Press release concerning Accountable Care System for Cornwall



As Cornish residents and West Cornwall HealthWatch campaigners, we are well aware of how difficult it is for members of the general public to make sense of what is going with Council and NHS decisions around Integrated Strategic Commissioning as part of an Accountable Care System (ACS) within Cornwall.

We have genuine and serious concerns about the proposals - as far as it is possible to understand them in all the confusion!

  • ·         Firstly, we do not agree that “integration” can be successfully imposed from above and consider that the key priority is supporting integration of services at the local level.
  • ·         Secondly, we are very concerned at the haste with which Cornwall Council is going, rushing headlong into major responsibilities without a clear idea of why or how.
  • ·         Thirdly, and most fundamentally, there clearly needs to be more money for health and social care investment and service provision, but there are no guarantees that this will be available. Let’s be clear, Cornwall Council will have to accept the blame when this goes wrong!

We also have major concerns about democracy and the democratic process.

  • ·         Firstly, about our right as citizens and health campaigners to lobby our elected councillors and board members of Cornish health organisations, without being vilified and labelled as “far left-wing protesters”.  We ourselves are avowedly non-party political, and are offended that we could be branded in this way.
  • ·         Secondly, about a fear that the democratic process is being side-lined by unelected council officials and health bosses. Elected councillors and health campaigners seem to be regarded as irritations when they fail to fall in line and wholeheartedly endorse plans that have already been signed up to. (The Accountable Care System Accord for Joint Working Arrangements in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly was set out last November).  

We very much hope that in their haste to establish ‘Shadow ACS arrangements by April 1st, decision makers will not merely rebrand or rename their plans but instead will take time to consider the suitability of their decisions and their decision-making processes.

Issued by the Committee of West Cornwall HealthWatch