Can Cumbria County Council close down The Success Regime?

The three lucky (read: reluctant) participants of the Government takeover, The Success Regime, are Essex, North Devon, and West, North, and East Cumbria. Although Essex may be falling into place, it seems things aren’t so happy on the Devon front. They certainly aren’t in Cumbria.

Image credit to Gilda

North Devon looks very nice. Image credit to
Gilda

An angry county councillor, Frank Biederman, in Devon has today put forward a motion to Devon County Council that The Success Regime in North Devon should be halted. Here’s what he said, according to the North Devon Journal:

“The proposals that are likely to come out of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) are simply unacceptable.

“The document states stroke, paediatrics, and maternity are not clinically or financially sustainable.

“We live in a vast rural area, it does cost more to run services in a rural county like ours.

“Ten thousand people are supporting the SOHS campaign in Northern Devon alone via their FB page.

“If this goes ahead I am sure it will cost lives, it will put the remaining services under so much pressure it will break. This must be our red line too. No cuts to vital services.”

Spot the similarities with Cumbria! All and any of those comments apply also to Cumbria, though we have more than 16,000 supporters on our FB page. We’re probably a bigger county.

His fellow councillor, Brian Greenslade, called for The Success Regime to be cancelled altogether. He pointed out:

“There is also a conflict of interest in the process. I do not see how Ruth Carnall, the leader of the success regime, can be both a consultant and an independent chairman in the process. We as county councillors would be hung drawn and quartered if we allowed ourselves to get in such a situation and rightly so. This should be stopped.”

Dame Ruth Carnall owns the healthcare consulting company that has been awarded the contract for North Devon Success Regime. This lady is paid to be independent. But she isn’t independent. It’s a stitch-up, and the only people suffering are the Devon public, as she oversees strangulating cuts that render the health service ineffective. Just like their ‘options’ in Cumbria.

Why are we even in the Success Regime?

Let’s be clear. For as long as we endure a Tory government, our necessities are commodities, to be sold off as quickly as possible for as much money as can be made. All you have to do is look at the language used in the discussions around the consultations.

NW&E Cumbria, N Devon and Essex are described as ‘failing Local Health Economies (LHEs)’.  How can they be ‘economies’? Public healthcare is a loss leader. It’s impossible to make a profit from it. The NHS deficit in its very first year was £69 million. That’s £2.6 billion in today’s money. It only increased from there.

Like Devon, North, West, and East Cumbria is one of the lowest-funded, poorest-served health service areas in the UK. On paper, we can’t fight back. We can’t seem to stop them from forging ahead, paying nothing more than lip service to the consultation and infantilising the community.

Our Sir Neil McKay may not be in the luxuriously corrupt position of Dame Carnall, but he’s already received a nice big wadge of NHS money. Look at all the figures being thrown around in THIS articleis it any wonder the NHS has no money when it pays individuals literally £millions?

How stupid do they think we are? Sir Neil McKay was one of the co-founders of an organisation (Strategic Projects Team) designed to move public healthcare into private hands.

Read the article, it’s long, but it tells you what their plan is:

All the counties and health service areas targeted by The Success Regime have been singled out for wholesale privatisation. This isn’t just ‘all maternity services’, or ‘all older people’s services’, it’s all the services. Wholesale.

success-regime-2

The only good news (in a bleak sense) is, if you read the link about Sir Neil McKay, many of the Strategic Projects Team’s administered projects have failed, and private companies have walked out early from contracts. This leaves local people with no immediate health services at all in some cases. I see this as good news only in the sense that at least we can probably get our hospitals and services back in the long run, but bled dry by the privatisers and desperate for public money. Our taxes, or our donations.

So, why do we have to go through this?

We don’t. If Devon County Council can call a motion to halt The Success Regime, and perhaps mount a proper inquiry, that means Cumbria County Council can do the same.

Just as the snow blankets the ground in one of the areas most hit by the health cuts in Cumbria, maybe the County Council can save themselves (and the people) and put a stop to this healthcare privatisation by stealth.

Apparently Alston Moor earlier today / yesterday.

We should petition local councillors to put forward a similar motion and put some pressure on the people who are behind this. A health service plan like the one put forward by the N, W, E Cumbria Success Regime will put an incredible amount of pressure on County Council services. Like Social Services and Children’s Services, for example. It’s in the Council’s best interests to get fully involved in the mess, and it may also be their public duty.

Privatising the health service doesn’t work.  It is a myth, perpetuated by individuals like Dame Carnall and Neil McKay, for those individuals and their respective organisations to line their pockets with public money in the very short term, and then get the hell out. Some private companies have dumped their 10-year contracts after only 3 years! Many diseases last longer than that!

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There is no health care reform. This is government-sponsored daylight robbery, and it’s putting people’s lives at risk.

Sources and additional reading links:

  1. North Devon Journal
  2. NHSHistory.net
  3. Sir Neil McKay: NHS manager in line for £1 million pay out. (The Telegraph)
  4. The ninja NHS privatisers you’ve never heard of (OpenDemocracy.net) You have heard of one. It’s Sir Neil again.
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About Sakina Murdock

Greedy, creative, gregarious bird, writing from the bonny northern hills of Cumbria's Eden. There's a lot of soul in this place and the inspiration to create is everywhere, even on the bleakest days. Soulfood. Don't just subsist.
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