This morning I attended the Extraordinary General Meeting of the North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCG to hear about the findings of their consultation on the future of community hospitals. The consultation was clear that there was little or no support across the regions for the options put forward by the CCG. The public wanted Leek and Cheadle community hospitals to remain open and there was no appetite for the proposed business cases by the CCG.
In light of this, I asked the CCG a series of questions on whether there was flexibility for new proposals to be put forward outside of the current scope and what protection for facilities exists until a solution is found. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a response that filled me with much confidence that the CCG are prepared to listen to patients and residents.
The future of our NHS services in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire as a whole remains of great concern to me and many who passionately believe in a publicly-run and free at the point of use healthcare system.
It’s why one of my first acts as your Member of Parliament was to join tens of thousands of people marching in London against NHS privatisation and cuts to funding, why I introduced the private members bill to bring back transparency and opinions on how decisions are taken in our NHS and why I continue to campaign against fines imposed by the CCG on our local hospitals.
Little was decided at today’s meeting – but it’s vital that we all continue to engage with the process and ensure that we retain the services that residents deserve and ensure we have an efficient, local healthcare system that caters to people’s needs not the bottom line.