On Tuesday 7th January Newnham Labour presented a petition against the potential privatisation of the £1 billion contract to provide care services for older people in Cambridgeshire, which has now attracted 230 signatories from the local community.
Newnham Labour campaigner Sam Wolfe and Cambridge Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Daniel Zeichner presented the petition to the Chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, Maureen Donnely.
Addressing a meeting of the Governing Body of the Commissioning Group, Sam Wolfe said “Newnham residents who depend on NHS carers are quite clear that they do not want carers provided by profit-hungry companies.” He explained that Newnham residents valued the NHS for its primary focus on high quality patient care and stressed that residents were also deeply concerned by the lack of information on or serious consultation over the tendering process, leaving them in the dark about what the changes will mean for them. He went on to say “People in our community should have had a chance for their voice to be heard at the beginning, not the end, of this process.”
At the same meeting, Daniel Zeichner presented the results of a survey of Cambridge GPs regarding the controversial health reforms pushed through Parliament by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in spit of overwhelming opposition from the medical profession. The survey revealed that GPs felt that they had not had any meaningful involvement in the reforms to the health service and that the majority of GPs do not support the plans.
Daniel Zeichner said: “It was claimed by Andrew Lansley that the changes he introduced would put local GPs in the driving seat. The overwhelming response from Cambridge GPs is that they have neither the time nor the capacity to be involved in a meaningful way. It is also clear that there is strong opposition amongst GPs to the path being pursued in their name by the Clinical Commissioning Group – opposition which has no way of being expressed within the current set-up.”
These issues affecting our local health and care services have the potential to have a very dangerous impact on the Newnham community and local campaigners will continue to fight to protect residents’ interests.