CONCERNED residents from around Worksop and Bassetlaw came together for a ‘Question Time’ style event about local healthcare.
Health officials were put under the spotlight and grilled by tough questions at a public meeting held at Worksop’s Acorn Theatre on Thursday 22nd March.
The event was organised by Notts County LINk - an independent network of local individuals, groups and organisations brought together to raise community concerns about publicly funded health and social care services. On the Question Time panel were Deputy Chief Executive of Notts County Council David Pearson, Chair of Bassetlaw Commissioning Organisation Dr Steve Kell, local physician Dr M Al-Khoffash, Chief Executive at Bassetlaw Action Centre Lynn Tupling, Chief Executive of County Health Partnerships Paul Smeeton and leader of Bassetlaw Council Graham Oxby.
One of the hot topics on the agenda was the Government’s plans for NHS reforms.
When asked about the reforms, Coun Oxby said: “What fundamentally bothers me is the whole ethos of GPs commissioning. I’m concerned that there will be changes to come where anybody can apply to commission services from anywhere in the world, and they may choose the cheapest option rather than the best.”
Paul Smeeton responded by saying: “I think GP commissioning is great because they get to see their patients on a day to day basis and know where there are gaps in the service.”
Another asked that if GPs spent more time in consultancy and commissioning then could patients expect to suffer?
Dr Steve Kell replied: “There is an assumption that all GPs are full-time but we are not. I agree that this may effect the ability to see a particular GP, but others will be available and it will also be a GP’s role to see improvements within Bassetlaw.”
One resident went as far to refer to Bassetlaw’s health authorities as a ‘Stalinist regime’ and question why the public weren’t better consulted on the changes.
Paul Smeeton responded: “Bassetlaw going forwards has a better chance of making sure that these changes work more than anywhere else.”
David Pearson added: “It’s for the politicians to decide what policy is - it’s up to us to implement it to the best of our ability and in the best interests of the people of Bassetlaw and Notts.”