The future of thousands of Cambridgeshire health workers and the vital services they provide lies with the new commissioning group that takes over in a few weeks time, according to their Chief Executive speaking at a Board meeting today.
Cambridgeshire Community Services Chief Excecutive Matthew Winn was responding to a question from Cambridge Labour Parliamentary candidate Daniel Zeichner who asked under what circumstances staff might be transferred to private providers. Mr Winn said that his trust, which is set to be wound up, could transfer staff to existing NHS institutions or staff could establish a social enterprise, but that it was up to the new Clinical Commissioning Group to decide how to procure services.
In a hard-hitting report to the Board, Mr Winn had already warned of the damage to integrated care that is likely to be done by disaggregating services, and suggested that Cambridgeshire County Council had moved too quickly and with little communication with partners.
Mr Zeichner says that staff are rightly angry about the way they are being treated and that patients will receive poorer care:
“Only yesterday the Government was forced to say they will rewrite the regulations governing commissioning, creating yet more muddle and confusion. In Cambridgeshire, patients and staff face months of uncertainty, with respected professionals warning that the goal of integrated care is being set back not advanced. The new Commissioning Group needs to move quickly to reassure staff and patients that health care in Cambridgeshire will not be privatized. I will be campaigning alongside staff and patients to make sure that the public is fully aware of the important decisions that are being made on their behalf.”