Herts Valleys CCG’s finance and performance committee has today unanimously concluded that the CCG cannot continue to fully fund the respite care service for children and young people at Nascot Lawn in Watford on a discretionary basis.
The CCG will now give Hertfordshire Community Trust six months’ notice from tomorrow (17 November), in line with its contract, that the CCG’s funding for Nascot Lawn will come to an end on 17 May 2018.
The committee discussed at length all the options for the future funding of the service, including options put forward by the families for a jointly funded service. All feedback received during the recent engagement process, including emails from families, was made available to the committee meeting that was observed by patient representatives including Healthwatch Hertfordshire.
Officers’ preference as discussed at the committee meeting was to use health- related spending to fund Nascot Lawn to the maximum value of £100,000 per full year until March 2019. However officers went on to confirm that HCC had not confirmed core respite provision funding for Nascot Lawn and that their approach will be to fund three respite centres only. In view of this, the option of joint funding of Nascot Lawn was unavailable and the committee therefore agreed the withdrawal of CCG funding.
The committee agreed that if the county council decides to reconsider its position and provide an option for four respite units or indicate a willingness to fund respite services at Nascot Lawn as part of a three centre approach, the CCG will be happy to facilitate support for a jointly funded service until March 2019.
Chief Executive of Herts Valleys CCG, Kathryn Magson said: “This is now a matter for the council and as the statutory provider they must now take a clear lead in working with families to determine future provision. We hope they will make decisions in a timely manner in order to avoid continued uncertainty for families.”
Dr Nicolas Small, chair of the CCG said: “This decision is one of our most challenging that we have faced and meeting with the Nascot Lawn families has been one of the most humbling engagement processes that we have ever undertaken. As individuals we cannot fail to be affected by the difficulties the children and their families face. We fully recognise their need for respite care but this must be a matter for the county council.
“The CCG will remain fully committed to helping the council in the transfer arrangements following the council’s offer to families.”