I live in London currently, however my brother lives in residential housing specific to the care of people with learning difficulties, that is men with support needs which require care 24/7.
I have some concerns which I would like to highlight about the way these reforms have been carried through, and how they will affect continuing care in Calderdale.
Firstly there is a lack of information about how the structure will work, and where the line of accountability ends. The Health Secretary has said he will provide a Mandate, for the Commissioning Board, the Healthwatch Board, Monitor, the Care Quality Commission, and then the various regional and local boards.
The health secretary does not have a mandate, politically, the-reforms have been “cobbled” together by a coalition Government, on the basis of Cabinet promises, as opposed to a statutory framework.
Secondly any framework that does exist will be managed by providers, consortia, and a few members of the public, so we have a Quango, in effect. However responsibility/accountability and transparency are not clarified. The Health Secretary, has managed to distance himself from this by claiming that the public will oversee the running of the NHS, this as not been clearly stipulated and the legislation is at best vague.
This takes me to a third point. Politics and politicians are notorious for creating insider and outsider groups, In other words certain groups are excluded from the process, for example; the local authority and the NHS, set out a funding framework in October 2010, for people with Learning Disabilities.
This is now a public record and can be found on the Health website, and I can provide these details if required. There was no public consultation, despite statutory stipulation that public and carer insight and concerns would be given full consideration. Just one area of failed policy.
The further problem with running the NHS, through insider groups and public Quango’s is that at the next election, the formulation of the Government is likely to change, and whether Labour or Conservative, they will begin to draft into the boards their “own people”.
The effect will be a heavily politicised health service, and strong emphasis on meeting political and media demands. The need for private investment, skewing the information further, who will invest in a health service which is struggling financially. Whether this is a local hospital, or housing for people with learning disabilities in my case.
The dilemna is that the Heath Reform Bill, is now about to become the Health and Social Care Act, and people like me seeking information, cannot find it from providers, who feel constrained by local authorities, form the local authority who seek to micro manage the process, or from Politicians of any shade, who seem clueless about the effects.
The conclusion in my opinion is that for the next two years we will be given platitudes, and sent from one Quango to another, as we try to resolve day to day issues, for sons, daughters, wives and husbands, mothers and fathers.
It would seem a National Health Service for everyone, is past, and “he who pays the piper” will receive the care. Perhaps Andrew Lansley can speak to George Osborne about reflecting this in the NI payments which built the NHS, which the private sector now benefit from. David Lowe