Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

A Clear and Credible Plan

by Owen Temple on 26 November, 2012

Sounds like a Harrison Ford Movie. Actually it’s about the NHS in Consett and the rest of the North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area. It’s their plan for our health.

There’s been a lot of criticism about changes to the NHS, some of which I certainly share in, but the one possible saving grace is the localised Clinical Commissioning Groups in which local doctors’ practices will take over the business of setting priorities and choosing much of  the who, why, what, where and when of healthcare provision locally. That’s not all bad – they’re the people who know our medical needs best, and if it results in a truly “bottom up” approach we could all be the winners.

That’s why I was pleased to hear the North Durham CCG talking about a number of the things I’ve been banging on about for the last five years: the absence of intermediate care beds anywhere in the Derwentside area, the Urgent Care Centre, access to local clinical services and cancer, heart and dementia care to name just a few. I was also encouraged by the willingness to talk about community hospital/healthcare facilities in the area – Shotley Bridge & Chester-le-Street Community Hospitals and the Primary Care Centre in Stanley- because I think they all have a role to play; none more so that Shotley Bridge Hospital. Of course, talking is one thing – doing another – but unless we keep talking about these things which are so important to local people they risk being neglected.

There is a website for the North Durham CCG and I urge you to use it. Forget “Your M&S”. Far more importantly it’s “Our NHS”.

   1 Comment

One Response

  1. Stum says:

    Many NHS foundation trusts have budgets in the red, some running up huge debts, which impact on patient care and services. I’m more than a little worried that this could happen with GP comissioning groups. Whilst I agree, GPs are the best people to know about our health and health care needs, are they really the best people to comission these services, do they have the skills and training to navigate through the complexities of a competative tendering process and competition law? There is also the issue of monitoring, how will they determine if the service they comission has good outcomes for their patients or not, or if it is best value for money. No doubt to manage some of these things they will have to employ an army of administrators, accountants, auditors and lawyers. Staff that were probably employed by the PCT’s to carry out this job, raising the question of whether we will just be duplicating work among the many GP comissioning groups and wasting more money in the long term.

    Many of us are concerned that GP’s will now have one eye on their budget when considering whether or not they can afford to treat us, where as before the GP was our advocate with the PCT’s.

    I could rattle on for ages about my concerns, but It’s a worrying time for anyone, especially those with less common long term health problems, who pror to this, could group together to lobby the larger PCT’s to commission better services. Those voices will be reduced to just a handful when it comes to lobbying GP Commisioning groups.

    Anyhoo, you can tell I’m not a fan of the idea or the two teir NHS this coalition government have created.

    Personally there has got to be a better way to make an NHS fit for the future, one that doesn’t involved private companies cherry picking the best services and siphoning a fortune in tax payer funded NHS money into the pockets of share holders.

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