A clinical commissioning group is reviewing its decision to withdraw £8.5m of funding for social care after Hertfordshire county council threatened to refer the matter to the health secretary.
Local Government Chronicle revealed earlier this week how Hertfordshire’s health scrutiny committee had recommended the council approve a request for Jeremy Hunt to intervene on the grounds that the decision by Herts Valley CCG was made without consultation, would lead to a reduction in the levels of care, and would create further pressure on NHS services.
On Tuesday, the CCG said it would review its decision “following receipt of further information and advice”, hours before the matter was set to be considered at a full council meeting. The motion at the meeting was amended following the CCG’s announcement.
In a statement, the CCG said its investment committee would meet on 2 March to consider whether the funding contribution should be made this year, adding it would address the issues raised by the council.
The statement said: “The CCG continues to be under enormous pressure to review our expenditure for next year and subsequent years in the context of a deteriorating financial situation.
“However, we appreciate the importance of this decision and the need to make sure we fully consider all aspects.
“Just as the county council has a legal duty to provide social care, ours is to provide healthcare.
“Making sure that we meet our obligations to patients and ensuring that any investments we make are delivering tangible benefits must remain a priority in our deliberations.”
The CCG confirmed it would continue its statutory commitment to provide £9.5m a year for social care under better care fund arrangements, regardless of the investment committee decision.
It will now be invited to give evidence to the health scrutiny committee on a date to be set next month.
Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Hertfordshire’s cabinet member for adult care and health, said: “We cautiously welcome the news that Herts Valley CCG has rescinded its decision, and we now hope that they will do the right thing for Hertfordshire residents and themselves by continuing to provide us with this essential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.”
23 February 2017