On 4 July we attended a workshop organised by LINk (Local Involvement Network) Islington, about latest ‘consulation’ about services. For those who may not have noticed, NHS Islington (PCT) is running a consultation about the future of Primary and Community Health Services in Islington, deadline 21 July. This time the real issue is about proposals to set up a pilot ‘hub and spoke’ model ‘polyclinic’ by creating ‘spokes’ of current GP surgeries in the north of Islington around the ‘hub’ of a new urgent care centre planned at Whittington Hospital. And behind this lie plans for further privatisation of both service delivery and premises – buried in the strategy document are references to ‘diversifying providers’ of healthcare. Of course there is the obvious irony that the PCT proposing to set up a polyclinic in the north while one is under threat of being dismantled in the south. As meaningless as many of the questions are (Do you agree that we should do more to tell people about local health services and how they can use them?), do take the opportunity to write in about keeping services at Finsbury Health Centre…
At the workshop SaveFHC supports heard complaints from patients that (as usual) most of the questions were spurious and didn’t address the fundamental changes which lie behind the actual proposals.
This appears to be shaping into the only independent voice for patients in Islington – you can get in touch with them via this link. The LINk is a new way is the new way for local people to have their say about health and social care. It has powers to get information from and make recommendations to those responsible for local services. Run by local people, it is independent of both the council and the NHS.
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