Saturday, 9 November 2013

Stop them Blocking A Healthier Future: Give evidence to People's Inquiry into London's NHS

Guest blog from Sarah Cox

The People's Inquiry on London's NHS held its NW London session yesterday in Ealing. There was powerful and compelling testimony from many people, notably Anne Drinkell, who described from her immediate experience, backed up by research, the strains on those working in the community, their need for accessible comprehensive back up services in hospital for the increasingly complex needs of the patients and the inadequacy of the Shaping a Healthier Future proposals. She proclaimed her commitment to keeping people out of hospital wherever possible, but the resources are being cut, not expanded as they would need to be.

Gurinder Sandhu, a consultant in infectious diseases at Ealing Hospital spoke passionately about the increase in TB - Brent and Ealing have levels higher than many third world countries - the multiple problems caused by increases in homelessness and the number of patients living "below the radar" with whom Ealing Hospital has formed relationships.

Mary Daly, asked at the last minute to take Muhammed Butt's place, was absolutely excellent. Her experience as a health visitor informed her understanding of the problems we face and the inadequacy of the Out of Hospital care proposals without adequate resources and the dangers of fragmentation of our local health services especially as Brent CCG seems to be pursuing a policy of "macho privatisation" a phrase used by one of the panel members.

Participating in these inquiries is really worthwhile. There are more sessions to come and email evidence is also welcome. Please everyone add your experience and views. Unlike the mock Shaping a Healthier Future "consultation" they will be taken seriously.

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