With the announcement this week by Jeremy Hunt on the closure of the A&E at Central Middlesex, based on recommendations by the Independent Reconfiguration Board, this is clearly another nail in the coffin for the decline of the NHS in Brent.
From the time I left the NHS locally several years ago, I have observed the following issues:
- Growing role of the private sector.
- Low morale and burn out of experienced staff as a result of bullying, and an increase in race and sex discrimination cases.
- Constant restructuring of services and staff leading to key services becoming vulnerable and a risk to patient safety.
- No vetting of staff who are commissioning services with no track record in the NHS but instead have a fraudulent past.
- Loss of local knowledge and intelligence from staff that lives in Brent but has been made redundant or restructured out of the NHS.
- Limited engagement of patient and public accountability.
- Decommissioning of services especially around health promotion and supporting the voluntary and public sector.
- Cost saving and surpluses which are not reinvested back in Brent for local services.
Whilst we recognise that the NHS needs to move with the times and be innovative and effective in terms of costs, clinical interventions and patient experience, the health outcomes for local people in Brent are now one of the worst in London. The failure to scrutinise and challenge the NHS over the last several years has made Jeremy Hunt’s assassination job easy around the A&E closure at Central Middlesex Hospital compared to Ealing or Lewisham.
What Brent Central requires is a Parliamentary Candidate who can be a real champion to defend and protect health and social care services. My experience of running and making services accountable as a senior manager and a former Chair of Health Scrutiny in Hackney along with my track record in Brent puts me in a good position to represents the needs of the local community.
As a Parliamentary Candidate I make the following pledge to protect and defend the NHS in Brent:
- Lobby and campaign for the continued future of Central Middlesex Hospital whilst working with trade unions, party members, patient groups and activist to fight for the case of A&E as a priority in Brent Central.
- Make the Commissioning Clinical Group (CCG) and NHS trust providers be more accountable and transparent in service delivery and commissioning of services.
- Support the local Healthwatch, patient groups, community groups, service user and carer forums to have a stronger voice in the way local NHS services are run.
- Campaign and lobby to stop the increasing privatisation of the NHS
- Work with the NHS to play a role as a regeneration partner to help tackle issues of worklessness and provide training opportunities for young people and people with mental health problems.
- Work with Brent Council, Health & Well Board and local stakeholders to promote public health and a vision of well-being locally.
- Support and promote the role of the voluntary, social enterprises and cooperatives to work in partnership with the NHS to deliver more services in the community.