Council ‘at breaking point’ over NHS’s push to accountable care system

Leicester City Council has threatened to raise formal concerns with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland STP over proposals to evolve into an accountable care system, HSJ has learned.

A paper entitled “Moving Towards Accountable Care in LLR” was presented to the board of University Hospitals of Leicester Trust last week, which said “this is not about ‘whether’ an ACS [is established] but ‘when’.”

Councillors said they have been involved in ‘zero discussions’ about the ACS

However, the three local authorities have criticised the absence of detailed plans to tackle the £399m financial gap outlined in the sustainability and transformation plan, and the failure to establish accountability and governance frameworks.

There is also concern over the performance of the acute trust, which has been ordered to improve by NHS Improvement after some of the worst accident and emergency performance in the country.

Councillor Rory Palmer, deputy city mayor of Leicester City Council, who also chairs its health and wellbeing board, told HSJ: “Our patience is being tested to breaking point. It is likely our very serious concern will be formalised. It is likely we will be contemplating whether it is right for our officers and teams to remain engaged with the programme.”

The ACS proposals were being considered by NHS organisations after system leaders in the STP, which is rated “advanced”, met with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

However, Mr Palmer said he had been involved in “zero discussions”, which fuelled suspicions that plans were being “cooked up behind closed doors away from public scrutiny”.

Full story in The HSJ, 18 September 2017