Patients of a GP practice, threatened with a 44% budget cut, have declared ‘no confidence’ in local and regional health chiefs.
Slawit Health Centre SOS delivered a motion of no confidence to bosses of Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield CCGs (clinical commissioning groups), the organisations which manage local NHS services.
Patients also delivered a motion of no confidence to NHS England which has proposed to slash Slaithwaite Health Centre’s funding by 44%.
The Slaithwaite practice is one of approximately two-thirds of Huddersfield GP surgeries expecting substantial funding cuts.
The campaigners argue that no public service can make such cuts without radically altering the service – or forcing it to close.
Slawit Health Centre SOS also claim the cuts to surgeries will ‘make nonsense’ of the CCGs’ Care Closer to Home proposal, which aims to transfer more health services from hospitals into GP practices and other community facilities.
The CCGs’ Right Care Right Time Right Place proposal, which could close Huddersfield Royal Infimary’s A&E, is part of the wider Care Closer to Home plan.
A spokesperson for Slawit Health Centre SOS said: “If two Huddersfield surgeries were to fold at a time when 60% are facing cuts and all surgeries are under unprecedented strain, there will be a primary care meltdown.
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“There is a crisis in general practice nationally (including in the recruitment and retention of GPs); the 111 service is inadequate and dangerous, and Huddersfield hospital is in the process of being run down.
“Social care provision has been pared to the bone and the entire Huddersfield NHS and social care system is falling apart.”
The group added that neither the CCGs nor NHS England were ‘fit for purpose’.
The spokesperson said: “Slawit Health Centre SOS also have absolutely no confidence in the way in which healthcare decisions are being made in Huddersfield.
“Neither NHS England (North) nor the local CCG are fit for purpose and there is clearly a complete lack of communication between commissioning bodies.
“There is no sign of leadership and there has been no consultation about decisions which will affect thousands of people critically and have severe knock-on effects.
“The campaigners also believe that there is a culture of secrecy and threats which prevents health professionals speaking openly.”