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What’s in a ~500 page contract between the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and CRG for a private company to provide detained persons and officers healthcare and medical services?

                                

I have a big red box file in my office.

What’s in the box you may ask?

Here’s a sample.

letter Police Crime Commissioner for Merseyside citizen audit 2015-16 page 1 of 2

letter Police Crime Commissioner for Merseyside citizen audit 2015-16 page 1 of 2

letter Police Crime Commissioner for Merseyside citizen audit 2015-16 page 2 of 2

letter Police Crime Commissioner for Merseyside citizen audit 2015-16 page 2 of 2

Well it’s the result of my citizen audit of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside for the financial year 2015-16.

Just to show how long I’ve been a journalist for, you will find on this blog reports of public meetings of the Merseyside Police Authority. A few years ago the coalition government abolished the Merseyside Police Authority and replaced it with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside.

In the box are copies of 49 invoices and details of 10 contracts.

The largest contract at ~500 pages is a contract between the Police and Crime Commissioner and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t/a CRG for the “Provision of Forensic Medical and Healthcare Services for the period, 21st January 2015 – 20th January 2017 with an option to extend by a further 2 years.“ which is reference PCCM / PD / 026 – Bluelight ref. 9KBD-BXVLMV .

This is perhaps the most interesting document although like many of the documents is redacted in part.

There’s also a service level agreement with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and a secondment agreement with Liverpool City Council.

Some of the redactions were later challenged by myself and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner agreed with me that they didn’t have a legal basis to do so and released further information.

It is somewhat strange however that myself a journalist seems to have a better knowledge (from a legal perspective) over what can be redacted than the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. However I shouldn’t be too harsh on the OPCC for Merseyside as legal advice is a matter contracted under a SLA out to Knowsley Council (but don’t get me started on Knowsley Council and flawed legal advice!).

However the public sector as a whole has a tendency to for what of an expression take the mickey with me over redactions.

Although thankfully I rarely have to involve the judiciary in such matters.

Anyway going back to the large contract, due to its size from a time element it would take some considerable time to scan in, resize, compress and publish on the blog.

Those of a more political bent, may point out that in the public sector paying a private company for medical and healthcare services, that this falls into the political arguments over whether public services should be provided by the public sector. If provided by the private sector, ultimately less is spent on the service as a proportion ends up in profit (and presumably a different amount in taxes). For example 20% of all the money spent on CRG goes on VAT.

However, from CRG‘s last published accounts for 2015-16, they have a turnover of £34.3 million with a gross profit of 23.1%.

So out of £100 spent by the public sector with CRG, I estimate £16.69 will go on VAT, £23.10 on profit, leaving ~£60 out of every £100 on providing a service.

The contract is signed by Jane Kennedy (the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside) and Laura Hale (a director of Castlerock Recruitment Group Limited).

Moving on to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire it states that it’s for the provision of forensic and healthcare services (excluding SARCS).

SARC refers to Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

It explains that police forces and NHS Local Area Teams are working towards the transfer of commissioning responsibility for healthcare in police custody from the Home Office to the Department of Health and that the work of these Police slash NHS Partnerships sits within the National Police Transition Programme.

If this happens during the life of the contract it is anticipated that the commissioning authority changes from Merseyside Police to the NHS England Lancashire Area Team and the contract will be novated.

However police forces and the NHS share contract governance, even after this change. This is done through the Strategic Healthcare Joint Partnership Board, at the time chaired by Chief Superintendant Carl Krueger, with representatives from NHS England Lancashire Area Team and NHS England (Merseyside).

PCC in the contract refers to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside.

The background explains that Merseyside Police was formed in 1974, serves a population of ~1.5 million people, covering an area of 647 sq km and five Metropolitan Borough Areas (Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Wirral).

It then describes the BCUs (Basic Command Units) in operation at the time, which was one for each borough except Liverpool split into two.

The contract refers to the three universities, two premiership football teams (sorry Tranmere Rovers doesn’t get a mention or maybe its fans are better behaved), a rugby league team and two major racecourses. It states that in 2013, Liverpool received 57 million visitors to the region (referring to tourism). At the time of writing Merseyside Police employed over 6,000 people (*although technically police officers aren’t employees but officers of the Crown) ranging from police officers, PCSOs, support staff, Special Constabulary Officers and volunteers).

The custody suites are listed as follows (five in total) with 131 cells. There are also two mothballed custody suites which can be opened for pre-planned events and operations (which is an extra 32 cells).

Here is the list in the following format
location – BCU – Cells – Current operation

St Anne Street – Liverpool – 33 – 24/7
Wavertree – Liverpool – 20 – 24/7
Copy Lane – Sefton – 24 – 24/7
Wirral – 32 – 24/7
St Helens – 22 – 24/7 (Mothballing or reduced opening hours are currently being considered for this suite)
Southport – 12 – Mothballed
Belle Vale – South Liverpool – Mothballed

The contract states that services at the time of the contract award were provided by Medacs Healthcare (contact details Helen Kelly (Director of Managed Healthcare) and that staff employed by Medacs may need to be TUPEd over to the new provider.

There is a list of how many detainees there are for each month from April 2013-14, how many calls there were for a healthcare professional, along with a percentage of HCP calls vs No of detainees.

The total number of detainees varies from 3,510 in April to 3,927 in July. The number of HCP calls varies from 1,698 in March to 2,217 in July. The percentage varies from 46.3% in March to 56.5% in July.

There is then a table for December 2013 of various categories of call out, split by custody suite location with totals.

For example one of the categories, category 6 is Death (All) of which there were 4 in December 2013. This is 4 out of a total of 2,011 calls for a healthcare professional.

The six major categories (all with totals over 100 call outs in that month across Merseyside) in order of calls were:

Injuries (All) – inc Officer Injury,
Fitness to – Detain, Interview, Release, Court, Travel etc,
Medication Administer / Review,
Drink / Drug Withdrawl,
Reassessment / Mental Health Reassessment,
Detainee’s Request / Complaint against police

There were also 27 listed as Taser Removal / self harm / suicide risk.

Below are the first pages of the contract that I’m referring to. Are people interested in the rest or is police officer healthcare and detained persons’ healthcare an issue you assumed was provided by the NHS?

Just to be clear, these pages are published relating to rights in the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, Data Protection Act 1998 and Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 1

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 1

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 2

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 2

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 3

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 3

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 4

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 4

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 5

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 5

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 6

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 6

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 7

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 7

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 8

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 8

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 9

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 9

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 10

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 10

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What did councillors recommend Mersey Tunnel tolls should be for 2017-18?

                                     

In the video footage above of the Merseytravel Committee (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) Budget Meeting held on the 2nd February 2017 the Mersey Tunnel Tolls 2017-18 agenda item starts at the 1m 54s point

Cllr Jerry Williams (foreground, right) at the Merseytravel Committee meeting (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) held on the 2nd February 2017 agenda item 5 Mersey Tunnel Tolls 2017-18

Cllr Jerry Williams (foreground, right) at the Merseytravel Committee meeting (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) held on the 2nd February 2017 agenda item 5 Mersey Tunnel Tolls 2017-18

Councillors on the Merseytravel Committee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority today met and decided on their recommendation for Mersey Tunnels tolls for 2017-18. Mersey Tunnels is the name for the two tolled road tunnels between Wirral and Liverpool under the River Mersey known as the Kingsway (Wallasey) and Queensway (Birkenhead) tunnels.

Three of the four councillors appointed by Wirral Council (Cllr Steve Foulkes (Labour), Cllr Jerry Williams (Labour) and Cllr Ron Abbey (Labour)) were at the meeting and agreed to the recommendation for Mersey Tunnel tolls. Their recommendation was made to a meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority that meets tomorrow on the 3rd February 2017 to make a final decision.

The recommendation for tunnel tolls (subject to approval by the Mayor of Liverpool and Council Leaders tomorrow afternoon) will take effect from the 1st April 2017.

Tolls are agreed in four classes which are set out below.

Class 1
(a) Motor cycle with side car and 3 wheeled vehicle
(b) Motor car and goods vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes gross weight
(c) Passenger vehicle other than a motor car with seating capacity for under 9 persons

Class 2
(a) Motor car and goods vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with trailer
(b) Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with trailer
(c) Passenger vehicle with seating capacity for 9 or more persons, with two axles

Class 3
(a) Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with three axles
(b) Passenger vehicle with seating capacity for 9 or more persons, with three axles

Class 4
Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with 4 or more axles

Councillors recommended that all liveried emergency services vehicles (such as marked police cars, fire engines and ambulances) continue to be allowed free travel through the Mersey Tunnels in 2017-18.

Free travel for all classes of vehicle was also recommended from 10 pm on the 24th December 2016 to 6 am on the 26th December 2016.

Below is a table of the tolls recommended by councillors at the Merseytravel Committee meeting today from the 1st April 2017 to the 30th March 2018 for each class of vehicle for both the cash toll and Fast Tag toll.






 Vehicle Class  2017-18 Cash Toll  2017-18 Fast Tag Toll 
 1 £1.70£1.20
 2 £3.40£2.40
 3 £5.10£3.60
 4 £6.80£4.80

Further details of how to apply for a Fast Tag can be found on the Mersey Tunnel website.

There is also a concession scheme for Mersey Tunnel tolls for some people with a disability, again details of eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Mersey Tunnels website.

The tolls are opposed by the Mersey Tunnel Users Association who were also present at the public meeting to observe what was decided.

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Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service recommend councillors on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority appeal refusal of planning permission for Saughall Massie Fire Station to Planning Inspectorate

Planning Committee meeting (Wirral Council) 15th December 2016 councillors voting to refuse planning permission for a fire station at Saughall Massie L to R Cllr Pat Cleary, Cllr Stuart Kelly, Cllr Ian Lewis, Cllr Kathy Hodson, Cllr Eddie Boult, Cllr David Elderton

Planning Committee meeting (Wirral Council) 15th December 2016 councillors voting to refuse planning permission for a fire station at Saughall Massie L to R Cllr Pat Cleary, Cllr Stuart Kelly, Cllr Ian Lewis, Cllr Kathy Hodson, Cllr Eddie Boult, Cllr David Elderton

Last month councillors on Wirral Council’s Planning Committee rejected (by 7 votes in favour of refusal to 6 votes against refusal) a planning application for a fire station in Saughall Massie on land in the greenbelt on land off Saughall Massie Road.

Following the refusal of planning permission (on grounds of impact on residential amenity and on the greenbelt), a recommendation has been made by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to councillors on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (who will meet in public) next Thursday afternoon (26th January 2017) to appeal the refusal of planning permission to the Planning Inspectorate and to submit a revised planning application.

The report to councillors on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority criticises what ward councillor Councillor Chris Blakeley said at the Planning Committee meeting last month. The criticism relates to remarks the councillor made at the meeting about Upton Fire Station being a “fall-back” position, comments about the impact of a new fire station at Saughall Massie would have both on Arrowe Park Hospital and also what Cllr Blakleley stated about response times.

If the recommendation is approved by councillors on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority the costs of producing the documentation for a revised planning application are estimated in the report as “in the region of £56,000” (which would include a detailed lighting impact assessment). The costs of legal advice, preparation and representation for an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate are estimated to cost between £36,500 and £49,000.

The item is the last item on the agenda (item 9) and is expected to be held in public starting at 1.00 pm on the 26th January 2017 in the Liverpool Suite, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Bridle Rd, Bootle, L30 4YD.

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Former Cllr Crabtree receives 12 week suspended sentence for phone call

                                                     

Cllr Jim Crabtree (February 2016)

Cllr Jim Crabtree (February 2016)

Yesterday, former Cllr Crabtree received a suspended 12 week prison term (suspended for a year) and a restraining order for what he said during a phone call to Cllr Louise Reece-Jones last year.

Read More…

Would you feel picked on if you had to make three journeys to renew a Blue Badge and then got a parking ticket?

                                  

Penalty Charge Notice

Penalty Charge Notice



Updated 17.1.2017 My wife received a letter stating that the parking ticket had been cancelled.

This is a tale of my wife’s dealings with Wirral Council over the past forty-eight hours.

Yesterday she went to the One Stop Shop in Conway Street, Birkenhead to renew her Blue Badge. Despite Wirral Council having proof on their records that she receives the high mobility component of DLA (which entitles her to a Blue Badge) the renewal was refused on two visits.

After she came home (upset) we both rang the Central Action and Duty Team (part of Wirral Council’s Social Services). After four minutes we were mysteriously cut off, so had to ring back and explain again. The person we were talking to said she would email the One Stop Shop and call us back.

We were called back at around 5.30 in the evening and it was suggested that she go back to the One Stop Shop today (which she did). She parked in the Oliver Street off-street car park displaying her Blue Badge.

While she was in the One Stop Shop (where her Blue Badge did get renewed at a cost to her of £10 (Wirral Council insisted they’d send it through the post)) at 10:19 am a civil enforcement officer (seemingly oblivious to her Blue Badge displayed) issued her with a Penalty Charge Notice allegedly for contravention code 40.

Contravention code 40 is for parking in an on-street disabled parking bay without displaying a valid disabled persons badge, where contravention code 87 is the one that should be used for off-street car parks.

It’s physically impossible for a car that the PCN states is in an off-street car park to be at the same time parked in an on street bay.

When asked for comment Wirral Council’s press office stated, “we can’t comment”.

However Leonora Brace said, “I don’t want them [Wirral Council] picking on me.”

So, there you go, has Wirral Council’s attitude changed? Are disabled adults just a cash cow to them? Or am I just getting angry because it’s my wife that they’re managing to upset? Or is this just as Wirral Council would put it, an example of a “private sector head with a public sector heart”?

Updated 15.1.2017 9 days after an appeal was submitted Wirral Council have been in touch on the 13.1.2017 stating that the case has been put on hold, will not progress further until a decision is made, but due to the high volumes of challenges this may take up to 4 weeks.

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