The uproar over the MSK services contract demonstrates how little the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) took into account the views of local people and local health professionals.
The fight to save Worthing and Shoreham Hospitals Trust was the last time communities along the coast united for their local NHS services.
That battle has left a bitter memory for the people of Shoreham and East Worthing, who developed a healthy mistrust of local politicians and NHS management alike.
The CCG’s decision to hand a major contract to Bupa CSH Ltd, on the say-so of a minority of possible votes, shows that they have learned nothing from the KWASH campaign. And they will be judged just as severely.
Awarding this contract to a non-NHS supplier with no facilities in this area, and no track record in delivering orthopedic and related services on this scale, is a clear indicator of where the CCG’s priorities lie.
This decision puts up a welcome sign for more private operators in Coastal West Sussex and is a direct consequence of the destructive Health and Social Care Act passed by the coalition government – an act, it is worth remembering, that neither of the coalition parties included in their election manifestos.
As I speak to voters on the doorstep in Shoreham and Worthing, it has become clear they are extremely unhappy about the way this government has been encouraging the privatisation of the NHS and as a result are suspicious of the motives of our local CCG in awarding this contract to Bupa CSH Ltd.
The Labour Party has saved the NHS from the Tories once already, in 1997, and it is clear we will have to do it all over again in 2015. We will repeal the dangerous Health and Social Care Act and have committed £2.5bn towards recruiting an extra 25,000 nurses 8,000 doctors, 5,000 home care workers and 3,000 midwifes. This will be financed by taxing tobacco companies.
There is only one party who voters can trust with the NHS, one issue protest parties can have no effect, UKIP has nothing to say and the Lib Dems are forever tainted with their association with the Conservatives.
This is why I will stand up for our local NHS and campaign to stop the CCG from abandoning our local NHS services because this would be the outcome of their decision, however they dress it up.
East Worthing and Shoreham Labour Party
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