27 SEP 2009

Will the polyclinic be axed altogether?

Looks like a wicked attempt to spread alarm doesn't it? But sadly it's a serious question.

People know I am passionate about a proper hospital for our community. Below is a photo of the meeting I arranged with hospital campaigners including Reg Hansell and Shadow Health Minister Andrew Lansley.

We know the polyclinic is going to be delayed by the Government's flood quango. We know it may have to be built elsewhere. We know the funding for the Conservative plan for a proper hospital depends on the polyclinic being delivered so it can be upgraded. Goodness knows, it's going to be hard to get totally new investment given the Government has bankrupted the country.

But the big worry is that the Government has just announced a policy to reduce cancer waits - an attempt by Gordon Brown to save his political skin - funded by axing all new health facilities. See http://tinyurl.com/ybxrj6x Now cancer waits need to be shorter. But buying a whole load of new equipment may not be the best way to do it.  Better might be to run the existing scanners for longer than 9 to 5. And to train up more experts who can operate the equipment. Because there aren't enough to operate the scanners we have right now. In other words, basic, boring admin changes that will make the whole system work better, faster and more effectively.

My fear is that our much needed health facility could be axed for a whole lot of shiny new scanners that are underused. As you might expect, I have written to the Government's local health chiefs seeking clarification on whether Gordon Brown's fight for political survival has just cost us our fair share of healthcare.

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Charlie Elphicke

Here you can read about local news matters and what I've been up to. You can make comments too. I'd welcome your feedback, so please do feel free to comment!

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