West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, who exposed the far-reaching failures at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, is calling on the newly appointed provider, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, to come clean over plans for a health and social care joint venture.
MP Rosie has received information that Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool City Council and Liverpool GP Provider Organisation have plans to set-up a joint venture, pooling all budgets to provide all community health and social care from a single company.
MP Rosie, a member of the Commons Health Select Committee, has submitted a formal Freedom of Information request to each of the three organisations to establish the extent of any discussions.
She is also calling on the three organisations to issue an immediate confirmation or denial of these plans so patients and staff know where they stand.
Responding to this information, MP Rosie said:
“Deeply concerning to me are the rumours I’m hearing about the intention to set-up a new organisation. I understand it is the intention of Bridgewater Community Healthcare, the Liverpool GP Provider Organisation and Liverpool City Council to use Section 75 of the NHS Act 2006 to merge services into one organisation. This would bring together community health, social care and primary care.
“I would urge these three organisations to confirm or deny these plans immediately.
“If this is an option being discussed then Bridgewater Community Healthcare need to assure staff they will take on from Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust that they will retain their NHS terms and conditions indefinitely under any new organisation.
“The contract was let for approximately £5m less than it costs to run now. The interim administration has already cut the back office and managerial costs which means that future savings will come from staffing costs.
“These organisations also need to be clear that any future cost savings will not be done by cutting quality to patients or on the back of hard-working, committed and dedicated staff by cutting their pay and conditions.”