Camden’sPCT can’t be trusted to listen

Like many others, I have been very concerned to hear about the plans to close the A & E unit at the Whittington Hospital. Speaking to hundreds of local residents it is clear that this proposal has no local support. So I was glad to see that there was a de

Like many others, I have been very concerned to hear about the plans to close the A & E unit at the Whittington Hospital. Speaking to hundreds of local residents it is clear that this proposal has no local support.

So I was glad to see that there was a debate in the House of Commons last week. It was an opportunity for the government to set the record straight, to make it clear that the A&E unit at the Whittington will be supported and that the 80,000 people who use the Whittington A&E every year will still be able to have the emergency service they are entitled to expect.

The response from the Labour minister responsible did nothing to reassure us. He said: ''My right hon and hon friends have expressed very clearly their views about these matters and the importance to local people of the Whittington hospital, including its A&E department, and I am sure that those on the PCT will have heard those words very forcibly indeed.''

Anyone who has had any dealings with Camden PCT in the last few years will know how little notice it takes of any views, whether expressed forcibly or not. It is a failure of leadership for the Labour minister to try to pass the buck to the PCT in this way.


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We know to our cost here in Camden after the debacle over consultation on polyclinics, GP led health centres and the like, that the unelected, unaccountable and undemocratic PCT obeys the Department of Health and pays little attention to the wishes of local people.

MP Lynne Featherstone asked for consultation to happen now, but apparently local people are not going to be consulted until September 2010!

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For anyone who wants to do more than hope that the PCT will listen to their concerns about the Whittington, please sign the petition to save Whittington A&E, and support the campaign.

Jo Shaw

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigner, Holborn & St Pancras

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