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New care system proposals for Cornwall rejected

New care system proposals for Cornwall rejected

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:21pm 9th March 2018. (Updated at 10:06am 11th March 2018)

Plans which could have seen Cornwall launch its own Accountable Care System (ACS) have been rejected.

It comes after an inquiry by Cornwall Council into integrated strategic commissioning, which is described as a one strategy, one budget and one plan approach.

The idea that stems from America has different models but locally, it would have meant a group of organisations working together on commissioning services.

You can read more about what an ACS is here.

Officials insisted it would save money, speed up decision making and help to cut bed-blocking in our hospitals.

However, campaigners branded the possible changes to Cornwall's NHS as 'privatisation through the back door'.

Now it seems their prayers have been answered, though - as the council decided against the plans.

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for adults Rob Rotchell said: "Whilst we don't support the establishment of an ACS in Cornwall, we do support the integration of health and care services.

"We want to develop integrated commissioning of health and care - joining up the way we work and ensuring we spend the resources of council and the NHS wisely.

"Our priority is to put residents first and organisations second, as well as bring together health and care practitioners to supply care in a person-centred way which is closer to home for our residents.

"We believe in the NHS, but this doesn't mean we want to run the NHS services. We will jointly lobby for fair funding for Cornwall and we believe that we are stronger when we harness the clinical expertise of the NHS with local democratic leaders to improve local services.

"We don't believe in creating a new organisation or committee for strategic commissioning, and will instead strengthen the existing Health and Wellbeing Board to become a more effective decision making body.

"We believe these arrangements will allow us to deliver better services, such as those as evidenced by the significant improvement in delayed transfer figures."

Others have not welcomed the news, with some insisting it was the council playing into political hands.

Councillor Andy Virr, Conservative health spokesperson and chair of ACS Inquiry Panel: "Here is my response to the leader of the Council Adam Paynter and Portfolio Holder for Adult Care Rob Rotchell following the publication of the press statement below:

"Please can I express my dismay that you have taken the poor decision to ignore the recommendation of the Health and Social Care Scrutiny's Inquiry Panel and have elected NOT to integrate strategic health and social care commissioning in Cornwall.

"Your letter to health leaders gives the very clear impression that you have kowtowed to political pressure from far-left wing protesters, whose protestations were demonstrated to be unfounded during the 4 day inquiry. There was no evidence that the proposal would in any way lead to an increase in privatisation of healthcare in Cornwall.

"Furthermore, you have ignored the clear voice of health and social care leaders whom, with one voice, declared that doing nothing was the worst of all options. Your kind words regarding working together are, I'm afraid, vacuous without a commitment to integrate and combine budgets.

"The inquiry panel found that a new organisation was NOT required to deliver this and integration could be achieved through combined budgets and the use of existing joint health and social care budgets.

"It is disappointing that you have played politics with this decision, playing to the crowd over unfounded concerns and pointing to the government for additional funding (however welcome that may be).

"Instead, you had the opportunity to demonstrate strong leadership and make the most of the funding available to Cornwall by putting health and social care leaders in the same room to make the best choices on how it should be spent for the benefit of patients and population across Cornwall."

Do you think Cornwall should have an ACS? Share your views below!

Should Cornwall have an Accountable Care System?

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