Camden Council's Cabinet outline concerns about the North Central London Sustainability and Transformation Plan
Following discussion by Camden Council’s Cabinet last week (Wednesday December 14), the Leader of the Council, Sarah Hayward, has written to the Convenor of the North Central London Sustainability and Transformation Plan to outline concerns that the council, partners and residents have about the plan.
In her letter to David Sloman, Councillor Hayward says that the council “remain unclear about the next stages of the STP process but provide detailed feedback on the current draft with the aim of influencing the plan as it proceeds to ensure it has the best chance of meeting the needs of the Camden residents we’re elected to serve”.
The Council recognises that the NCL STP is consistent with a number of strategic priorities and approaches that the Council has adopted in the development of its own services – whole-system working, integration, a focus on prevention, care closer to home, and parity of esteem for mental and physical health.
Councillor Hayward makes it clear that Camden’s Cabinet know that the STP has had local clinical input and a well-argued case for change, but feels that the process has been “deeply flawed” and “significantly undermined by national requirements that have resulted in a complete lack of local political involvement, a lack of public engagement and transparency, against a background of fundamental funding constraints.”
Councillor Hayward reminds Mr Sloman that the council’s concerns “about the lack of transparency in the development of the plan and the exclusion of local politicians” led her to publish the plan at the first opportunity (once this was submitted on 21 October 2016), against the wishes of NHS England.
Following the publishing of the plan the council organised events and arranged a period of public engagement.
In addition to this the Camden-led Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee conducted a series of open-call evidence gathering sessions.
Councillor Hayward makes clear that “the message we have consistently received during this engagement is that residents, stakeholders and partners have deep reservations about the plan.”
She closes the letter, stating that she understands that the development of NCL STP is at a very early stage but asks Mr Sloman to join the council in “voicing our concern to NHS England and the Government that the STP process is neither adequate nor sufficient to the challenge of ensuring that we have a health and care service fit for the future.”
“At this stage, we are neither accepting nor rejecting the NCL STP. Cabinet has authorised officers to continue to engage with the development of the NCL STP contingent upon our concerns being addressed, and we will continue to assess our position as the process continues”, she adds.
The Chair of the North Central London Joint Health Overview Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Alison Kelly, will shortly also write to David Sloman, and Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt – outlining concerns that the five-council committee* have with the STP process locally and nationally.
*The following councils are represented on the North Central London Joint Health Overview Scrutiny Committee:
Barnet, Camden, Haringey, Enfield, Islington.