Posted: Wednesday 19th July 2017
Yesterday at Full Council, held at County Hall, Nascot Lawn was discussed.
A petition was presented by families who use the NHS Nascot Lawn Children’s Respite Services. Labour Deputy Leader Nigel Bell moved a motion which was seconded by Liberal Democrat Mark Watkins. Cllr Teresa Heritage, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Herts County Council, moved an amendment to the original motion. The amended motion was agreed as set out below:
That on Friday 16th June, Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) informed families across Hertfordshire that they would no longer be funding their contribution of £600k towards Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust run Nascot Lawn Children’s Respite Service. Consequently, Nascot Lawn will be forced to close on 31st October 2017.
Council further notes:
That Nascot Lawn Respite Centre provides regular overnight respite and care for a community of 60-80 children and young adults with severe learning and physical disabilities with additional complex medical needs. A day care service for children under 5 is also provided.
That Nascot Lawn is the only CCG funded respite centre in Hertfordshire, operated by Hertfordshire Community Trust.
That prior to 21st April Herts Valleys CCG had been actively working with officers from the County to provide a more co-ordinated health and social care service based, across respite centres in the county and there was a real expectation that such a service would have been deliverable by March 31st 2018.
That Nascot Lawn allows parents and carers to take a much needed break, confident in the knowledge that their child is receiving the highest standard of care by familiar staff.
That the CCG have been formally placed in ‘financial turnaround’ by NHS England and £45m savings must be made. Savings will be enforced centrally if the CCG are unable to carry out this level of spending reduction.
That since the General Election, ministers including the Chancellor have signalled that a relaxation of austerity measures could form part of the Government’s agenda for the forthcoming Parliament.
- That the timescale set for removing services at Nascot Lawn may have a devastating effect on the families who are most in need of support, and that the CCG should reconsider their decision or at least defer the removal of funding until suitable alternative provision is secured for these families and their children.
- That providing support for the most vulnerable children in our society is a basic function of a health and care system, and that withdrawing this service may have a disproportionate, negative impact on those who need access to respite care the most.
- That the £600k saving that the Herts Valleys CCG will achieve could be significantly less than the additional costs incurred by the County Council in providing replacement services for these families and young people.
- In the event that the Herts Valleys CCG carry out their threat, that the County Council’s Executive seeks to ensure that the needs of the children and families continue to be met whilst the joint health and social care assessments are completed and new plans discussed with families.
Council therefore notes:
That the Director of Children’s Services and the Chief Executive have been in communication with Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, however requests that the Executive Member for Children’s Services, as a matter of urgency, writes to the Chief Executive and Chairman of the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group to:
- Inform them that this Council strongly opposes the closure of the Nascot Lawn respite centre and asks them to reconsider their decision in the light of the harm it may do to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society.
- If they are adamant about ceasing the funding, then to delay the cuts until at least April 2018 to give the County Council time to establish suitable alternative provision.
Council further requests:
That the Leader of the Council writes to the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to:
- Seek Government support to ensure the Hertfordshire CCG’s and this Council are able to adequately fund health and social care provision in accordance with patient need.
- Ask that in the event of austerity measures being relaxed across the UK, Health and Social Care services are prioritised as areas which require immediate additional funding.
Council further notes that the Hertfordshire MPs have already received a briefing from the County Council and requests that the Executive Member for Children’s Services writes to them to inform them of this Council’s motion, to seek their continued help and support and undertake to keep them updated.