Cornish Devolution ‘Elephant In The Room’ For Scilly’s Council

hospital  nhs sign 2An Isles of Scilly councillor says Cornish devolution plans are the “elephant in the room” when discussing health and social care needs for the islands.

Cllr Marian Bennett was speaking at Tuesday’s Community Services meeting, the day before the Chancellor George Osborne announced that discussions were taking place with a number of English regions, including Cornwall, to hand over more power and budgets from Westminster.

Marian wanted to know how this would affect Scilly, since many of the commissioners and providers of health services on the islands are based in Cornwall.

But Council Chairman Amanda Martin said the Authority hadn’t received adequate information on the proposals.

She said it’s “still a work in progress” and “an awful lot of work needs to be done” before they could be implemented.

Cllr Martin said leaders at Cornwall Council hadn’t even consulted their elected members yet and nothing could be decided in Scilly until our own councillors are informed of the plans.

In February, ten Local Authority care budgets in Greater Manchester, together with their associated NHS commissioning groups and providers, worth almost £6bn, were brought together and given key decision-making powers.

It’s thought that a similar proposal will be applied to Cornwall.

Speaking after the budget, NHS Kernow Managing Director Joy Youart said her organisation welcomed the announcement.

Joy said their ambition is to develop a service people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can be proud of, adding that it was clear they have to work “differently, creatively and in partnership” in the future.

We asked the Council for a statement on the proposals on Wednesday but they haven’t responded yet.