Pensioners are your eyes and ears during health care consultations

Pensioners are the ears and eyes for the public as far as health consultations are concerned. We have just seen the completion of one in Haringey, and now we have an even more important public consultation on the future of healthcare for the whole of Lo

Pensioners are the 'ears and eyes' for the public as far as health consultations are concerned. We have just seen the completion of one in Haringey, and now we have an even more important public consultation on the future of healthcare for the whole of London. Are Ham&High readers aware of this?

Two meetings have been held of a specially formed Overview and Scrutiny Committee representing all London boroughs and some adjoining county councils; several pensioners were in the public gallery at the second one.

A glossy consultation document should by now be in the hands of Haringey TPCT. Ask for a copy now as the whole consultation must be complete by March 7 next year and a 10-year plan for acute and community health care will be drawn up and accepted in April!

It looks as though Haringey was in the vanguard for the proposals set out in the London Plan; these combine centralisation of specialist acute care into very few hospitals, while the care of patients with chronic conditions is distributed to community polyclinics.


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We were consulted on the concentration of community care in polyclinics and residents have indicated that they do not want to lose their family GPs.

While the HTPCT will hopefully back away from the proposed vision that all or most GPs should transfer to six polyclinics, residents need to be vigilant. It is even more important for Londoners to engage with this pan-London consultation. It has started quietly, and will be over very quickly.

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Local authorities already carry the burden of costs for community care; personal care is viewed as distinct from health care and only the latter is free at the point of delivery. Social services have to make financial assessments and severely ration their care. Older people are already suffering as a consequence with the budgets of London authorities coming under stress.

In a market driven environment in which foundation trust hospitals are expected to compete one with another, how could a coordinated overall plan for healthcare work? Do find out more about this new consultation; ring 0207 932 3700, or visit www.healthcareforlondon.nhs.uk or contact Haringey TPCT 020 8442 6000.

Engage!

Janet Shapiro

Connaught Gardens, N10

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