Off to the Three Compasses (my HQ) for a council of war on what is happening to health in this borough. The cuts are cutting now deeply. Five family planning units gone or going for example. The X-ray unit at St Ann’s saved – but many, many other front line services disappearing. And why? Because of this Labour government’s lack of understanding about how best to run the health service. They have flung a fortune at the health service – most of which has gone into poorly negotiated doctor and consultant contracts. Their budgeting regime has meant that if a Trust balances its budget (much of which is achieved by cuts) then the following year it must make more ‘efficiency savings’ so that it can give its ‘surplus’ to a Trust that has failed to keep to budget. It is theatre of the absurd. It demotivates the good Trusts and rewards the ‘bad’. Except that the ‘bad’ are those Trusts that ‘overspend’ – but overspending means that they are trying to meet need in the community where elsewhere they are cutting front line services – as here.
Amongst other things, we are meeting to kick off the arrangements for the campaign to force the pace on the progress (or lack of it) on Hornsey Hospital. After the meeting we go off to Hornsey Hospital to set up the campaign shots. It looks so forlorn these days with its closure notices. It is six years since we were promised that if we (residents and Lib Dem politicians) stopped our campaign to save the hospital – then the Trust would together with us to a create new health facility for the community. So we worked with the PCT. There were public meetings and plans and public meetings and working meetings and lots of commitment – even complete planning permission at one stage. But after six years – we are nowhere.
… and on a technical note (highlight of my week this!) I’ve added links to each post so you can easily post them on del.icio.us / digit. Thanks to Technology Wrap for the tip on how to do it easily.