to pay the enormous rents NHS Property Services demands.

‘But his cowardly escape bid simply gave the impression of a man who does not wish to be even remotely accountable.’

But that’s not all. Here’s the response of an East Devon constituent, as posted by Channel 5 News Health Correspondent Catherine Jones (check out the picture).

[There follow many hilarious comments on Swire’s justification for his actions and a You Tube video of Hancock doing a karaoke version of “Can’t Stop Me Now]

The mysterious case of the missing speeding Health Secretary video!


ITV’s short clip of Matt Hancock, Health Secretary’s ministerial blue-lighted car travelling at speed through Ottery Hospital’s car park, was deleted yesterday afternoon, less than 24 hours after it was posted.
Given that the video, which was in the process of going viral, must have dismayed both Mr Swire and Mr Hancock, my suspicions are directed firmly at these two.

I will be interested to hear from the two politicians whether they played a role in removing the embarrassing footage.

The tweet in question from political correspondent, Nick Smith, also confirmed that Mr Hancock’s black jaguar, using its security alert blue lights, appeared to be fleeing the apparently terrifying prospect of talking to me and around a dozen peaceable looking residents….

Here’s the video of the ministerial car speeding away after trying to shake us off…

For more detail see……/why_has_itv_deleted_the_film…

Secretary of State for Health refuses to meet Claire Wright as he inspects closed Ottery Hospital

From Claire Wright’s Facebook page:


Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care sped out of Ottery Hospital car park, in his ministerial car, with blue lights flashing this morning, in an apparently desperate attempt to avoid speaking to me and around a dozen hospital supporters.

Just before he left in a hurry, officials asked me and around a dozen residents to leave the car park where we were peacefully waiting for him to exit. We didn’t have placards and there was no chanting.

For more see…

See coverage on ITV Westcountry at 6pm this evening”

“NHS meeting deemed ‘too political’ for South Devon and Torbay CCG”

From last month:

“If you’re one of those poor saps who just wants the NHS to keep on running and stay away from privatisation, you may be surprised to hear that this is all just a little bit too ‘political’ for the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group.

Commissioning Groups are ‘clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area’. They were set up by the Tories in cahoots with the Lib Dems, reneging on the promise of no reorganising of the NHS.

Meanwhile, Devon is seeing hospitals close, bed disappear and services stretched. (There may well be something like a Hospital-Air-B&B type of arrangment in the offing, too.)

The Torbay and South Devon Trades Council have arranged a meeting at The Acorn Centre on August 23rd from 6.30pm to 830pm on ‘NHS Health and Social Care Can it Survive as a Public Service’.

NHS… not for health professionals

After seeing the five-point agenda (see below, 1 is an introduction, 4 and 5 are questions) the Clinical Commissioning Group for Torbay and South Devon decided that the topics are for politicians and not for health professionals.

This is despite them being ‘clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area’.

Hey ho.”

Owl says: not to worry, it is too political for the DCC Health and Wellbeing Committee too, which rushes all CCG changes through at super-fast speed and on the nod from majority Tory block-voting councillors- too much politics obviously beeing too much for their (and our) pretty little heads.

Despite Independent Councillor Claire Wright and EDA Independent Councillor Martin Shaw really, really wanting a political (and ethical) debate.