Labour Councillors today successfully spoke up for the future of Health and Social Care services in Oxfordshire by passing a motion calling on the Secretary of State for Health to answer crucial questions relating to the Sustainability and Transformation Plan.
Oxfordshire County Council passed with cross-party support a motion proposed by Councillor Glynis Phillips, which read:
“Oxfordshire County Council is deeply concerned about the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). In particular we are concerned about the implications for Adult Social Care in the County, and for our infrastructure as Hospitals close and services are centralised. The Consultation with Oxfordshire has been derisory with the full plan not having been made public during the numerous meetings which have been held. This Council therefore asks the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Health asking him:
(a) How the area was decided? BOB covers 14 Local Authorities with 5 having responsibility for Adult Social Care;
(b) What consideration has been given to the implications of putting increased pressure on the fragile coalitions across this area as plans are delivered?
(c) What evidence is there that this approach to delivering savings of the magnitude required will work? Particularly in relation to reduced activity and the - 6 - need during transformation to run 2 systems. What will happen if it doesn't?
(d) Why the NHS workforce, the public and politicians have not been involved in shaping the plan?
(e) Given that local government, in relation to Adult Social Care has unrivalled insight into how services can be transformed. Why is the process so NHS centric?
Speaking after the meeting, Labour group leader Liz Brighouse said: "The plan, which will impact on everything from access to local GPs to hospital beds, has been prepared without meaningful consultation. In passing this motion and securing cross party support, Labour continue to lead the fight to protect our NHS and Care Services"