NHS in Croydon – needs growing faster than funding

Members from the anti- NHS campaign. Pic: Qianru Wu and Laerke Nielsen

Members from Keep Our St Helier Hospital Campaign. Pic: Qianru Wu and Laerke Nielsen

The NHS has held an event to decide with what the future of care in the area will be like.

This came in the form of an ‘engagement event’ in Croydon’s Fairfield Halls.

The six south west London CCGs (Clinical commissioning groups) and NHS England, held the meeting to develop a five-year strategy for the local NHS and gauge local opinion.

Together they commission specialised and primary care services in south west London.

They have teamed up under the umbrella name of South West London Collaborative Commissioning,

The programme replaces the controversial Better Services Better Value (BSBV) programme which the CCGs inherited.

The new strategy aims to address the same issues as those highlighted by the earlier programme but has been widened to look at the whole health system, including primary care, community services and mental health.

We spoke to a local patient representative , Charmaine Perera about the content of the meeting:

The NHS has said that they acknowledge that they are facing significant and enduring financial pressures and people’s need for services will continue to grow faster than funding.

Therefore, they say that the health service has to innovate and transform the way they deliver high quality services within their limited resources.

They also emphasised that they have to ensure that they put patients’ needs first.

Everyone Counts: Planning for Patients 2014/15 to 2018/19 sets out a bold framework within which commissioners will need to work with providers and partners in local government to develop strong, robust and ambitious five year plans to secure the continuity of sustainable high quality care for all.

Dr Brendan Hudson, Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Brendan Hudson, Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group. Pic: Qianru Wu and Laerke Nielsen

We spoke to the Chair of  Sutton CCG Dr. Brendan Hudson:

Charlotte Joll, joint director of planning and service change for NHS South West London noted the challenge, saying that ‘South West London’s four main hospital providers will have to deliver £370million of savings each year by 2016/2017, a reduction of around 24% in their costs’.

Campaigners claim that the south-west London CCG have already wasted £8million on the BSBV programme, which threatened to close two local hospitals and continue to be concerned about future hospital closures.

We spoke to a Merton patient representative, Brian Hennessy:

We also spoke to Frances Cornford who is a member of the Keep Our St Helier Hospital Campaign:

The residents and campaigners in the affected areas will have to wait until this summer to see the draft strategy for the area published.

Only after that, will they see what it’s effect may be.

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