Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Underfunding - the key to privatising public services

Whats going on tomorrow at Lancashire County Council?
There should be fireworks, but in the current climate it's likely to be more of of a damp fizzle.

In terms of our NHS there are 'TWO' important items on tomorrow's Agenda (Thursday 23rd Feb):

Agenda Item 4. Review of the Councils Business & Operating Model
Last April county council cabinet members agreed to commission a consultancy called Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) to look at how LCC could streamline (i.e. cut) services to save money. The budget allocated from central government to local governments such as LCC has been severely reduced over the years resulting in LCC having to make cut-backs such as closing libraries and bus-routes etc. To make up the shortfall, LCC are even considering raising council tax. Allegedly, LCC paid between £3m and £6m for PwC to do the survey and report.

Out with the begging bowl

The report shows it's so bad we're now having to beg the Tories (the council call it lobbying) for assistance with a £95m shortfall in resources for Adult Social Care forecast for 2020/21.

Underfunding public services - the Tories key weapon in privatisation

The government should be adequately funding LCC to enable them to manage, subsidise, and run local services such as care homes and district nursing, so increasing the council tax only means the public are paying twice for the same services. *Council tax is based on the value of a property.

But there's more to it; the report recommends devolving health budgets from central government down to local government (Lancashire). and thus absolving more of Jeremy Hunt's responsibility to provide healthcare to the masses. Integration means fragmentation........
The NHS isn't means-tested, but social care is. So integrating NHS services with social care services opens up the market to means-testing NHS services. Hence, patients will then have to pay for services which were previously free at the point of need.
Social care is involved so the report also recommends LCC agree to go along with the STP plans for their area. They call it 'Health and wellbeing integration', I call it privatisation. Its a very contentious report since NHS partners have not been involved in it. There's anger that LCC are to publish a detailed report, commissioned by the Council, which implies major NHS reorganisation without the report having any input from NHS partners (sound familiar?). link below..

Agenda Item 11. LCCs Health Scrutiny reporting back to full committee.
The health bit is in annex 2. This is simply what the scrutiny have been told by NHS England about the STP in their fancy slideshows. There isn't even a recommendation. Considering the importance of STPs, the report to LCC full committee from Health scrutiny really is the worst scrutiny analysis I've ever seen. It's as though health scrutiny have no objection - in fact, there is no objection. Take a look... link below

It's obvious even to a blind pig that the overall objectives of both agenda items is for central government to underfund public services to enable them to pursue their own privatisation agenda.

And with the Tories in their second term of office, they are now pushing the boat out.

It's our job to sink it


Item 4. Review of councils business services & operating model

Appendix to Item 4 (PDF) - PwC's Lancashire Public Service Delivery Model - An STP for public services?

Health Scrutiny Report on STP to full council

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