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defend enfield nhs logoA local group set up to defend NHS services in Enfield is asking everyone concerned about thefuture of the Health Service to join their surgery’s Patient Participation Group.

Dr Martin Blanchard of Defend Enfield NHS explains:

“We are asking people concerned about the future of the NHS to join their local Patient Participation Group because it will help us discover in more detail what exactly is going on in Enfield and will provide more opportunities for us to probe and question changes.

“Though the national  media have belatedly begun to report on the funding crisis affecting the NHS, and even the prime minister herself seems to have now realised that more money is needed (we’re still waiting), what many people don’t realised is that for a couple of years now NHS managers across England have been preparing a complete reorganisation of the health service.

What is a Patient Participation Group?

About Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) in Enfield

All of our GP member practices have Patient Participation Groups (PPGs). PPGs are patient groups that exist to create a partnership between patients and the GP practice, so they can work together to improve services provided by the practice. PPG meetings are usually chaired by a patient and are supported by GP practice staff, however they can also be chaired by practice managers, GPs and practice nurses. Some practices operate a "virtual" PPG, where patients are usually contacted via email.

How you can get involved in your practice's PPG

If you would like to join your PPG, please contact your GP surgery.

If you are a PPG Chair or member and would like to contact the CCG about the support we can offer your group or to join our mailing list please email:  or call 0203 688 2814.

Source: www.enfieldccg.nhs.uk/ppgs.htm

“People are unaware of this because it has been conducted out of the public spotlight and there has been very little discussion of it in parliament.  We in Defend Enfield NHS, together with similar voluntary bodies across the country, have been trying to keep tabs on this.”

Dr Blanchard says that though much remains unclear, and the reorganisation will vary somewhat in different parts of the country, Defend Enfield NHS has drawn up a summary of the direction in which the reorganisation is heading (see the box below).

The major reorganisation of the NHS that is being quietly carried out throughout England

  • England is being divided into 44 different areas (ours is called North Central London), each of which is being required to develop its own plans to reorganise the way medical services are provided – in effect, the Health Service will no longer be National.
  • The 44 areas will be required to devise methods of reducing hospital admissions – in theory by providing care “closer to home”.  There’s something to be said in favour of this – or at least there would be if we had enough surgeries, GPs and nurses to work in them, and local social care services.  But we don’t – there is a growing shortage of all these people and services.
  • Each of the 44 areas will be allocated a set amount of per-capita funding by the government and will not be allowed to run up a deficit
  • In order to live within their means (which will almost certainly be insufficient), local NHS managers will be taking steps to reduce non-emergency NHS operations – for instance, cataract treatment, hip and knee operations, hernia surgery.  They will do this by insisting that patients must wait for many months in the hope that their pain will be diminished by physiotherapy or other “conservative” treatments.
  • People keen to relieve their pain and anxious for their condition not to deteriorate will,  if they can afford it, pay privately for knee, hip, cataracts etc operations so that they don’t have to wait – many people already do so.
  • The result will be a health service that remains free but will no longer be comprehensive – it won’t treat all conditions or it will make patients wait in pain.  So we end up with a two-tier system: All treatments will be available quickly to those with money, the rest will be expected to be grateful that they get any treatment at all.

Links

Defend Enfield NHS

Keep Out NHS Public

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