A report by local campaigner Gill Connell
I’ve been at Brownhill surgery since I moved to Chandler’s Ford in 1983; I’m absolutely devastated to lose the Brownhill. It used to be so good, with doctors who always made time to listen; they provided fantastic care for my family. It’s been clear for the last few years that all was not well: the surgery couldn’t recruit new GPs and waiting times grew longer and longer. The last time I needed to see a doctor, all I could get was a phone consultation.
The Brownhill served 7,000 patients. The West Hampshire CCG says on its website: ‘This decision is as a result of a retirement of a GP at the Practice, difficulties in recruiting GPs and increasing workload pressure.’
The Brownhill is one of at least nine GP surgeries under threat nationwide.
A new analysis by 38 Degrees shows details of Tory cuts to NHS services, in just four months between June and October 2017.
In this period, cuts were made or threatened to 70 frontline NHS services across England, highlighting the threat that underfunding poses to NHS services across the country, including 6 accident and emergency departments (A&Es), 7 mental health facilities, at least 9 GP surgeries, and 4 maternity units. 45,000 patients could be affected just by cuts to GP services.
CCGs are rationing important services, and 7 in 10 doctors say funding pressures restrict their ability to prescribe approved medicines.
As we all know, this is just the tip of the iceberg compared to the underfunding of the last 7 years. For example, between 2010/11 and 2014/15 health spending increased on average by 1.2% a year in real terms – it was 3.7% on average since 1948. Still more worrying is the looming threat of Tory STPs (Sustainability and Transformation Plans) known to healthcare workers and campaigners as ‘Slash, Trash and Privatise’, which are designed to cut and ration services while putting in place mechanisms to make selling off health services easier.
Winchester’s MP Steve Brine is a Health Minister and Tory Whip who has supported ever single cut and privatisation of our NHS, and enthusiastically backs the STPs – shouldn’t he be doing everything in his power to protect and fund our services?