Agenda item - Public Involvement
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To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:
(a) Petitions – to receive any petitions presented to the full council or at the meeting itself;
(b) Written Questions – to receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 5 June 2013;
(c) Deputations – to receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 5 June 2013.
4.1 The Chair noted that there were no petitions from members of the public.
(b) Written Questions
4.2 Mr Dave Baker asked the following question:
“Can you assure me that despite the pressure that council budgets are under, that funds allocated to public health in Brighton and Hove will not be diverted to other council activities?
Are you concerned with possible implications that health provision in B&H may be commissioned from firms who are focused on making profits?
The Health and Wellbeing Board is one of the means of ensuring some democratic accountability of the policies of the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group. Will the H&WB Board use its influence to restrain the possibility of the CCG privatising our NHS?”
4.3 The Chair gave the following response:
“Central Government funding for local authority public health services is ‘ring-fenced’ for 13/14 and 14/15, with local authorities required to devote the entirety of the allocations they receive to supporting and promoting the health of the local population. I can therefore confirm that the funds allocated to public health for this period will indeed be used for the purpose of improving public health. It is not possible to discuss Council spending plans beyond 14/15 as detailed budget planning for this period has not yet been undertaken.
The CCG has publicly committed to procuring services which are sustainable and which promote localism. The CCG has further committed to inviting competition to buy services only where necessary and appropriate, viewing the re-tendering of existing contracts as a measure of last resort.
Given these assurances, I am clear that the CCG has no intention to embark on any initiative to ‘privatise’ local NHS services, nor to favour for-profit providers over other types of provider. I am therefore not concerned that there is the imminent risk of a CCG-driven further privatisation of local NHS services.
However, it is the case that it has been the stated policy of both the current and former Governments to encourage a plurality of providers within the NHS, which explicitly includes for-profit providers as well as NHS trusts, the voluntary and community sector and not-for-profit providers. I would expect to see the CCG continuing to encourage this plurality of provision within the local health economy.”
4.4 Mr Baker asked if the Committee was aware that there were firms advertising NHS Audiology services and that the CCG were commissioning two housing trusts to provide residential care to mental health patients.
4.5 Geraldine Hoban explained that the policy was to open up Audiology services to any qualified provider. Mr Baker may have seen adverts for Spec Savers. The CCG wanted to provide the best quality of care as well as the best value for money. Spec Savers was one of three providers who put in a bid to provide services and the feedback so far was good. The CCG monitored the services very closely and carried out patient surveys. There was no intention to extend any qualified provider to other services.
4.6 In terms of supported accommodation, the CCG had tendered because it wanted better quality supported accommodation. A not for profit organisation had secured the tender and the location remained in the City.
4.7 The Chair stressed that there was no desire to privatise the NHS.
4.8 RESOLVED- That the written question be noted.
4.9 The Chair noted that there were no deputations from members of the public.