Open Letter from Dr Clive Peedell to Jeremy Hunt regarding the legality of the latest top-down NHS reorganisation

To the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, MP, Secretary of State for Health

Dear Mr Hunt

I am writing to you on a subject of great urgency regarding the changes to the NHS proposed on 19th May 2016, by Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England.

Mr Stevens has suggested that the health service could create a form of ‘combined authorities’. He talks of spanning hospitals and commissioners and consolidating CCGs.

These proposals appear to run contrary to the provisions of the Health & Social Care Act (2012) and contrary to the stated objective of the Act of a locally driven commissioning service provided by GPs, who have an intimate knowledge of their local community needs.

Whether or not the CCGs have fulfilled this function satisfactorily, they are, nonetheless, a legal creation. I am, therefore, asking for clarification of the legal status of the changes being made under the Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

Mr Stevens has also referred to removing veto powers. Does that mean, in effect, that no-one will be able to object to changes as they will be imposed? Could you clarify which powers are being removed, under what statute were those powers granted, and what legislation been passed to allow their removal?

This announcement was paired with the publication of the funding allocations expected for 2020-2021. Mr Stevens said that these numbers would give a better focus than the funding ‘gap’ numbers people try to come up with. His predicted figures are shockingly low.

I do not write as a legal expert, but as a doctor with great concern for the impact of these extensive changes on my patients. I ask that you clarify with urgency the law that is being used for these changes which are happening on a large scale with great speed.

My specific concerns are about transparency, responsibility and accountability. There does not appear to be adequate time to prepare proper risk or equality impact assessments.

I look forward to hearing your response on these serious matters.

Yours sincerely

Dr Clive Peedell
cc Rt Hon David Cameron MP, the Prime Minister
cc Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition
cc Hon Heidi Alexander, Shadow Secretary of State for Health

4 thoughts on “Open Letter from Dr Clive Peedell to Jeremy Hunt regarding the legality of the latest top-down NHS reorganisation”

  1. The Hospital trusts in Lancashire are in dire straights, Chorley A&E has been closed for weeks now due to the inability of the trust to employ enough A&E Doctors to support the service. Given the prime minister and the health secretary have said they have employed thousands more doctors and nurses, would it be possible to send some our way and reopen the A&E at Chorley. both the PM and health secretary have said they are putting vast amounts of money into the NHS services. why is it we are being asked to make substantial savings at the Royal Blackburn Hospital run by the East Lancs Health Authority. We can’t recruit a GP at our practice due to the ridiculous pay demands for a GP. We are also seeing our Walk in centres under severe threat of closure by the CCGs due to lack of funds. where are all the funds being allocated to as it is not up here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you immensely Dr Clive Peedell for your forthright open letter to Mr Jeremy Hunt. The general public, I am sure, would be mortified if the government’s plans to fully privatise the NHS were honestly and transparently aired in public. It is now a matter of great urgency that the public become aware that our NHS is being stolen by stealth by this government.

    Liked by 1 person

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