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I blame local councillors for the crisis in the NHS, but they have the power to cure it, and end the strike

Press release 12.9.2016 – full version here


”In Brighton and Hove the HWB/CCG budget is £1 million per day, (£370 mpa), which is plenty if it were more wisely spent on NICE recommended treatments that work to heal and cure patients. However, the CCGs locally and nationally have failed to do their job of commissioning these treatments, letting down their doctors, who cannot prescribe them, and their patients, who cannot access them.

Furthermore, the councillors on their HWBs have failed to hold their CCGs to account, betraying the interests of their constituents who elected them to look after their interests, and wisely spend the money given them in taxation.

All political  parties are also guilty of this, as none have taken the devolved responsibility for the health of their citizens, preferring the old system whereby they  blamed the health secretary. However, he is now statutorily powerless to fix it, having given away his former power 4 years ago. The junior doctors are right that this is a matter of patient safety, but their patients’ problem is overmedication, which better contract conditions cannot solve.

For years I have been attending the meetings of the CCG and the HWB, asking public questions, and constructively pointing out these failures and remedies in papers (published on section 9 of www.reginaldkapp.org)   but nobody has taken any notice.

The solution to the crisis in primary care (overflowing surgeries and A&E) and the junior doctors strike is for the CCGs to commission, procure and provide thousands more MBCT courses and supporting meditations, (as places like Swindon have been doing for decades) GPs could then prescribe them freely to all their depressed patients, and even take these courses themselves to prevent burnout.

The Better Care Fund legislation (July 2013) called for  Community Care Centres near every  surgery, which would be open 24/7 like mental health A&Es. These would relieve the A&Es of half their patients who do not need physical treatment.These courses should be freely accessible on self referral by all who need them, including addicts, and the homeless, who at present can’t access effective talking treatments.

Locally, I call on my councillors (Daniel Yates, chair, Karen Barford, Dick Page, Ken Norman, and Vanessa Brown) to call the CCG to account, as they are required to do in their terms of reference. They could thereby improve the mental health of our citizens, and cure the crisis in the NHS. Our city could then be a beacon for the rest of the country to follow…”