Death of Baby P, and the implications, will haunt us for years

The death of baby Peter will haunt the nation for a long time, possibly forever. Not just because he died in the most horrific circumstances but because many of us suspect, deep down, that the reason for his death was because the focus of health and socia

The death of baby Peter will haunt the nation for a long time, possibly forever. Not just because he died in the most horrific circumstances but because many of us suspect, deep down, that the reason for his death was because the focus of health and social care has shifted away from the needs of patients to the internal restructuring necessary to achieve the government's ultimate goal: the creation of an internal market as a prerequisite to the privatisation of health and social care.

In other words, the agencies involved had their collective eyes firmly on a different ball.

So even though the apologies and promises of new fail-safe protocols are, I am sure, sincerely meant, the truth is that Haringey PCT and Social Services are just far too busy fire-fighting and plugging gaps in their services as budgets are spent on brand new shiny buildings and improving the bottom lines of United Healthcare and Clinicenta, for example, to provide the responsive, patient-centred care which we, as tax payers, have been paying for during our working lives.

If anyone is any doubt that our NHS is being run down to make way for private provision, all you need do is trawl through the news archives of the Ham& High Broadway edition, the PCT's publicity and publications pages on the web and other local papers.


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In less than 10 years, the local cottage hospital, providing responsive, medical, surgical, out of hours, physiotherapy, respite and continuing healthcare for the residents of west Haringey - has been turned into a huge building which will have two GP practices relocated from Crouch End, a charitably and council funded dementia centre and, rumour has it, an independent sector treatment centre (ISTC).

No other services are now certain, in spite of the promises - but you can be sure that the financial and people resources required to orchestrate fragmentation and destruction on this scale are considerable.

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Susan Secher

Haringey Better Local Healthcare Campaign

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