CONCERNED campaigners submitted a petition with 1,781 names calling for the newly appointed North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group to protect the NHS from privatisation and cuts to services.
More than 30 supporters of the national campaign 38 Degrees, which is lobbying against NHS cuts, handed the petition to NDCCG chief officer Jackie Pendleton and NDCCG clinical leader Dr Ben Milton during the NDCCG’s Governing body meeting, today, Thursday, December 3, at its HQ, off Newbold Road, Chesterfield.
The campaigners fear the newly formed NDCCG, which is one of the GP-led groups replacing Derbyshire primary care trust’s NHS management role, will commission too many services to private providers and cut existing services leaving some patients without treatment or forcing them to pay for certain types of care.
North Derbyshire 38 Degrees campaign organiser Liz Henderson told the NDCCG meeting: “We’re prepared to help you to protect our NHS and prevent it from being broken up and taken over by private companies.
“There is a booklet with our petition suggesting a clause which we want putting into your constitution which will protect the NHS.
“Our fathers went to war and died for the NHS. Before people had to pay for doctors and we don’t want that again.
“There is so much poverty in this country we don’t want private companies getting involved when their motive is profit.”
Jackie Pendleton explained every time the NDCCG wants to commission out a new service it has to follow procurement legislation with strict criteria and the NDCCG revealed it is increasing its budget.
Dr Milton said: “I appreciate there are people with great concerns about the changes. What makes us different is clinical leadership. What we bring is continuity and that will allow things to grow over a longer period.”
Dr Richard Bull, of the NDCCG, said the CCGs are charged with improving quality not just making ends meet.
He added: “We need to make quality improvements all the time to make money spread even further and that’s the challenge for us.
“We take that seriously and seek to get the best quality from all our providers and probably over 90per cent of our expenditure goes to NHS service providers and we deal with them as we do with every other provider to improve services and make sure money spreads as far as it can.”
The north Derbyshire members of the 38 Degrees are calling for a public meeting to further address their views.