MP Calls Health Consultation “Cloak And Dagger”

Scilly MP, Andrew George

Healthcare changes are being forced through by the Government and local public consultation isn’t making much of a difference, despite recent engagement exercises on the islands, says Scilly’s MP Andrew George.

He says the reforms being proposed by the coalition will move too much control from the Health Secretary to private companies.

St Mary’s Hospital will soon leave NHS ownership to be run by a community interest company and opponents fear that, in four years when the current contract expires, private companies will be able to bid to run the service.

Mr George is demanding that the Government halts the proposals for NHS reform across England.

From Radio Scilly

Andrew George talks about the health reforms

He thinks the whole approach has been undertaken in a “cloak and dagger” way and says that the recent plans for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly NHS included a 20% reduction in hospital beds, which the MP claims could also lead to cuts in Scilly. The business plan was never made public.

He believes the Government is setting the agenda for NHS bosses and local feedback can’t influence that.

Andrew told us that he wants the responsibility for healthcare to go back to locally elected representatives and believes plans for a joined-up healthcare approach here are just “papering over the cracks” rather than dealing with the underlying problems.

250 people attended the MP’s health discussion forum in Penzance this week. He’s criticised the Government for not sending a representative and says that, while he may be a Lib-Dem MP, he isn’t a member of the Government.