Is the Success Regime breaking health and safety law?

Keswick

Keswick area looking all sunny

I have a question: How can the Success Regime continue with their sham consultation, when they appear to be breaking the law?

At a public consultation meeting in Carlisle this week, members of the public asked if there will be a risk assessment of the proposed options. A panel member mentioned ‘risk management’ but another ‘mumbled’ that risk assessments ‘would come after the Decision has been made’.

Hold on there a moment. No risk assessments until afterwards?

This is the law

The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 Regulation 3 part 2 states:

2) Every self-employed person shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of—

(a)the risks to his own health and safety to which he is exposed whilst he is at work; and

(b)the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking,

for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions.

We’re looking at Part (b) there. Obviously, the Success Regime are not employers as such. But if they are consultants, they are contractors; if they are contractors, they are self-employed. No? Then please comment below and tell me what they are, and how they slip out of their responsibilities.

Now, I’m not even close to an expert in the law, but I would have thought just as a builder might become liable if someone’s house fell down, the Success Regime’s work will have a long lasting impact on Cumbria’s people, and surely should maintain some accountability for the model design.

They should at least be compelled to carry out ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessments of their proposals, in the same way building design has to satisfy safety standards.

Unsafe Success Regime proposals

Health and Safety law is really quite straightforward: you or your employer or your work should never endanger or harm another person, if it is at all possible to avoid, and you must take measures to ensure this.

Yet the excellent viability and impact report by Nina Wilson explains in no uncertain terms that any one of the so-called ‘options’ offered by the Success Regime consultation is unsafe, nonviable, impossible, or will have a detrimental impact on the emotional and physical well-being of patients, their families and their carers.

Her figures and other research back up her claims: all the plans for reforming NHS services in North, West, and East Cumbria will lead to patient suffering and unexpected deaths. Go ahead and read it if you want. See for yourself, it’s right here in black and white, with numbers and analysis to back it.

So what gives, folks? How can the Success Regime sweep into Cumbria and dictate a new design/model of health care services that are clearly unsafe for patients without even completing a single risk assessment? Don’t forget it’s coming soon across the rest of England – 44 new STPs and Success Regimes to come in 2017.

Risk assessment isn’t part of the Success Regime plan – how do they do that?

So at one of the final public consultation meetings, as I already said, the incandescent public called for risk assessments to be carried out on the proposals, but panel members ‘mumbled’ things about ‘risk management’, and that ‘risk assessments would come after the Decision has been made’.

Let’s consider that again from a different angle: they intend to manage the risks after the Decision has been taken. I.e. whatever risks present themselves in the implementation of the Success Regime’s dangerous proposals for Cumbria, will probably be down to the health care providers to deal with.

The NHS providers are Cumberland Infirmary Carlisle (CIC) and West Cumberland Hospital (WCH), and what remain of the cottage hospitals. They are the community health teams such as district nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists. These organisations all have clear lines of accountability and responsibility as they are required to by law. They are used to shouldering these things. Accountability and responsibility are integral to health care practice.

The Success Regime not so much. No lines of accountability and responsibility here. The moment everything’s signed off, it’s my guess those people will be out of sight.

In that event, the responsibility for risk assessment and risk management of these dangerous, unsafe service designs will surely divert to the hospitals and community services – and let’s not forget social care, through local authorities.

How is this legal? Really! How?

Do Success Regime members have something in their contracts that state they are not liable for health and safety related to their new model/design?

Unpleasant Decisions are being made about the functional design of our health and social care services without input from those services or the public.

Once the Decisions are taken, the individuals who make up the Success Regime will most likely melt into the background, contracted to do so. Sir Neil McKay is very good at slipping off with a nice big golden thank you, too.

The Success Regime’s puff of smoke may be worth £thousands/millions in their bank accounts, but the best thing of all (from their point of view) it seems they cannot be found accountable for the chaos they leave behind as services try to work with increased numbers of patients and fewer resources and staff.

So please, tell me, comment below, tweet @Soulsubsistence, however you like, but please put me out of my misery and explain to me HOW the Success Panel are NOT breaking the law?

How are they getting away with it?

Is it in their contracts? Is it some unofficial remit that they are to kill people off as they go? Population too old? A loophole? Please tell me, because all I have is my own personal theory, and I’d like to think the world is a better place than that.

This is a scandal and it’s happening to us! What can Cumbria do to stop it?

Whitehaven is nicer than Sir Neil McKay

Whitehaven looking very nice there.

Image credit to: www.westcumbriatri.co.uk

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References:

  1. The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999
  2. The Viability and Impact of Success Regime Proposals for the Reorganisation of Hospital Based Healthcare in North, East, and West Cumbria by Nina Wilson B.Sc.
  3. The Telegraph on Sir Neil McKay: NHS manager in line for £1 million pay out
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3 Responses to Is the Success Regime breaking health and safety law?

  1. Jenny walsh says:

    Fantastic piece of journalism as ever Sakina. Your sharp mind really has got the measure of the divisive and deviousness of the success regime and more evidence to try to invalidate their right to rape and pillage our cumbrian nhs services without impunity
    Well done

    • Thanks for all the shares and comments, Jenny! I’m intrigued to see if anyone knows what the magic loophole is that enables these people to get away with this disgraceful plan! If we can beat them in Cumbria, the rest of the country might have a chance to do so next year too!

  2. paul crellin says:

    brilliant piece of work.hope it helps to stop this shambles.

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