“DCC cabinet decides tomorrow if to back Health Scrutiny resolution over controversial health plans”

Claire Wright’s blog, as she ploughs (with EDA DCC Councillor Martin Shaw) the lonely furrow of integrity and common sense – both sadly lacking in the DCC Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee:

“Devon County Council’s cabinet will decide tomorrow whether to back the Health and Adult Scrutiny Committee’s resolution on deferring the implementation of the controversial Integrated Care System, which many local people have huge concerns over.

At the last Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee on 22 March, I proposed the following which was supported by the majority of the committee.

An additional line on a public engagement, was voted down by Conservative councillors:

Here’s what the cabinet will be considering. If it supports the resolution, it will be implemented with immediate effect…..

I will be speaking in support of the resolution tomorrow…… If you are keen to know the outcome or hear the discussion, the meeting is webcast live here – https://devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

(a) record the Committee’s concerns over the emerging Devon Integrated Care System being a single Integrated Strategic Commissioner, a number of Local Care Partnerships, Mental Health Care Partnership and shared NHS corporate services;

(b) defer the implementation of the Integrated Care System process until assurances are provided on governance, funding, the future of social care from a democratic perspective;

(c) recommend Councillor Ackland’s paper and proposals on the reformation of the Health and Wellbeing Board as a sound democratic way forward to provide the necessary governance on a new integrated system;

(d) give assurance that the proposals will not lead to deeper cuts in any part of Devon as a result of the ‘equalisation of funding’; and

(e) provide a copy of the business plan being developed and a summary of views from staff consultations.

For more background on Integrated Care Systems see my blog
post –


“Social” “Care”

Just watch this – being seen at an Age UK reception for MPs tonight and see just why our independent councillors are so important to us – all that stands between us and EDDC and DCC Tory councillors who deliberately bury their heads in the sand:


“WHY WE CANNOT ACCEPT THE INTEGRATED CARE SYSTEM, by the Councillor who first exposed the CCGs’ plans”


“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.

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

Seaton and Area Health Matters meeting, Friday 23 March 9 am1 pm – registration required

From the blog of DCC East Devon Alliance councillor Martin Shaw:

“A reminder to all involved in local community groups, especially those with an interest in health and wellbeing in the broadest senses, that Seaton and Area Health Matters will convene in the Town Hall on Friday 23rd March, 9 for 9.30 until 1 pm. There is still time to register!

Book here:


You are invited to participate in this community led event with key stakeholders around the future health and wellbeing of all the people in our communities, in response to the new landscape affecting Seaton and surrounding area as a result of NHS and Government policies advocating Place-Based Care in health provision and cross-sector collaborative working with community groups

The aim: To discuss what we know, where there are gaps/challenges and how, as a community we will address these to ensure collaborative approaches to co-design and co-produce local health services/activities that meet the needs of all the people in our communities.

Invitees: Management and senior level employees and volunteers / trustees from community, voluntary and social enterprise sector as well as public and private organisations.

Area to include: Seaton, Colyford & Colyton, Beer, Axmouth, Branscombe


Welcome: Mayor of Seaton – Cllr Jack Rowland

Community Context:
• Dr Mark Welland – Chairman of Seaton & District Hospital League of Friends
• Roger Trapani – Community Representative, Devon Health and Care Forum
• Charlotte Hanson – Chief Officer, Action East Devon

Strategic and Services Overview – Place Based Care:
• Em Wilkinson-Bryce – Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
• Chris Entwistle – Health and Social Care Community Services
• Dr Jennie Button – Social Prescribing Lead – Ways 2 Wellbeing project in Seaton

Workshop, Networking and Discussion will form the main part of this event:
• Workshop 1 – What is working well and what are the challenges for Seaton and surrounding area?
• Workshop 2 – Working together to improve health and wellbeing outcomes? What support do we need?”

Reminder – Seaton and Area Health Matters meeting in Seaton Town Hall on Friday 23rd from 9.

DCC Councillor Martin Shaw (East Devon Alliance) updates on NHS changes

This is a long article but if you want to know where we are with NHS changes in Devon this gives you all the information.

Our pressure has led to Devon NHS joining a national retreat from privatising Accountable Care Organisations. However the Devon Integrated Care System will still cap care, with weak democratic control – we need time to rethink

We must thank ALL our Independent Councillors – particularly DCC Independent Councillor Claire Wright, DCC Councillor Martin Shaw (East Devon Alliance) and EDDC Councillor Cathy Gardner (East Devon Alliance) for the tremendous work they have done (and continue to do) in the face of the intransigence (and frankly, unintelligence) of sheep-like Tory councillors.

At EDDC Tory Councillors told their Leader to back retaining community hospitals, so he went to DCC and voted to close them (receiving no censure for this when Independents called for a vote of no confidence).

At the DCC, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee Tory members were 10-line whipped by its Chair Sarah Randall-Johnson to refuse a debate on important changes and to vote for accelerated privatisation with no checks or balances.

At DCC full council – well Tory back-benchers might just as well send in one councillor to vote since they all seem to be programmed by the same robotics company!

DCC Independents say use reserves for essential services

From Claire Wright’s blog. What sensible Independents we have and 50% of them (Claire Wright and Martin Shaw) are from East Devon!

“The additional £5m that Devon County Council is squirrelling away in reserves this year, should be spent on vital services, say the Independent Group, ahead of Thursday’s budget meeting.

This Thursday (15 February) will see the council set its budget and put back an extra £5m in the Business Rate Risk Management Reserve, in case of unexpected financial difficulty.

Devon’s four-strong Independent group of councillors – Frank Biederman, Claire Wright, Martin Shaw and Jacqi Hodgson (Green Party) are opposing this move and proposing instead that it is spent on funding vital services that are set to be lost.

The group’s proposal is:

– no health visitor posts are cut (30 posts are proposed to be lost)
– no foster carer loses any income (there are proposals to reduce the income to some foster carers)
– there are no cuts to the schools counselling programme (there is no money for this)
– dangerous pavements in the county’s towns and villages are repaired (this is an ongoing problem and people are falling and hurting themselves)

Frank Biederman, Leader of the Independent Group said: “We’re frustrated at further government cuts, which means higher council tax, again, for far fewer services, again.”

Claire Wright, Deputy Leader of the Independent Group, who seconded the motion, added: Devon’s council tax has soared by almost 20 per cent in just seven years. That’s £250 for an average band D property.

“This year it is set to rise by a further almost five per cent. It’s quite wrong and it is adding huge pressures to those people on low incomes.

“I put the blame on the Conservative government and those MPs in Devon who yet again have voted in favour of unacceptable cuts that damage people’s lives.”

“It’s a predictable disgrace. We are asking Devon County Council to write an open letter to all Devon MPs, expressing disappointment to those who let down the people of this county yet again.

“The government finds money to fund the projects it wants to but unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to support the provision of public services.”

Devon County Council’s government grant has been cut by £155m (76 per cent) since austerity began in 2010.

A further £20m is set to be cut from this year’s county council budget.

Jacqi Hodgson said: “We need to encourage people into fostering, at a time when record numbers of children are coming into the service. Not reduce pay. We know the use of private homes is not in the best interests of children and are much more costly.”

She added: “Frontline services cannot be sustained with persistent chipping away at budgets; any available monies should be spent on keeping them viable, not squirrelled away.”

Cllr Martin Shaw said: “Average earnings for a full-time male employee increased by 0 per cent – nothing – in the last year, while inflation is at 3 per cent, i.e. a decline in real income of 3 per cent. That’s the context in which massive council tax rises are being proposed.”

“Ignoring our pavements is not good for local businesses and has a tremendous cost to the person and the public purse when slips, trips and falls happen.”

The full motion is below:

A – That this council does not put a further £5millions into reserves, at the same time as asking hard pressed, low paid Devon residents to pay more council tax for fewer services than ever before.

B – that part of the five millions is used to maintain the level of pay for all Devon’s Foster Parents, so no one sees a drop in their income.

C – That part of the five millions is used to maintain numbers of Health Visitors so that no posts are made redundant.

D – that part of the five millions is used to maintain the schools counselling services, currently likely to be lost via the public health budget

E – that this council writes an open letter to Devon MPs expressing deep disappointment with those who voted in favour of cuts to Devon’s council core funding

F – that any remaining monies as part of the £5millions, is transferred to repairing pavements in our city, town and village centres.

Frank Biederman added: “We hope Councillors from across the chamber support these amendments, we all have to stand together for the people of Devon, it is clear Rural counties like Devon are the poor relation, when it comes to government funding.”


Our independent councillors: constantly standing up for our local NHS

ITV West Country News, with interviews with:

Claire Wright – DCC Independent Councillor (Ottery St Mary)
Martin Shaw – DCC independent East Devon Alliance Councillor (Seaton and Colyton)
Cathy Gardner – EDDC East Devon Alliance Councillor (Sidmouth)

continually fighting for our local NHS:

Not a single EDDC or East Devon DCC councillor attended the protest, nor did either of our MPs.