Friday, 16 April 2010

Election 2010: Defending Local Healthcare

This morning I was leafleting outside Cobham and Stoke d'Abernon railway station at dawn - then onto meet the Friends of Cobham Community Hospital (see below).

The Friends are an outstanding example of local community spirit, supporting their local hospital and ensuring vital funds despite local NHS cuts. I received a thorough briefing, including on plans for a rape crisis center to be established at the hospital in partnership with the NHS and Surrey police.

More broadly, there has been trend towards cutting community hospital services across Elmbridge, without adequate explanation, transparency or local consultation. The Conservatives want to cut out the NHS bureaucracy and targets, protect investment in frontline healthcare, trust professional doctors and nurses and put patients in the driving seat. What does that mean in practice? Giving patients the choice over their local GPs (who will be paid by results), more not less community-based services, and direct accountability to local communities (through Foundation Trust status for hospitals).

Conservative plans also include making research into Alzheimer's a higher priority, and ensuring all the best cancer drugs are available on the NHS. But there is a bigger issue undermining local confidence across Elmbridge. There is a gaping democratic deficit in the provision of local healthcare services here. A Conservative government is committed to reversing that trend - making the NHS accountable to our communities, not box-tickers in Whitehall.


Anonymous said...

wooing the younger voters !

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