RESIDENTS, councillors and healthcare professionals filled the St Paul’s Centre and voiced their concerns over the decision to award a £235 million musculoskeletal contract to private provider Bupa CSH Ltd.
The ‘A&E SOS: Is Worthing Hospital for Sale?’ event organised by a small group of local campaigners in support of the Herald & Gazette’s A&E SOS campaign drew a crowd of more than 120.
Daniel Parsonage, Green Party candidate for Central ward chaired the evening, which included talks from Dr Lucy Reynolds, health policy analyst, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Dr Carl Walker, chair of the European Community Psychology Association task force on austerity and mental health; Patricia Morfitt, senior physiotherapist at Worthing Hospital; and long-time MSK patient Tony Hall.
Perhaps the most telling contribution of the night came during public question time when GP Joana Monjardino, from Northbourne Medical Centre, in Shoreham, said she was ‘ashamed’ to be associated with the CCG.
Dr Monjardino, a local GP partner for seven years, said: “The problems we are facing are based on competitive tendering. It’s not a way forward, it never has been the ethos of the NHS.
“The CCG was incredibly enthusiastic about this. I don’t doubt they have got good intentions but I don’t think they have got the right head for running a publicly accountable service. I have been told by people in the CCG board that the NHS is dying and we need to accept this. I find that deeply insulting. I was horrified when I heard that.
“I’m a member of the CCG and I would like to say to everybody here today that there are a lot of GPs who don’t agree with the CCG. I feel ashamed to be associated with them and I don’t feel my voice is heard by them.”
For the full story, see the Herald & Gazette, Thursday, November 13.