“Will our Health Services be recognisable?” asks George as NHS faces biggest shake-up in decades

This Friday evening will be the first time local people and patients’ representatives will have to question a panel of Health Chiefs about the future of local health services as the NHS faces its biggest shake up since it was first created over 62 years ago. Organiser and host, West Cornwall MP Andrew George, is encouraging local people to come along and have their say.

The meeting begins at 7:30 pm and will take place in St John’s Hall, Penzance. The Panel will include:

Kevin Baber – CEO, Peninsula Community Health (new Community health/hospital enterprise)

Dr Neil Walden – Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group – which will replace the PCT

Lezli Boswell – CEO, Royal Cornwall Hospitals’ Trust – planned Foundation Trust

Mr George said: “This is a time of the greatest upheaval ever. Will our health services be recognisable? After all, this is the biggest shake up since the NHS was established over 62 years ago?

“GPs are due to have the biggest say in running the service. The Royal Cornwall Hospitals’ Trust plans to become a Foundation Trust next year. This year community hospitals have been transferred out of the NHS family to become a ‘Social Enterprise’. And the new Health Act (which I opposed) will introduce a mass of complex management and competition rules. This Act will cause the biggest upheaval of the NHS in its history at precisely the time it desperately needs stability and certainty. It runs the risk of creating a NHS which is driven more by private profit than by concern with patient care.”

“Some local NHS staff want to raise questions about RCHT’s decision to join a South West Health Trust ‘Consortium’ which they fear will result in local cuts to pay and conditions. Others want to know more about proposals to cut hospital beds.

Mr George added: “With all of this going on, local people have a right to hear from those who will be responsible for driving change in the local NHS. That is why I have called another public meeting on the future of the NHS in West Cornwall. It is one of an ongoing series of meetings to ensure that local people hear about these changes and have a say.”

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