The General Election will take place on Thursday 12 December, with Parliament expected to dissolve during the week beginning Monday 4 November.
This signifies the start of the pre-election period known as ‘purdah’, which places specific restrictions on the use of public resources and the communication and engagement activities of public bodies, including all NHS organisations.
During the pre-election period, there should be:
- no new decisions or announcements of policy or strategy,
- no decisions on large and/or contentious procurement contracts,
- no participation by NHS representatives in debates and events that may be politically controversial.
Impact in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Locally, the pre-election period impacts on a number of activities that were due to take place over the next few months, which unfortunately will now have to be postponed until the Government is reformed.
These include activities that were planned by the six Clinical Commissioning Groups in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as well as Together We’re Better, the local Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP).
Activities that will now need to be postponed until the restrictions are lifted include:
- Engagement on the prescribing of gluten free foods in south Staffordshire,
- Engagement on ‘Difficult Decisions’ in relation to aligning commissioning policies: assisted conception; hearing loss in adults; removal of excess skin following significant weight loss; breast augmentation and reconstruction; and male and female sterilisation,
- The Extra Ordinary Governing Body meeting to consider the Decision-Making Business Case on the future of Local Health Services in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent,
- East Staffordshire CCG’s Governing Body’s consideration of proposals to transfer the hyper-acute stroke service from Burton Hospital to Derby Hospital,
- Together We’re Better options appraisal workshops held with the public to develop proposals for future service change across health and care
Once the restrictions have been lifted when a new Government is formed, health and care system partners will consider when to recommence activity as it may coincide with the holiday and new year period.