Saturday, July 15, 2017

Health Scrutiny meeting 24th June

I have today received the agenda papers for the forthcoming Cumbria Health Scrutiny meeting on 24th July which are available on the CCC website here.

This meeting will receive the draft minutes of the now notorious meetings on 22nd March for which the actual scrutiny meeting minutes are available here and the record of the "dispute resolution" meeting with the NHS "Success Regime" which took place during the recess is available here.

There is a protocol for attempting to resolve disagreements between the Health Scrutiny Committee and the NHS organisations which the committee is supposed to scrutinise before you get to the stage where the committee "calls in" decisions and refers them to the Secretary of State.

The manner in which that protocol worked on 22nd March was deeply unsatisfactory.

If the minutes are correct the Health Scrutiny spent most of the seven-hour period between 10.30 am and 5.30 pm discussing the concerns raised by thousands of residents, patients and staff about the Success Regime proposals and voted to "call in" three key aspects of those proposals. There were three adjournments, so let's assume there were about six hours of discussion, formal and informal.

There was then a recess, during which a forty-minute "dispute resolution" discussion between lead members of the scrutiny committee and the Success Regime took place. During this time four members of the scrutiny committee went home. The minutes of that meeting state that it finished at 6.10 pm.

The seven remaining members of the Health Scrutiny reconvened, received assurances from the Success regime as detailed in the minutes linked to above, voted again on the three areas they had previously voted to call in, and reversed two of those decisions.

According to the draft minutes this reconvened meeting finished at 6.20 pm which means that if both sets of draft minutes are right it could not have taken longer than ten minutes.

A forty minute discussion with the NHS trust and a ten minute meeting of the seven committee members who had not gone home, to reverse the decisions made earlier that day by eleven members of the committee who had spent about six hours discussing concerns raised by thousands of residents, patients and staff.

Absolutely extraordinary. More about this on my health blog at

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