HEALTH campaigners have welcomed Warwickshire County Council’s rejection of the controversial five-year plan that will see services reshaped amid millions of pounds of cuts.
Senior councillors said the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Coventry and Warwickshire document — published at the start of December — was a great disappointment because it lacked detail about where savings would be made, was not written in plain English and was not drawn up with the involvement with the council itself, despite it carrying its logo.
And at a meeting before Christmas the council said it would not support the plan until: the health and wellbeing boards of both Warwickshire and Coventry councils had had an input, it is rewritten in language which is accessible to the public, consideration is given to appointing an independent chair to see it through, that is takes into account the crucial role of social care, and it recognises local and easy access to services by the whole population as a fundamental principle.
Anna Pollert, chair of pressure group South Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public SWKONP), said: “We applaud the wise and timely decision of Warwickshire County Council, and welcome the council’s setting requirements prior to further consideration.”
At the meeting on Tuesday, 13th December, to discuss the council’s response to the document, council leader, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said the STP in its current form presented a move backward, while Cllr June Tandy, leader of the Warwickshire’s Labour group, expressed her concerns that ‘transformation’ meant cuts to local NHS services and that there was strong opposition amongst residents of Warwickshire to the redesign or removal of services from local hospitals.
During the debate, councillors raised other concerns, including how they believed it was inappropriate for the STP to be led by the chief executive of the trust that runs hospitals in Coventry, Nuneaton and Rugby.
They also said there should be public involvement in changes to health services and said local MPs should be made aware of the concerns expressed by the council.
CLICK HERE to read the document in its current form.