Councillors continue fight for social care funding

Published: 22 Feb 2017

Hertfordshire County Councillors have agreed to keep up pressure on the Hertfordshire Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) to ensure they maintain funding for vital social care services in Hertfordshire.

Speaking after the full Council meeting yesterday, Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said:

“We cautiously welcome the news that HVCCG has rescinded its decision, and we now hope that they will do the right thing for Hertfordshire residents and themselves by continuing to provide us with this essential funding. We are pursuing this issue because we believe that without this money there will be real human consequences for those older people in Hertfordshire who really need care and support.”

Liberal Democrat Councillor for St Albans Central Chris White added, “This is about people's lives. It cannot be right that the HVCCG's accountancy problem is being dealt with by cutting care and increasing bed-blocking.”

Labour Councillor for The Colneys Dreda Gordon said, “I am of course pleased that Herts Valley has rescinded on their earlier decision to withhold the £8.5m they were to provide to Council towards social care. This must be followed up with further dialogue to resolve the funding situation in order to protect our residents who receive care through our services.”

At the County Council meeting yesterday, County Councillors unanimously voted that the HVCCG attend a further special Heath Scrutiny Committee. At the meeting which will take place in early March, the HVCCG will be requested to update Councillors on the outcome of their discussions and the committee will then make a recommendation to County Council as to whether they should report the HVCCG’s decision to the Secretary of State for Health.

Earlier this month the council’s Health Scrutiny Committee heard evidence from a range of local health partners, including HVCCG, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust NHS, and East of England Ambulance Service and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire. They concluded then, that the HVCCG hadn’t fully considered the significant impact their actions would have on people in Hertfordshire.

Colette Wyatt-Lowe added, “We will, of course, continue our good work at an operational level with NHS hospitals and community providers, who understand the importance of good social care services to help the flow of patients through the system. And of course we will try and find a positive solution, which is not only in the interests of our residents, but also beneficial to the CCG.”