A protest at what is seen as the lack of scrutiny and public consultation over the introduction an Americanized Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) to run Cornwall’s NHS will be held at New County Hall in the morning. The demo, called for 9.30am will be ahead of a meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee, due to meet at 11am.
The action has been called by a new group calling itself Campaign Against Cornwall’s ACO .
Nationally, Accountable Care Systems are facing a judicial review being brought about by a group of professional medical experts and senior NHS staff.
With the lack of any comment from the Lib Dem / Independent administration at County Hall with regard to the ACO’s fast tracked implementation, we canvassed opinion from the other parties.
The Green Party of Cornwall has made a detailed case read it here: ‘Transformation or creeping NHS privatisation? Just how accountable are Cornwall Council’s ‘Accountable Care Partnerships’?
Colin Martin is on the (yet to meet) panel conducting the inquiry into the establishment of the ACO. He has highlighted 28 concerns and his personal comments can be read here
Cornish Conservatives have called for any decisions to be brought to Full Council for a vote (something the administration is reluctant to commit to as yet)
James Mustoe, Deputy Leader of Conservative group on the council told us “We are pleased that there is a cross-party group of councillors tasked with conducting the inquiry. Each political group has been given a chance to include councillors as part of the inquiry. From the Conservative perspective, our councillors on the panel are Andy Virr, who is an A&E Consultant at RCH Treliske, and Sue Nicholas, who has decades of nursing experience in many different roles. We have every faith in their knowledge of local NHS matters.”
“We do believe that Full Council should get a vote on what is undoubtedly a huge decision for the people of Cornwall.”
“We believe the NHS in Cornwall has not been well-served by its management, both presently and historically. Significant change is needed and while the detail has not come out yet, I have no problem with greater devolution to Cornwall Council if the plans will make the services better for the people who use them and are good value for the public purse.”
Tim Dwelly, Leader of Cornwall’s Labour councillors said his opinion on it will be formed once the inquiry has got going “We are participating in the process of scrutiny and will take a view on what is proposed”
Loveday Jenkin, who is also on the inquiry panel spoke for Mebyon Kernow.
“We are looking at the implications. I am part of the task group to inquire into it. It is too early to tell as the devil is in the detail. Having a health and social care budget for Cornwall under Cornish control could be a good thing but it would need the right clinical and democratic governance and no transfer of historic debts into a common budget.
Also maintenance of common standards and wages across the UK and no selling off of services to the private sector”
However Cllr Jenkin thinks calls for a Full Council vote are premature. “I think the Tories are p;laying politics here. I’m not sure it is at that stage yet. The inquiry hasn’t even started yet”