Hackney residents condemn lack of transparency on NHS plans
Hackney residents have called on north east London health chiefs to be transparent and consult on radical plans to shake up local health and care services.
People expressed frustration at the way the North East London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (NEL STP) is being developed at our public meeting on 16 February.
Eighty local people turned out for the What Future Our NHS? meeting to hear how the NEL STP would affect health and care services in Hackney.
Samantha Campbell, head of engagement for NEL STP, outlined plans for a new East London Health and Care Partnership and for a new 'community network' stakeholder sub-group which would include patient groups.
Ms Campbell described how the NEL STP would mean greater collaboration between clinical commissiong groups, hospitals and councils across north east London.
She said the plans included greater use of digital technology and new models of care including 'care closer to home' to make the NHS more 'sustainable' by 2021.
Members of the audience expressed frustration that Ms Campbell was unable to answer any questions on NEL STP funding and how this would impact on local health services.
They also condemned the lack of public involvement in the plans to date. NEL STP will start to be implemented from April 2017.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council's cabinet lead for health, said the council would not sign up to the plans until four key conditions were met, including a public consultation.
GP Coral Jones, of Keep Our NHS public, told the meeting the problems we are seeing in the NHS were due to 'underfunding and understaffing'. Contrary to claims from central government, older people and GPs were not to blame.
Healthwatch Hackney has prepared a report on the meeting making four key recommendations to NEL STP.
Our recommendations include a call for meaningful and transparent engagement and consultation with Hackney residents before the plans are implemented.
Our report also seeks answers to eight key questions on the plans including how NEL STP is using £2 million in Health Education England funds which are meant for training the NHS workforce.
Read Healthwatch Hackney's full report here.