Reproduced from Facebook with Sarah’s permission. Sarah is a regular reader of this blog and lives in Southend. This is her account of what’s going on there. Does anyone know what our Clinical Commissioning Group is up to?
Went to Clinical Commissioning Group meeting held in public yesterday - these are the people who decide on our health services from April. The lay representative called us 'customers'. The person who is supposed to represent us (you, me, our kids, our families, friends and everyone who uses doctors and hospitals) thinks PATIENTS are customers. Welcome to the new NHS. Oh, and all the decisions have been made; patients aren't part of this new picture. V depressing.
Oh, and I forgot to say that this meeting was held at 1pm on a working day, in public, but the public weren't allowed to speak. All questions had to be submitted in advance, two days prior and we were told there was no discussion about the outsourcing of our excellent, local 24 hour blood service to Bedford, 88 miles away, in the care of Serco (and a figleaf of an NHS component). But that didn't put off any of the other people who had come along to be heard. Very democratic and accessible to anyone in work... but they can tick their box next to 'meeting in public'. They will be held each month, in public. Minutes, strategies and justification for their actions, as well as much, much more can be found at https://www.southendccg.nhs.uk/. The reason that Information is Power is a cliche is presumably because it is true...
Some CCGs have chosen not to go down the 'any provider' as long as they are private route - if you live in one of those areas, next time you see your doc, thank them!