Surgery, then met new Head at Hornsey Girl’s School (what a great new head!), then had my usual meeting with David Sloman (CEO of Whittington Hospital – who assures me that my endless banging of the drum on how patients are treated in terms of care and compassion is now top of the list) and then on to Haringey’s new Sixth Form Centre to present a prize to one of the Haringey Heroes. This is an awards event for young people across Haringey who have showed exceptional talent, or caring, or leadership in their lives. For example – one was a carer’s award for children who have (on top of everything) to care for parents with disabilities. It is one of Haringey’s better efforts – and I was very happy to be there.
Thinking further about local health services – and watching Lord Darzi talk about the NHS plan – I am struck by the contrast between what he says – which is that polyclinics are about providing extra services – and what people are most worried about locally – which is that their doctor will be plucked from their current location and put in this amorphous ‘polyclinic’ further away.
It is still unclear to me – for example – whether our new local health facility (I doubt whether it will carry on being called a polyclinic) currently rising from a building site – will be only ‘additional’ as Darzi (and ministers) claim. When building is already taking place and this is still unclear, matters are far from as clear as they should be.
It is also still unclear what services will be provided on site and what say we the people actually will have. I have no doubt that the west of Haringey needs a new health facility and it is pretty difficult to get any money spent on us – as we are always in direct comparison to Tottenham where the need is obviously greater as an area of high deprivation and unemployment. However, there is plenty of need and unemployment this side too – and quite frankly – we all need and are entitled to proper health provision.