Newham residents to express NHS privatisation fears

Newham residents concerned about privatisation of health services will be meeting NHS bosses tomorrow to discuss their fears.

More than 500 people have signed a petition calling for local health services to be protected against privatisation.

It is one of a large number in circulation across different regions within the UK, designed to resist changes brought about by the ‘Health And Social Care Act’ , which became law in March.

The new law passed the job of buying in local health services over to new bodies, called CCG’s (Clinical Commissioning Groups) made up of representatives from local GP practises, a reform which some fear could lead to a fragmentation of health services and a greater buy-in of health care from private companies.

The petitions are the brainchild of 38 Degrees – an online campaigning platform that operates independently of any political parties or business interests, organising petitions and campaigns to create a better, fairer society.

The residents plan to meet leaders of Newham’s CCG at Warehouse K, Western Gateway, in Custom House, to deliver the petition and see whether they’d be prepared to make further provisions to their constitution which could protect NHS services, locally.

Susan Masters from East Ham and Group spokesperson, said: “We are amazed at the numbers of people who have signed this petition despite some people having no access to the internet. Getting over 500 signatures shows how deeply concerned local people are about the future of their health services.

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“Newham has many disadvantaged communities and far greater levels of demand on local services than other parts of the country. We know how hard Newham GPs work and how dedicated they are, so hope they’ll join with us in ensuring local services continue to be provided within the NHS.”

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