National and Local politics from a Liberal Democrat from Gillingham, Kent
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Councillor Geoff on the NHS.
Councillor Geoff Juby
In Friday 7th October's Medway Kent Messenger local Liberal Democrat councillor and stalwart Councillor Geoff Juby wrote a small piece on the NHS and Medway. (page 22 if you have it.)
Geoff exposes some facts that I'm sure members of the community will not know, including me!
There does seem to be a major discrepancy between the NHS reform and services and the role of the public. As Geoff says, the NHS is one of the Government services that touches all of our lives and is the support for "Cradle to grave." yet who gets to say how it is run?
Lib Dem party members at the Sheffield voted to stall changes and for the Government to listen at the Spring conference but you must
a.) Be a Liberal Democrat member.
b.) Be in Sheffield for the conference.
Anyone else must lobby their MP and Andrew Lansley and hope they get the results they need!!!
Geoff argues that the Medway NHS trust now holds its meetings behind closed door now, where as before they were open to the Public. Why has this move been made? Surely the people should be allowed to hear what the local NHS trust is planning. I'm sure it is probably quite deathly dull to most people but it means that all decissions and the decission makers can be held accountable to the Public. Behind closed doors everyone is blind to what is happening. The only scrutiny of the meetings, according to Geoff is a;
farce as it consists of dozens of long reports which simply have the end 'Recoomendation - that the report be noted.'
Geoff also rubbished the chairman of Medways NHS trust's claim that Dartford being cheaper to access than London.
At least most of the London hospitals, which are mostly easily reached by public transport, have proven track records for certain conditions - why on Earth should patients want tot struggle to get to Darenth Valley hospital and probably have to pay double in taxi fares than they would have paid for a cheap day return on the train.
This is referencing Medway trust's proposed merger with Dartford, something which hasn't been highly publicised and I don't know if the public at large have much knowledge of it or how it will affect their services.
The Lib Dem group is struggling, in all kinds of ways so it is good that as the third largest party in Medway (just!) we are still able to publish a voice. Geoff raises some important points, I just hope that someone notices, which is one of the reasons I've written this too!