Full circle on community health services and campaigns.
It’s been a long road since 2011 when the Labour Party campaigned with Frank Dobson MP to ask the powers that be in Cornwall not to hive off our community hospitals and services out of the NHS.
It happened anyway, despite being the first time a 5000 signature public petition made sure the issue was debated at Cornwall Council. (Too many Tories voted to let it happen.)
More recently, Labour has been campaigning with people in Cornwall to protest against a new contracting out of these same services after the company that ran them announced it was giving up the contract.
The Labour group in Cornwall has put a motion forward to the next Cornwall Council meeting expressing our view that services should be brought back in to the NHS, rather than given to a private company. No Tory supported us, actually I don’t think anyone else supported us.
But the news is good: here is a letter confirming that Cornwall’s community hospitals and services will be brought back into the NHS family.
“Re: Update on adult community health services delivery from 1 April 2016
We are writing to update you about the future delivery of adult community health services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
A local NHS consortium comprising Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and Kernow Health Community Interest Company is NHS Kernow’s preferred provider to deliver the contract from 1 April 2016.
The consortium brings together a wealth of expertise and knowledge encompassing the full range of health services from GPs to hospital care. It will offer multi-disciplinary care through teams of professionals, working across traditional organisational boundaries. They will use this to enable the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to live the lives they want to live, to the best of their ability.
The decision follows an open market procurement – as is normal practice in the public sector – that met legal and regulator requirements.
What’s important now is that staff in all organisations are supported through this period of transition, a seamless transfer of services occurs and patients continue to receive high quality care. All partners in the local healthcare system are committed to this.
We recognise and thank Peninsula Community Health’s staff for their dedication and professionalism to ensure high quality patient care – and look forward to a smooth and seamless transfer of services to the new provider consortium. We are keen to use and build on the existing skills
The name above the door may be changing, but the adult community health services that people rely on will still be available. Patients will continue to receive the same safe, high quality services, by the same experienced staff. Patients should see no change in the people they see or the way they are referred to services. They should continue to use services in the same way and talk to their GP about their health needs in the first instance.
We acknowledge the local interest in this matter and thank everyone for their patience while NHS Kernow discharged its duties during the procurement process.
We trust that you find this information useful, but please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.”
Managing Director, NHS Kernow
Dr Iain Chorlton
Chairman, NHS Kernow
Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust
Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
Kernow Health CIC
Peninsula Community Health