I attended this and it was better than I thought it would be – but I left with many unanswered questions.

There is scant information about why the models A to F (the options on provision of services) are deemed to be viable or not. There was no financial information, no mention of mental health services, community social care, or the wider issues and a complete absence of how any of the models fit with wider council social care service provision (which is currently suffering death by a thousand cuts leading to NHS bed blocking in elderly care) or other geographical areas in the NHS (specialist or other services) or how the new CCG may actually undermine local provision when it replaces the PCT.

Some of these questions were raised but again, not really answered.

Overall, a good PR exercise but little else in an event purely intended to get people’s opinions. Not that this is bad in itself, but I do believe they know more than they are telling us as I find it pushing the boundaries of credibility that they have little or no documentary or financial case for what they currently propose as their 6 options.

My own focus group were concerned about keeping services as local as possible, keeping the NHS in public hands (which is great and totally the opposite of this government’s agenda – take note Mr Garnier), retaining all services at Kidderminster on the existing site – and all from what was a very politically diverse table of opinion that was poles apart from my own political views.

This will definitely hot up as we go through the summer toward the autumn when I suspect that without some serious pressure from local people, we could lose out in the rush to choose a viable and locally acceptable model of delivery.

I would urge residents of Wyre Forest to seek out the NHS questionaire on this before the cut off date of 9th July and consider getting involved in any campaign that shouts up for our services being kept local on on the existing site. Something your local Green Party is happy to help co-ordinate given the current Wyre Forest political impasse. That impasse being majority support for the  Tory viewpoint from most of our local politicians who simply believing that writing ‘polite’ letters to the NHS is enough so as to allow our MP to serve his own masters in the Tory party (sorry but it’s true). Wow, what champions of local people we have elected in our name. I do exclude Labour from this as they objected and wanted all parties involved. However, your elected representatives view is that the Green Party , LibDems and UKIP have no place at the table because our MP prefers only to deal in this respect with elected representatives on the basis that they are the ‘voice’ of the people and reinforcing that with tenuous and spurious arguments about the BNP. This despite the fact 70% of people didn’t vote in May and the disenfrachisement it causes. I say, I wonder why and no surprise people feel alienated. I will however meet with our MP next week but I wonder what purpose that will serve without a proper seat at the ‘table’.

The NHS survey can be found here: http://www.worcestershirehealth.nhs.uk/joint-services-review/

Redditch has already stolen a march on us so we need to move on forming a cohesive ‘apolitical’ campaign (despite the political nature of the cuts and NHS funding) – before we get left behind in the race! Contact us (me) if you want to be involved in any such campaign.

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