Liberal Democrats urge rethink over health care plans

Lib Dems have urged local health officials to come clean over new plans to review health care in Haringey and have called for a major rethink over the location of proposed super health centres. In their formal response to Haringey Primary Care Trust’s (PCT) health care strategy, Liberal Democrats have expressed concern at many weaknesses that, without action, may result in residents suffering from lack of local health services.

In their letter to the PCT, Lib Dems urged the trust to effectively manage the process of GP relocation to ensure that no one area is entirely deprived of local GP surgeries, for the trust to rethink the location of the super health centres and address the situation that two super health centres are located outside of the borough. In this respect they asked that a transport plan be run in conjunction with consultation on centre location.

Lib Dems have also called for the minimum number of GPs that would be needed to move to super health centres to make them financially viable to be made public and for the trust to be clear on what services would be co-located in super health centres and how these would join up with other local services.

Finally, they urged the trust to look first at NHS providers for services in the new health centres to ensure that the services are those that the public can trust and does not add to the fragmentation of the NHS.

Lib Dems launched their 5 point prescription for Hornsey Central Hospital in January this year aiming to ensure the opportunity to improve Haringey health care is not lost by setting out 5 key areas for stakeholders to consider.

Cllr Carolyn Baker, Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, comments:

“The health strategy, although linked with health inequalities particularly in the East of the borough, is not clear on how these inequalities will be addressed. Parity needs to be sought by increasing budgets in areas of health inequality not by reducing budgets in other areas. There is no benefit of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“I am concerned that moving GPs further away from residents is only likely to put them off from attending for the routine checks that will catch health problems early on. As the services that will be provided at health centres have not yet been detailed we of course hope that a combination of social and health drop in services will be available that will address these concerns.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“The local residents are very concerned at these proposals as they do not seem to provide a complete picture of what the trust actually intends to do. Of course, we would like to see a more joined up, responsive and local health service, butpeople need reassurance that this is what we are going to get. The Liberal Democrats would like to see a model that retains good local GPs within a couple of streets of residents operating in conjunction with super health centres.”