‘Deaf trust’ forgets about consultation

Posted on October 22, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Polyclinics |

Ilford Recorder | NHS Redbridge | 22 October 2009

YET again, the Primary Care Trust has let us down. Two weeks ago Conor Burke, borough managing director of NHS Redbridge, came to our Area committee four meeting to discuss proposals for polyclinics. 

He advised us the primary care trust would only go ahead after consultation with residents. 

He said there were no immediate plans to close the A&E at King George Hospital. Yet we learn plans are in place for a new polyclinic to replace the A&E. 

The trust’s idea of consultation is “They talk, we listen, our views fall upon deaf ears” and they go ahead and do what they damn well please. 

We have more than 250,000 people in our borough and nearly 50 surgeries. 

In October 2007, we succeeded in keeping the surgery open in Spearpoint Gardens, only because I brought it to the attention of residents that when a doctor retired the trust intended to ship patients to a surgery in Cameron Road, Seven Kings – without consultation. 

There are no direct bus routes from Spearpoint Gardens to Cameron Road, which is a 2.5-mile round trip. 

The trust then held “consultation meetings” near Christmas, when most of us have other things on our minds and they were not advertised well. 

The surgery in Spearpoint Gardens was given 18 months’ grace, and 19 months later we hear on the grapevine this is one of the surgeries to go into the new polyclinic at King George. 

Were any patients consulted? Were the staff consulted? Of course not. 

The government does not have the funding to maintain our hospitals. 

How can we expect them to build and maintain polyclinics? 

In an ideal world large clinics with up-to-date equipment, fully staffed and accessible to all, with sufficient parking, would be first class. 

But we don’t live in an ideal world and considering it is normally the residents, who are in ill health and who visit the surgeries, it beggars belief you will have to be fit and healthy to get there because of where the trust wants to locate them.

This is why small local practices work – they are local.

Your GPs, as you know them now, will not have their own “office space” in a polyclinic. The room will be shared by other GPs. 

You will be lucky to see the same one twice .This will be the end of an era. 

Our community spirited GPs will be swallowed up by the system and evolve as polyclinic consultants, and the rest will be put out to pasture. So, there you go – NHS cutbacks. 

Our hospitals cannot cope now. 

Queen’s is a disaster, wonderful hospital, first class equipment, but under staffed. 

I have had an appointment cancelled by Queen’s five times in three months. 

If the trust wants to be open and transparent, why doesn’t it give three months’ notice, hold a meeting in the town hall and invite residents to air their views? 

Proposals to abolish small independent surgeries are a liability. The patients will suffer. 

The system of polyclinics is untried, untested, unworkable and unwanted. 

Why are the PCT not listening? 

My diagnosis? Impaired hearing and selective memory.

CLLR LORAINE SLADDEN

Aldborough Ward

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