FAO Paul von der Heyde, Somerset ICB designate chair
Dear Paul von der Heyde,
We, the public, were not consulted nor did we agree to the latest reorganisation of our NHS and the creation of Integrated Care Systems, but we are committed to making sure these changes in our NHS work for our communities, our families and our friends. I hope that you receive this message in good faith and act in solidarity with us.
We are asking you to commit to “Get private profits out!”.
Getting private profits out also means that there should be no conflicts of interest, or even the mere appearance of it in our local NHS. This means that individuals who work for or have a financial interest in private companies must not be allowed to be members of the board or the committees that make decisions in our local NHS. It is not enough for them to register their interests and not be involved in specific decisions they have an interest in.
Our NHS is on its knees, not only from two years of carrying the entire country on its back through the pandemic, but from a whole decade of chronic underfunding even before the pandemic started. This has led to a staff shortage crisis and to over 6 million people waiting for care from the NHS.
The very last thing we need right now is any perception of a mixture of loyalties operating in our local NHS and impacting the care we are receiving or indeed the care we have been waiting weeks or months to receive.
We hope to not only write to you, but to also write to our local papers, the local radio stations and our local elected representatives in parliament and in the council.
While the Health and Care Bill is yet to pass, there is no doubt that it will pass and that it will pass largely in the form in which it passed out of the House of Commons in November 2021. The bill is explicitly written so as not to be too prescriptive and to permit local NHS leaders like yourself a significant degree of flexibility in implementation. That is a positive aspect of the bill that we believe you can call into use locally.
Thank you so much for your time and attention and I look forward to hearing from you with respect to the requests of the campaign.