Saturday 9 June 2012

Let local people decide our health needs - not accountants

Guest blog by Pete Firmin, Chair Brent Trades Union Council
Central Middlesex - soon to be down-graded despite recent investment?
Sarah Cox wrote last week in the Brent and Kilburn Times about the consultation which NHS North West London is carrying out into the future of health services across the area. As she says, there is a strong feeling that this “consultation” is merely window dressing for decisions which have already been taken, such as the downgrading of several hospitals in the region, including Central Middlesex. Central Middlesex has already lost its night-time Accident and Emergency service, an indication of things to come.

Although the Health Authority claims its proposals will improve services, much of what they say is purely speculative – relying on new forms of health services which are not yet in place without proposals (including financial) as to how this will change.
Because of these serious worries about the future of the health service across the region, the Trades Union Councils in the boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Harrow are working together to build a campaign to ensure we have the health services the people of the area need and not ones which managers and accountants – let alone private health companies – think are appropriate.
We have commissioned a report from Dr John Lister of Health Emergency, looking at the effects of the NHS’s proposals in detail, both in terms of the loss of services and the effect on jobs in the NHS. This report will be launched early in June, and Brent Trades Union Council is holding a public meeting on the issues involved on Wednesday 13th June at Harlesden Methodist Church, 25 High Street, NW10 4NE. As well as John Lister, speakers will be from the campaign Keep Our NHS Public and the unions organising health workers. All are welcome, and there will be plenty of time for discussion.

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