Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Has the Project Board been acting within the Law?

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 is the cause of much of the grief in the NHS. This top-down reorganisation is more voluminous than the Act that set up the NHS in the first place. It is generally loathed. However, it does have a section that the local WGH Procurement Board do not seem to have looked at, or if they did, did not understand, or if they did, they did not bother to implement. it is section 14Z2. It goes like this:

14Z2 Public involvement and consultation by clinical commissioning groups
(1) This section applies in relation to any health services which are, or are to be, provided pursuant to arrangements made by a clinical commissioning group in the exercise of its functions (“commissioning arrangements”).
(2)The clinical commissioning group must make arrangements to secure that individuals to whom the services are being or may be provided are involved (whether by being consulted or provided with information or in other ways)—
(a)in the planning of the commissioning arrangements by the group,
(b)in the development and consideration of proposals by the group for changes in the commissioning arrangements where the implementation of the proposals would have an impact on the manner in which the services are delivered to the individuals or the range of health services available to them, and
(c)in decisions of the group affecting the operation of the commissioning arrangements where the implementation of the decisions would (if made) have such an impact.
(3)The clinical commissioning group must include in its constitution—
(a)a description of the arrangements made by it under subsection (2), and
(b)a statement of the principles which it will follow in implementing those arrangements.
(4)The Board may publish guidance for clinical commissioning groups on the discharge of their functions under this section.
(5)A clinical commissioning group must have regard to any guidance published by the Board under subsection (4).

(6)The reference in subsection (2)(b) to the delivery of services is a reference to their delivery at the point when they are received by users.

I included the whole section to block any claims that it was taken out of context.Now it is very clear that the Weston Project Board has not held public consultations. There is therefore a serious question of whether they are acting, or have been acting (this legal language is infections) within the law. 
The Campaign has a team of solicitors looking at this question. Our solicitors feel that we have a strong case.

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