In response to plans for a Kent ‘super-hospital’, I was quoted in today’s Isle of Thanet News as follows:
I have grave misgivings about the proposals being put forward by EKHUFT to centralise East Kent’s health services in Canterbury or Ashford.
I disagree with Sir Roger Gale that the proposal to remove stroke and neonatal intensive care services from QEQM is in the ‘long-term healthcare interests’ of the people of Thanet. It feels very much like the first steps in downgrading Thanet’s hospital, and it seems sadly inevitable that other closures are now being proposed.
The unpopular Health and Social Care Act – which Roger Gale’s party introduced in 2012 and which paves the way for chopping up, and privatising, the NHS – has this to say:
Each clinical commissioning group must, in the exercise of its functions, have regard to the need to—
(a) reduce inequalities between patients with respect to their ability to access health services, and
(b) reduce inequalities between patients with respect to the outcomes achieved for them by the provision of health services.
Thanet suffers from huge health inequalities and poor health outcomes. By removing services from this deprived population, health commissioners would be failing in their statutory duty. Our MPs should be holding them to account.
I am also troubled by the idea of putting the future of our healthcare in the hands of a private developer. We have the benefit of hindsight that public–private partnerships, especially in healthcare, rarely end well.
Please find the full article here.