At 10.00am on Thursday Sefton MBC Cabinet members will meet at Bootle Town Hall. They have a heavy agenda. One of the items under discussion includes the abolition of the PCT.
Sefton Council will take on the lead role for public health from 1 April 2013 as a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
As a consequence of PCTs being abolished as legal entities on 1 April 2013 it is necessary to transfer all assets and liabilities currently belonging to PCTs to other legal entities, such as local authorities, Public Health England, National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups.
This transfer of assets and the size of the budget will figure large in the elected members discussions.
The Council has received notification of its first ring-fenced public health grant allocation on 10 January 2013 – £19.4m in 2013/14 and £19.9m in 2014/15.
Part of the planned response to these changes includes the formation of a 'Health and Wellbeing Board'. This will become a formal committee of the Council. They will be expected to:
- Improve significantly the health and wellbeing of local populations
- Carry out health protection functions delegated from the Secretary of State
- Reduce health inequalities across the life course, including within hard to reach groups
- Ensure the provision of population healthcare advice.
There is going to be much uncertainty about the impact of all these changes.
I have a question. If the funding is allocated on the basis of a formula that allocates monies to 'areas of need and inequalities', will Formby receive less than elsewhere in Sefton?
Formby is considerd to be a 'well off' area. But it also has one of the largest population of the elderly in the country. They are probably 'asset rich but cash poor'. Are the health and care needs of this group of residents going to be met equally fairly?
I suspect there is a busy debate going on behind 'drawn curtains'. Residents in Formby deserve to be informed.
To read the full Sefton Cabinet agenda visit the sefton MBC web site here: http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=139&MId=6729