Read full Isle of Thanet News article here.
Read full Isle of Thanet News article here.
When Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group took the decision not to recommission Thanet’s vital Thinkaction mental health hub, a spokesman claimed that we would be able to access the same services from other providers. In this letter to Thanet Gazette, I share a few home truths.
I was pleased to be quoted in this article on Thanet’s potentially deadly mental health crisis. But some of the context I provided was missing:
Poverty means people in Thanet are particularly badly affected by the running down of mental health services – with dire consequences.
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are two to three times more likely to develop mental health problems – with possibly deadly knock-on effects. People experiencing severe and prolonged mental illness die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than the rest of the population.
The projected rise in severe mental illness in Thanet is 3.8% by 2020; in mild to moderate mental illness, it’s 5%. It’s clear that we need more mental health services not fewer.
This will put additional pressure on our already struggling doctors and cause misery for many people and their families.
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.
The stroke protest outside QEQM on 6th October was well-documented in Wednesday’s Thanet Extra.
Following the protest outside QEQM on 6th October, I was pleased to be quoted at length in the Isle of Thanet News:
Mr Mackinlay seemed to say today that he would like to see one of the three planned hyper-acute stroke units (HASUs) being sited at QEQM, but he didn’t have any tangible suggestions for how this would be achieved.
Rather than calling for one of the chosen three hospitals to lose their stroke unit, our preferred option within SONiK would be for four HASUs in Kent and Medway. This would require additional NHS funding.
I prevailed upon Mr Mackinlay to raise an oral question in Parliament as part of the health debate scheduled for October 23. He should ask why Thanet was left out of the options for a new stroke unit and urge the Government to make additional funding available for a fourth HASU here. I very much doubt he will do this as he’s propping up a dysfunctional Government hell-bent on starving the health and social care systems of the funding they need to survive.
Read full article here.
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