The head of a group of private care homes has called for the independent sector to be represented on a district health board as it moves into its third year.
The managing director of Czajka Care Group, Konrad Czajka, said the Health and Wellbeing Board could not achieve “truly integrated health and care services” without representation from the independent sector, whom he believes should be invited on to it.
His comments come after it was revealed at the group’s last meeting that several public sector groups are trying for a place on the board.
Mr Czajka, who is also Yorkshire chairman of the Registered Nursing Home Association, said: “It has been reported that local hospitals, Bradford Council’s chief executive and even the police all want a place on the board.
"But with no representation from the independent sector, truly integrated health and care services will not be achieved.
“It’s vital that the independent sector gains a voice on the board as it will play such an important part in the future planning of care in the region and it would be able to help advise on cost savings by helping to reduce hospital admissions and bed blocking which is currently a big problem for the NHS.”
Health and wellbeing boards bring together local commissioners across the NHS, public health and social care, elected representatives and representatives of HealthWatch.
But at the local group’s meeting last month, chairman Councillor David Green said he was concerned the board had become just a ‘rubber stamping’ body.
Mr Czajka, whose company operates five nursing and care homes and retirement houses and apartments across West Yorkshire, said: “The board could benefit from a representative from the private sector who would bring valuable and strategic council to the table.
“In fact, the reason we launched our intermediate care unit at Currergate Nursing Home in 2008 was to support the NHS and provide an alternative cost and time-saving solution.
“It’s essential that private and public sector agencies work together in partnership to help shape the future of healthcare in the district.”