Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Motion regarding the National Health Service signed by Councillors David Gardner, Denise Hyland, Don Austen, Mick Hayes, Mark James, Averil Lekau, Allan MacCarthy, Maureen O'Mara, Clare Morris, Cherry Parker and Jackie Smith

Decision:

Resolved that:

The Royal Borough of Greenwich Council reiterates its emphatic support for our National Health Service, the best in the world, in promoting the wellbeing and health of our citizens, treating the sick, injured and those suffering long-term conditions with high quality and compassionate treatment and care, free to all at the point of use.  We salute the dedication and professionalism of the thousands of clinicians, care and support staff who devote themselves to the users of our NHS and social care services in the Borough.

 

However, this Council is increasingly concerned at the strains on our local NHS and care services caused by increased demand, tighter funding and exacerbated by the fragmentation and adversarial commissioner-provider relationships following the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.  We believe it is simply unacceptable for our residents to be waiting on hospital trolleys in corridors for treatment or for weeks for a GP appointment.

 

This Council supports the NHS England view that emphasis must be moved from treating to preventing illness, promoting healthy living and helping to prevent and then manage long term conditions so people can live as normal and active life as possible.  However, the Government has spectacularly failed to support Public Health, cutting a devastating £2m from the RBG budget this financial year with more cuts to follow.  Further, the Greenwich CCG has stopped £1.1m of funding to our award winning public health programmes.

 

This Council is concerned both at the Greenwich CCG financial position with a £15.4m shortfall in this financial year and the manner of some of their decisions to stop certain funding including the excellent nurse-led facility in Horn Park “The Source”, public health projects and £950,000 for the most vulnerable people with learning disabilities. At the same time, we note the continued progress being made in co-ordinated care supporting people with seamless support on leaving hospital, with continued low delayed discharges and reducing re-admissions.

 

This Council calls upon the Government to substantially increase spending on the NHS and to ensure greater equity of funding in primary and secondary care across London, to reverse the public health cuts and to continue the process of devolution of healthcare to be integrated with social care within a local democratically accountable framework, and to replace the focus on competition with one on a duty to collaborate.  Further, we call upon the Government to deliver on the promise of the Leave Campaign for an extra £350m a week for the NHS, equivalent to a £76m annual boost for Greenwich NHS.

 

Further, this Council calls upon the Greenwich Health and Wellbeing Board to continue the excellent promotion of our Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the development of the Greenwich Co-ordinated Care programme as part of a roadmap to integration, to ensure a collaborative approach to resourcing and commissioning, to establish a Greenwich Healthcare Economy strategy to ensure we have the right clinical and support professionals to meet future needs, and calls upon the Greenwich CCG to continue funding “The Source” until a new arrangement is secured and to reconsider its unilateral cut supporting the MCCH learning disabilities contract until new arrangements are agreed.”

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that an amendment from the Conservative Group had been published and could be accessed on line as well as paper copies being available.

 

Councillor Gardner moved reception of the motion praising the hard work and dedication of health service professionals but commented that regardless there were issues that needed to be addressed.  The Council was informed that the United Kingdom spent less as a percentage of its GDP on health and social than neighbouring European countries.  The Government’s proposal to invest in the NHS was welcomed but Councillor Gardner stated that this was not enough and also had to be seen in light of the on-going efficiency savings. 

 

Councillor Gardner informed the Council that Public Health had been the subject of significant funding reductions and that savings were having an impact on the residents of the Borough and were short sighted.  A number of recent controversial savings, including the closure of facilities and service reductions, agreed by the CCG were highlighted.  In conclusion Councillor Gardner stated that he believed that there needed to be a pooling not fragmentation of resources; greater collaboration between the Health Service and social care; proper resourcing;; and that the continuing cuts to public health provision needed to end as it was resulting in reduced and stretched services which effected all walks of life, including those with learning disabilities and additional needs support.

 

Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, formally seconded the motion, reserving her right to speak.

 

Councillor Hartley moved the following amendment to the motion:

 

Delete the second and third paragraphs and replace them with the following paragraphs:

 

“This Council notes that despite the fact that the NHS in England is now receiving an increase in funding of £10 billion a year by 2020, in line with the NHS Five Year Forward View (an increase that has been frontloaded, with £6 billion set to be delivered by the end of 2016/17), increasing demand for health services and demographic pressures mean that many NHS organisations are struggling with deficit budgets. 

 

“This is also true in our local context.  Council notes that while the funding allocation for the Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is increasing from £345.61 million last year, to £359.36 million this year (2016/17), to £403.84 million by 2020/21, increasing demand, demographic pressures and the fact that not enough savings were achieved by the CCG in 2015-16 mean that the CCG has been unable to set a balanced budget this year.

 

Delete the fifth paragraph and replace it with the following paragraph:

 

“This Council calls on the Government to continue to substantially increase spending on the NHS between now and 2020, in line with the NHS Five Year Forward View, as it committed to do in the November 2015 Spending Review.  Furthermore, in the wake of the referendum on the UK’s EU membership, this Council calls upon the Government to prioritise increasing spending on the NHS – above and beyond the £10 billion a year already committed by 2020 – when considering how to spend the public funds saved from no longer paying into the EU budget, in order to help the NHS further as it deals with demographic pressures.

 

Add the following additional paragraphs at the end of the motion:

 

“In addition to calling on the Greenwich CCG to continue funding “The Source” until a new arrangement is secured, this Council believes more should be done by all the relevant stakeholders to pro-actively find an alternative solution that would secure the future of the facility.

 

“This Council notes that the Greenwich CCG has now written to the seven Greenwich GPs within a mile’s radius from “The Source” to ask for expressions of interest in delivering an alternative solution, with a deadline of next Monday, 1st August.  This Council calls on the Greenwich CCG to extend this deadline, and calls on the executive to pro-actively call a meeting of all surrounding GPs to explore alternative options.  This Council further calls on the executive to consider how its other public health services could make redeployed to “The Source” to make an alternative solution financially viable, if necessary.”

 

In moving the amendment Councillor Hartley stated that, if agreed, the motion would now solely address issues relevant locally to the NHS and would be a motion that all Members could agree to.  Councillor Hartley disputed a number of the political statements in the original motion, highlighting the rationale and benefits of the Health and Social Care Act; the additional funding that the Government had made available to the National Health Service; and that increasing demand and pressures on the Health Service were adding to the current difficulties.   Further that additional funding for the NHS should be the top priority from any savings arising from leaving the European Union. 

 

Councillor Hartley highlighted where the original motion and the proposed amendment were in accord and in particular he wished to acknowledge the dedication of NHS staff; and the pressures that were being faced despite the additional funding being made available.  Councillor Hartley expressed his concern regarding the recent decisions of the Greenwich CCG and the impact that these had on local residents, in particular the closure of the Source and reduced funding for people with learning difficulties.  The work undertaken by the Cabinet Member to save the Source was commended and Councillor Hartley requested Council agree the amendment and unite in support of local services. 

 

Councillor Elliott seconded the proposed amendment stating that he felt that members agreed on more points than they disagreed on and the services to residents were what mattered.  Members were informed of the likely impact of the closure of the Source on the community in Horn Park and the need for alternative provision to be identified.  It was stated that time and creative solutions were required to ensure that services provided by the Source could continue.

 

Councillor Gardner did not accept the amendment.

 

Councillors Thorpe, MacCarthy, Hyland, M. James and Khan spoke in objection to the proposed amendment.  In speaking against the amendment Members highlighted the impact that national funding decisions had on the provision of local services. It was stated that the reality of the NHS was that services were failing and that the improvements made during the last Labour Government were being lost.  In order to protect services it was necessary for all to stand up for greater funding for the Borough and services for local residents.

 

In speaking against the amendment Members highlighted the negative impact of the Health and Social Care Act; the top down reorganisation of services; and the increased emphasis on the ‘competitive market place’. Members also highlighted the problems caused by recent funding reductions in public health and the impact on local services and residents.  The lack of Government and CCG consultation on the reductions was raised and it was stated that it was not feasible for the Council to keep bailing out public health.

 

In relation to the Source, Councillor James (M) informed the meeting of the history of the Source and the impact of the proposed withdrawal of funding would have on an already deprived community. 

 

Councillor Kirby proposed given the lateness of the hour that the Council move to the vote on the amendment.  The Mayor put this to the vote and it was agreed to move to the vote on the amendment. The amendment was lost.

 

In relation to the motion Councillor Hartley stated that he was disappointed that it was not possible to have cross party agreement.  In relation to other comments made it was stated that additional funding had been made available to the NHS and that the amount was greater than promised by the Labour Party.  Councillor Hartley stated that all members had a personal stake in the health service and its continuing improvement.  In conclusion he stated that he would like to work on a cross party basis to help save the Source.

 

The matter was put to the vote.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council reiterates its emphatic support for the National Health Service, the best in the world, in promoting the wellbeing and health of our citizens, treating the sick, injured and those suffering long-term conditions with high quality and compassionate treatment and care, free to all at the point of use.  The Council salutes the dedication and professionalism of the thousands of clinicians, care and support staff who devoted themselves to the users of the NHS and social care services in the Borough.

 

However, this Council is increasingly concerned at the strains on the local NHS and care services caused by increased demand, tighter funding and exacerbated by the fragmentation and adversarial commissioner-provider relationships following the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.  The Council believes it is simply unacceptable for its residents to be waiting on hospital trolleys in corridors for treatment or for weeks for a GP appointment.

 

This Council supports the NHS England view that emphasis must be moved from treating to preventing illness, promoting healthy living and helping to prevent and then manage long term conditions so people could live as normal and active life as possible.  However, the Government had spectacularly failed to support Public Health, cutting a devastating £2m from the Royal Borough of Greenwich budget this financial year with more cuts to follow.  Further, the Greenwich Care Commissioning Group (CCG) has stopped £1.1m of funding to the Royal Borough’s award winning public health programmes.

 

This Council is concerned, both at the Greenwich CCG financial position with a £15.4m shortfall in this financial year and the manner of some of their decisions to stop certain funding including the excellent nurse-led facility in Horn Park “The Source”, public health projects and £950,000 for the most vulnerable people with learning disabilities. At the same time, the Council notes the continued progress being made in co-ordinated care supporting people with seamless support on leaving hospital, with continued low delayed discharges and reducing re-admissions.

 

This Council calls upon the Government to substantially increase spending on the NHS and to ensure greater equity of funding in primary and secondary care across London, to reverse the public health cuts and to continue the process of devolution of healthcare to be integrated with social care within a local democratically accountable framework, and to replace the focus on competition with one on a duty to collaborate.  Further, the Council calls upon the Government to deliver on the promise of the Leave Campaign for an extra £350m a week for the NHS, equivalent to a £76m annual boost for Greenwich NHS.

 

Further, this Council calls upon the Greenwich Health and Wellbeing Board to continue the excellent promotion of our Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the development of the Greenwich Co-ordinated Care programme as part of a roadmap to integration, to ensure a collaborative approach to resourcing and commissioning, to establish a Greenwich Healthcare Economy strategy to ensure the Royal Borough had the right clinical and support professionals to meet future needs, and calls upon the Greenwich CCG to continue funding “The Source” until a new arrangement was secured and to reconsider its unilateral cut supporting the MCCH learning disabilities contract until new arrangements were agreed.

Supporting documents: