23rd May, 2019

Campaigners blast 'lack of transparency' by local healthcare bosses

Laura Kearns 13th May, 2019

CAMPAIGNERS have blasted what they claim is a lack of transparency by local healthcare bosses.

Coventry and Warwickshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) – now referred to as Better Health, Better Care, Better Value – aims to see £267million saved over the next five years.

But South Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public (SWKONP) says the STP board must be more transparent with its money-saving plans.

Campaigner Dennis McWilliams believes Coventry and Warwickshire should take its lead from the Nottingham STP and hold meetings in public and publish agendas and minutes online.

He said: “Maybe NHS bosses have nothing to hide, but promises of transparency and accountability are getting nowhere.

“What is published in Nottinghamshire is secret in Coventry and Warwickshire.

“Sir Chris Ham, recently appointed Independent Chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire STP, promised the process over the next six months would be ‘inclusive and transparent’. There has been no evidence of this, contrary to Nottinghamshire.

“The STP plans health service setting targets for substantial ‘savings’ in the NHS. This should not be done in secret.”

The STP consists of NHS organisations and local authorities including South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and Warwickshire County Council.

The healthcare plans look to deliver more care in the community and cut some hospital services.

So far it is known changes will be made to stroke services across south Warwickshire, and preventative measures taken to try and reduce the number of people who have to stay in hospital.

These big changes are just some of the reasons SWKONP is calling for transparency.

But an STP spokesman said the board reported to the county council which publishes meetings online.

He told the Observer: “The board regularly reports to Health and Wellbeing boards at Coventry City Council and Warwickshire Country Council and discussions are held at their Health and Social Care Overview Scrutiny Boards. These boards are held in public and agendas, papers and minutes are available online.

“We are committed to engaging with those who know health and care services the best – patients, staff and the public – to seek views on how to improve health and care with the resources available. This includes working closely with our councils and with local voluntary and community groups.”

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