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Councillor storms out of meeting after claiming new NHS system ‘could’ve been written on the back of a fag packet’

A councillor stormed out of a health committee meeting after claiming that a new NHS system “could’ve been written on the back of a fag packet”.

Councillor Steve Carr made the comment at Nottinghamshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee.

He later left the meeting when he was told he could not ask a question about how Brexit may have impacted NHS resources.

As he walked out of the meeting after around 30 minutes, he told the chair that he thought the committee was a “waste of time”.

The Chief Executive of the newly established Integrated Care Board (ICB) Amanda Sullivan, was speaking to councillors about the new body on July 26.

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The ICB has taken over from Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) with a new integrated approach to improving the health of people across the county.

The body will see NHS hospitals, GPs and community services come together to join up services and improve people’s health as well as treat illnesses.

But the Liberal Democrat councillor was critical of the Government-backed changes, saying that “if ever there was a time that the NHS didn’t need restructuring, this was it”.

Cllr Carr said: “I have first hand experience recently of the health service and it is not good.

“It isn’t the fault of the staff, it’s the fact that there aren’t enough staff.

“For the government to come out with something that quite frankly could’ve been written on the back of a fag packet in my opinion, is an insult to all of those who have to use the health service.”

Ms Sullivan replied: “We are working very hard to use the opportunities of working more jointly and trying to minimise the disruption.

“There are very significant workforce challenges that we have and we will do what we can to encourage people to come and work in the area.”

Cllr Carr then said: “Would you say that the Brexit situation has contributed to the resources being taken away?”

The chair of the meeting councillor Sue Saddington (Con), interrupted and said that “this is not a political meeting”.

Cllr Carr said: “You don’t like it when we talk about Brexit and its consequence is that it has destroyed the NHS and you are responsible.

“This committee is a waste of time. if you’re not prepared to talk about the big things I’m not prepared to stay.”

Cllr Carr then walked out of the meeting, which continued in his absence.

The ICB will be responsible for the local NHS budget and the delivery of high quality and safe local health and care services, and it will also be tasked with producing a five-year delivery plan. It will be regulated by NHS England.
Councillor Sue Saddington added that the system sounded “highly complicated”.
She said: “Big isn’t always beautiful. How can we be sure that this is going to produce a better health service?”
Ms Sullivan agreed that the system was complicated and added: “Throughout my time in the NHS there have been different moves to larger and smaller.
“What we are trying to do this time is to get the benefits of large and small.”

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