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Resisting rationing of NHS services
12 Jul 2017 15:12 #3108

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[Original article]

aebm meeting aug 2017Campaigners against proposals to restrict access to some medical procedures on the NHS are holding a public meeting in Southgate on 15th August.

The meeting is organised by the Enfield Over 50s Forum but is open to everyone, regardless of age. It relates specifically to proposals by Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to introduce more stringent conditions before the CCG will pay for certain medical procedures.

The proposals apply to the following treatments: bunions; hearing aids; hernia; vasectomy (male sterilisation); uterovaginal prolapse; revision mammoplasty (breast reconstruction); revision of hypertrophic scars, skin graft for scars; penile procedures (penile implants); cholecystectomy for gallstones; chalazions (internal stye or meibonian cyst); correction of ptosis.

Monty Meth, President of the Over 50s Forum, fears that at its meeting in September the CCG's board will decide to implement the changed criteria, despite the overwhelmingly negative responses of members of the public during the three month consultation, which ended last month. The purpose of the meeting is to make opposition to the proposals "loud and clear".

Earlier this month the leaders of Enfield Healthwatch wrote to the CCG asking them to put the proposals on hold and give "due consideration to local people’s response that no cuts should be made".

over50sforumMore pain for patients... unless...

Unless, that is, we all come together to stop the Enfield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (C.C.G.) - the main provider of health services in the Borough - upping the criteria before we can be treated by the NHS for a host of medical complaints, ranging from hearing loss to hernia problems, from the need for knee replacements to bunion surgery, prolapse womb to gallstones.

This so-called Adherence to Evidence-based Medicine project (AEBM) is but the latest in a string of health service cuts which, if implemented, the Over 50s Forum believes will undermine the founding principles of the NHS launched on July 5 1948.

These were that good healthcare should be available to all regardless of wealth; that it meets the needs of everyone free at the point of delivery; and healthcare should be based on clinical need, not the ability to pay.

Because we believe these principles are under threat as never before, the Forum is calling a special meeting - open to everyone sharing our concerns about health services in Enfield - at the Southgate Beaumont Care Home, 15 Canon Hill, N14 7DJ on Tuesday 15 August at 10am for a 10.30 start. The venue is a short walk from Southgate underground station and almost opposite the Cherry Tree and on the 121 and 299 bus routes.

The Governing Board of Enfield’s CCG will be meeting in mid-September and may well decide to go-ahead with the AEBM programme unless we make our voices heard loud and clear - as many people have done at the minimal public consultation meetings held since March 1. The CCG wanted to end the consultation on March 30 and implement their changes in June.

Labour and Conservative councillors joined us in blocking this timetable. Had it been implemented, Enfield residents would have been the pacemakers for this misleadingly -called AEBM being introduced by all our North Central London linked CCGs in Barnet, Haringey, Camden and Islington. covering some 1.4 million people.

AEBM is misleading because we have neither seen nor heard of any authoritative supporting evidence from any consultants at local hospitals for the raising of thresholds over a range of medical conditions which, in effect, undermines the role of our GPs and consultants in exercising their clinical judgement as to when a patient needs referral and treatment.

We know only too well that the NHS nationally is under-funded and we know Enfield CCG is under intense pressure to make “efficiency savings” to balance the books and make inroads into its £37.2 million deficit burden - a burden imposed by years of under-funding a borough with an increasing population and an increasingly ageing population.

NHS bosses are warning of projected losses of £234 million this year across the five North Central London boroughs rising to an uncosted £811 million by 2020/21 unless we accept their “efficiency savings” plans that can only undermine the NHS as we have known it.

But the Forum does not accept that the answer lies in patients having to suffer in silence while their medical condition worsens until some arbitrary- imposed criteria is reached that warrants NHS intervention.

IF the CCG gets away with its AEBM plans more cuts will follow as sure as night follows day because the pressures and financial demands on the NHS are growing by the hour. Just consider how life expectancy has changed since the NHS was created 69 years ago.

The NHS is a miracle - the world’s largest health service funded by general taxation - has adapted to all the new developments and medical discoveries. Hip and knee replacements unknown in 1948 , more people than ever now recovering from strokes, cancer and heart disease.

So, the financial pressures are bound to grow. As a nation we have to find a way to meet the ever-growing demand for healthcare - not seek solutions by cutting patient services or compelling more people to pay for a privatised service.

The Forum executive does not believe the answer lies in cuts and rationing health services as we have known them.That is why we are calling this special meeting to hear your views on the future of health services in Enfield: Tuesday August 15th at 10am at Southgate Beaumont Care Home. Cannon Hill (opposite the Cherry Tree).

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Resisting rationing of NHS services
23 Jul 2017 18:09 #3109

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An 80 year old friend in another part of London recently went to see a hospital consultant about removal of the unsightly chalazion (internal stye) on her lower eyelid. The consultant informed her that removal was no longer done on the NHS and that it was doing this kind of work that has caused the mess in which the NHS currently finds itself. A fine way to treat an older member of our community, who worked hard all her working life.

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Resisting rationing of NHS services
24 Jul 2017 11:40 #3112

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On the bright side, assuming this apparently well informed consultant is correct, then with “this kind of work” removed we can all once again look forward to a NHS where people have no need to wait on corridor trolleys, have operations and important treatment cancelled, young doctors once again wish to become GP’s and comments coming from eg the consultant we spent last weekend with explaining that last week there was no bed provision in the whole of the south east for one of his (relatively specialised) patients, the nearest being Manchester, will be a distant memory. I think it was once termed, “a price worth paying”. Or conversely I may have this all wrong, time will doubtless tell.

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Resisting rationing of NHS services
29 Jul 2017 09:14 #3140

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A fifth of people basically don’t walk - so it was concluded from the national travel survey where 21% of a very large sample claimed to walk for 20 minutes only once a year or never. Viewing that alongside a report from the Chief medical Officer (2011) which highlights that most of the causes of early death are linked to inactivity and here may be a route to assisting people gain better, longer lives while putting less pressure on the NHS. If someone hadn’t already thought of installing pavement lanes …..

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