Thursday, 31 March 2011

Health debate and other announcements

The Government has pulled the plug on the scheme for the sea link to the Isles of Scilly, the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has announced 400 job losses in an attempt to cut its operating costs by £26 million, while the Police Federation are embroiled in a major row with Devon and Cornwall Police over their approach to cuts of £47m over the next four years.

What a week!

Local concerns about health were debated at Full Council on Tuesday, following the submission of a 5,000 person petition from the Cornwall Labour Party. This called on the Council to organise a referendum on the proposal for Community Health Services to be taken out of the NHS family and into a Community Interest Company.

The leader of the Council moved an amendment that basically said leave the health sector to make its own choices. It was not possible to support the call for a referendum as the Council does not have the power to do this and I, along with the other MK members, supported an amendment from Labour’s Jude Robinson to refer the proposals back to the Health Scrutiny Committee for detailed consideration.

At the meeting, I set out MK’s opposition to the ongoing health reforms and the fragmentation of the NHS, raising our concerns about these changes potentially heeding the break-up of the NHS, the increased involvement of private companies, the pace of change and so much more. I also appealed to the Council to show leadership in seeking to protect the public aspect of public services. Sadly, Jude’s amendment was lost.

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