NHS reform plan 'arrogant' says Warrington council boss

Steven Broomhead
Image caption Steven Broomhead accused NHS bosses of being "naive" and "arrogant"

A council chief has written to the NHS warning its plan for implementing local reforms was a "recipe for disaster".

Steven Broomhead, chief executive of Warrington Borough Council, wrote to NHS England's chief executive Simon Stevens saying decisions were being made "without any local transparency".

He warned: "Such arrogance is bound to fail".

NHS England said it wanted to see more joint working but it was "accountable to parliament".

'Local scrutiny needed'

A spokesperson added: "That is what the N in NHS means - National Health Service."

Mr Broomhead's letter, written in his capacity as chair of the borough's health and wellbeing board, comes as 44 regional NHS officials draw up Sustainability and Transformation Plans, designed to introduce major reforms to local health services.

He wrote he was "astounded by NHS England's naivety" and said changes to where people receive services and what services they receive needed "local scrutiny and local community involvement".

He added he had experienced changes to stroke and trauma services as well as primary care provision, "with no local discussion or consideration".

NHS England said it wanted to see more joint working which would sometimes be for areas larger than individual council boundaries.

It stressed that where service changes were needed "they will of course continue to be consulted on" in partnership with local communities, including council's health and wellbeing committees.

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