Campaigners have handed a petition to health bosses which asks for more transparency over the plan to shape the future of NHS services in Warwickshire.
At a Healthwatch Warwickshire forum discussing the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) and the Future of Care on Monday, South and North Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) groups presented a petition containing almost 1,600 signatures to Professor Andrew Hardy, chief executive of University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) and chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire STP Board.
The petition calls on all the organisations involved in the Coventry and Warwickshire STP to “publish full details of the financial, workforce and site plans”.
The KONP groups have said: “We want to let the organisations know that we oppose any reduction in our health and social care services.”
“The public at large needs answers now about the STP’s finance, workforce changes and operational plans.
“Who is going to run Coventry and Warwickshire’s accountable care system or organisation (ACS/O)?
“In Nottinghamshire, the STP has awarded Capita £2.7m to set up an ACS.
“KONP fears the introduction of the ACS/O is privatisation by stealth.
“‘Accountable’ does not mean accountable to the public, but accountable to a financial body ripe for takeover by American-type health insurance companies.”
Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington, who has campaigned against cuts to NHS services, added: “Almost a year ago a few of us were urging the STP board to release information of the plan. When the plan was ultimately released, it was a vacuous piece of opaque report-writing which included no specifics but simply alluded to some possible areas of consideration.
“We are now seeing the truth behind the plan and it is clear that the Government is pushing the NHS down the road of ACSs, while having to involve charities to provide certain care services in order to meet the real-term budget cuts being demanded.
“Despite what it may say publicly, the Government is progressively privatising the NHS.”
A spokesman for Better Health, Better Care, Better Value, the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Coventry and Warwickshire, said: “We are committed to developing our plans for better health and social care services across Coventry and Warwickshire in partnership with the public and local stakeholders through engagement and consultation.
“We want to work in close partnership with patients, the public and our staff.
“As such, we welcome involvement from local groups such as South Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public. We would encourage people across the local community to be involved in discussions around our plans as they are developed over the coming months and years.”