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Central Sussex Health Campaign Launched

October 13, 2006 10:32 PM
By Serena Tierney

The latest campaign to keep the A&E and maternity services at the PRH is vitally important to our community. But there are many other changes to our local health services in the pipeline. We must make sure that these are not overlooked or allowed to happen without proper public debate.

The immediate issues include:

• the abolition of local PCTs - which buy in the health services from hospitals, GPs and others - and their replacement with a county-wide body

• far-reaching changes to the delivery of mental health services

• plans for more health services to be provided at GP surgeries

• the future of the burns unit at the QVH

• big budget deficits in local PCTs, health trusts and hospital trusts and government action to recover the losses (see below for more detail on the deficits in our area - link)

• the coming consultation on the shape of local health services

• the independent orthopaedic centre and elective surgery

• transport to and from hospitals

• changes to the ambulance service.

Together with other local health campaigners, I have set up a new campaigning organisation. Our aim is to keep local health matters in the public eye. Its role will be to encourage and support local people in influencing the health trusts that control local health provision.

We will use this website to share information and co-ordinate campaigning. This is not just about petitions but real long-term campaigning so that local people keep influencing our local health services.

The replacement of the local PCT with one for the whole of West Sussex makes it harder than before to ensure that we get a good deal locally. The patient representative bodies also now cover the whole county and our voice will be diluted. Now more than ever, it is essential to co-ordinate activity to support the patient forum members by supplying information and arguments for them to use; to ensure that local people know when, where and how to put their case; and to put pressure on the local representatives on the health scrutiny committees to fight for what local people want.

We are keen to pull together as many people as possible who have experience of working for local health services to maximise our effectiveness. Would you be prepared to help by sharing your knowledge and expertise? You can register your support and indicate what help you can offer at: http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/saveournhs

I do hope that you will join me to help ensure that local people continue to have a say in all local health issues.

With kind regards,

Serena Tierney

Central Sussex Health Campaign

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