On Thursday 3 August 2017 the board of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) approved the organisation’s Full Business Case (FBC) in relation to proposed changes to its hospital services in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield.
This decision enabled CHFT to submit the FBC to its regulator, NHS Improvement, for assessment.
It is not the role of Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield CCGs to approve the FBC. Instead, their role is to indicate to NHS England whether the CCGs are supportive or not of the FBC. In this regard, the CCGs will be separately considering the FBC according to three considerations:
- Is the FBC in line with the model that was consulted on?
- Are the proposals put forward affordable to each CCG?
- Do the proposals contribute to the financial sustainability of the wider Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield system of care?
At its meeting on Friday 21 July 2017, the Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committees (JHSC) decided to refer the proposed future arrangements for hospital and community health services in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield to the Secretary of State for Health.
During the meeting, in its first resolution, the JHSC stated a unanimous understanding of the need to address the way hospital and community health services are delivered in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield:
The Joint Committee has accepted that maintaining the status quo is not an option and understands the CCGs’ clinical and quality case for change.
The Joint Committee also accepts that delivering services across two sites has contributed, in part, to the workforce challenges particularly in recruiting to key specialist areas at senior levels. It has expressed no view about the location of an “unplanned” hospital or a “planned” hospital. However, the Joint Committee has serious concerns about some of the consequences of reconfiguring hospital services in this way. (1)
Therefore, the JHSC decided to exercise its right to refer the decision of the CCGs to the Secretary of State for Health on the grounds that:
- It is not satisfied with the adequacy of content of the consultation with the Joint Committee
- The amended proposals presented to the Joint Committee are not consistent with the proposals originally consulted on by the CCGs in 2016.
- It considers that the proposal would not be in the interests of the people of Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield and hence not in the interests of the health service in the area.
We await the Secretary of State’s decision. Meanwhile, Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield CCGs, along with CHFT, will continue to plan for changes to hospital and community health services pending the outcome of the referral process.
The consultation proposals for changing hospital and community health services are based on our aim to meet the highest standards of safety and quality for patients and create a sustainable local NHS now and for future generations. We believe the changes that we have proposed are the best way to save more lives and improve results for patients.