Councillor Carol Hart, Cabinet Member for Health & Communities and Councillor Jean Wharmby, Cabinet Member for Adult Care
Letter of support from Councillor Jean Wharmby and Councillor Carol Hart (received by Jennie Street, Rhubarb Farm)
Thank you for contacting elected members about the proposed cuts to community and voluntary (CVS) funding by NHS Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
As I am sure you are aware, Derbyshire County Council has robustly challenged the CCGs on the rationale for these cuts, urging them to take into account the potential negative impact they would have on our residents.
I want to assure you that at both the elected member and officer level we are doing all we can to influence the CCGs to think again about their proposals and consider the long-term effect of their actions. What might save them money in the short-term could easily end up costing them more in the long run.
We recognise that the Derbyshire health and social care system has to change and have been working hard with the CCGs on the Derbyshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) to ensure a more joined-up approach. That’s why we’re so surprised by the CCGs’ proposals, as the whole ethos of the STP is around delivering joined up care and preventative services closer to where people live, in the community.
The CVS has a key role to play in this joined-up approach as it helps the county’s most vulnerable residents to live healthy, independent and dignified lives. Given the crucial role it plays, it is vital we work with the NHS to commission the CVS in a strategic way across Derbyshire.
I can assure you we are continuing to lobby hard and talk to the CCGs about these worrying proposals which the CVS organisations have told us is a very welcome approach. We have already met with Dr Chris Clayton to discuss our concerns and will be following this up with further meetings as well as using our Scrutiny function in relation to these proposals. Please rest assured Derbyshire County Council will continue to do all it can in relation to these issues.
Councillor Carol Hart and Councillor Jean Wharmby
Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Cabinet Member for Adult Care
Sheree Hall, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Stefan Andrejczuk, Chief Executive of Helen’s Trust
Sue Sanderson, Macmillian Partnership Manager
Geoff Horn, Chairman of Grassmoor and Hasland Men in Sheds
Grassmoor and Hasland Men in Sheds is an Unregistered Organization in it’s third year of existence. As such it is still dependent on financial assistance from others, and may well be for some time to come. The purpose of Men in Sheds is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for individuals to come together , build social connections and friendship. The Shed enables individuals to learn new wood working skills from more experienced members and to gain a renewed sense of purpose and belonging, often missing after retirement. Our regular weekly meetings provide the opportunity for social interaction which reduces isolation and feelings of loneliness, as well as working on wood related projects we discuss each others problems and concerns over health and fitness issues.
The benefits gained by the CCG from the positive effects on health and wellbeing by the existence of this, and similar groups, can not be under stated. DVA is an integral part of this existence and its loss will cause some groups to cease to exist. This in turn will increase the health issues referred to the NHS, which in turn will impact on the CCG. I believe the saying is ‘false economy’.
Chairman, Grassmoor and Hasland Men in Sheds
Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield
Susan Barber of High Peak Diabetic Self Help Group
The High Peak Diabetic Self Help Group is concerned that the current discussion on funding for Mental Health will leave High Peak without facilities.
Our group aims to offer support to people with all types of diabetes. The correlation between diabetes and mental illness is high. All types of diabetes are for life. They are not temporary ailments which will heal.
The emotional, physical and spiritual stress which is placed on the individual with diabetes , and also their families, is immense.
Individuals who have any long term condition face a whole range of problems. They generally need to be more careful about their every day lives. Adverse publicity about diabetes in the popular press insinuates the diabetics have caused the condition themselves. SOME , but not all Type 2 diabetics may be in remission by using a starvation diet and exercising to extreme. People with Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in childhood, have normally developed diabetes following a minor infection or trauma. The guilt put upon all the people does cause mental health issues.
Many children with Type 1 diabetes, may be the only child at their school with diabetes, and they feel, isolated and “different”. The daily grind of measuring carbohydrate intake and insulin dose takes its toll on many. At a time when Mental health is being publicly acknowledged, the consultation about cuts seems Dickensian.
Please accept our backing in your fight against cuts
High Peak Diabetic SHG
Sue Wheatcroft, Chair of Derbyshire Borderline Personality Disorder Support Group
Alistair Garrett, Chair of DORA 2017
Dave Radford, Manager Chesterfield Volunteer Centre
Adrian Rimington of MASH
Shelley Hinson of Dronfield 2gether
To all at DVA
If the support and funding disappears for projects like ‘Dronfield 2gether’, and many other small projects, groups and organisations that the Derbyshire Voluntary Action, after all the work that has been put into building up these amazing community resources, the lonliness and isolation that people feel, will skyrocket out of all proportion. The whole country will come to a grinding halt, if these cuts happen in every area of the U.K.
It’s not just small cutbacks. 38 million is a huge amount to cut from all these community resources.
Dronfield 2gether is totally in support of the work that Derbyshire Voluntary Action has done and is doing for the community. People need to feel safe and secure, which DVA are achieving with their work, and we do need their support to help with our project.
Dronfield 2gether Coordinator
Bipolar group member
I am writing to support you and your team during the forthcoming engagement process.
I have rapid cycling bipolar and have been attending the Bipolar Support group on the first and third Wednesday evening of most months. I have also been a facilitator for several years.
This group is very active and supports between eight and twenty people at each session. Not only do I benefit from the support I receive but I also find it very rewarding to be one of the facilitators.
If there is anything I could do to help during this process please do let me know as your support for this group is vital for its continuation.
Susan Barber of High Peak Diabetic Self Help Group
HIGH PEAK DIABETIC SELF HELP GROUP have long been grateful for the practical help and information given by DVA. The cut in Health spending will put further demands on small groups such as the HIGH PEAK DIABETIC SHG. We already fill in the gaps, and help patients, give support to families, and train Health Care Workers. We are funded by grants, occasional legacies, and fund raising activities. Recently we have been helped by Lottery Funding, Billerettes, Bingham Trust and Freemasons , to cover ongoing costs of the group and to upgrade our IT. We are extremely grateful for those donations, but they also have more demands than ever on their own funds. High Peak Mayoral Charities have helped in the past, but have been unable to support us recently. We work on a shoe string, and have no paid staff. We are all volunteers. DVA has been vital to us
Hazel Platt of Down Memory Lane, Let’s Get Active & CAMEO Come and Meet Each Other
I write with great concern regarding the funding cuts to the voluntary sector that were announced by Dr Chris Clayton, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) last Thursday.
It appears that the NHS, in the form of Derbyshire CCG, has decided that cuts must be made to funding of the very organisations that are contributing towards keeping people independent, socially engaged and healthy.
Many community groups are run with the aim of reducing social isolation amongst the elderly and more vulnerable in our society. If funding is cut for organisations such as Derbyshire Voluntary Action and the Volunteer Centre Chesterfield, a number of community groups will no longer be able to function. These organisations provide information, links and signposting, grants, representation and support to many small groups across Derbyshire. These groups all have a health and social welfare purpose and are essential avenues of support to elderly and vulnerable people, contributing to health and wellbeing which, in turn, reduces the use of NHS services amongst this population.
I am involved in the running of three community groups, a singing group for people living with dementia, a friendship group for older people and a chair based exercise group with a social element. All of these groups have benefitted from membership of Derbyshire Voluntary Action and the Volunteer Centre in many ways and their help has been invaluable in terms of startup funding, referrals from vSPA, networking and general advice.
I am aware that there was a huge budget deficit within the Hardwick CCG last financial year, which was due in great part to inefficiencies in the contract monitoring process. It seems that the voluntary sector is having to suffer for the inadequacies of NHS management yet again.
Unfortunately, Hardwick CCG isn’t the only NHS organisation working inefficiently – too many “managers” not enough people with the right skills, money spent on reorganisation every three years – the list goes on. I hope that the forthcoming merger of CCGs will result in a more effective organisation, although I won’t be holding my breath!
I worked in the NHS for 17 years and lived through four major reorganisations each one costing a fortune which could better have been spent on clinical services (eg £500,000 spent on one regional health authority’s premises and rebranding alone when PCTs came into effect). It appears that reorganisations come around much faster these days necessitating more money spent on rebranding, reorganising the workforce, putting staff through untold stress and patients through times of uncertainty.
I don’t know what can be done in this particular situation but I feel strongly that I should add my voice to that of the voluntary organisations and, most importantly, users of their services who will be adversely affected by the proposed cuts. It is imperative to keep the voluntary sector properly funded. In the long run, the savings to health and social care far outweigh the cost of facilitating volunteers to provide the services they do and organisations such as DVA and the Volunteer Centre are pivotal in enabling their role.
Adrian Rimington, Chair of Disability Campaigners