Nov 18 (1 day ago)
Here is a statement from Caroline Lucas MP & myself (PPC for Brighton Kemptown) on the ICES decision yesterday:
We are disappointed that at yesterday's Brighton & Hove Council Policy & Resources Committee meeting some Green Group councillors including the Council leader Jason Kitcat, voted to accept a Health & Well-Being Board recommendation to out-source a local NHS service (ICES) to provide specialist equipment for people with disabilities to a private sector provider.
It is a complicated situation - the Sussex Community NHS Trust was threatening to pull out of the service, "cost shunting" the responsibility over to the cash-strapped local Council that only provides a small component of the service currently. This is deeply regrettable. But we believe the Council has made a mistake in allowing itself to be forced by the NHS Trust to out-source this service to a private sector provider.
There was no necessity to make this decision earlier today – the existing contract runs until September 2015, leaving plenty of time to seek alternative solutions to keep the service in public hands.
We are particularly disappointed in today’s decision as it is not one that is in line with national or local Green Party policy, that unreservedly opposes the privatization of NHS services. Neither was the ICES decision brought before the local Green Group or Green Party in advance for discussion. The Green Party councillors on the Council recently successfully proposed a motion to the full Council meeting opposing privatization of NHS services.
We reiterate our outright opposition to the out-sourcing of the ICES service and to support the staff in the NHS in their campaigns to remain in the public sector, and NHS campaigners fighting against privatization.