|All Member Meeting on Health Policy|
Chaired by Cathy Goodyer, members gathered at North Wingfield Community
Resource Centre, on 21 June, with guest speakers John Healey MP and Dr. Reg Race plus
Natascha Engel MP.
After the keynote speech and a presentation on the patient experience, members
broke into two discussion groups facilitated by Lilian Robinson and Nigel Barker.
The following ideas were proposed:
· Organisation: good leadership and management is needed along with a period of stability. The NHS should ideally be a 100% public service and always free at the point of use. Doctors trained in the NHS should treat NHS patients exclusively.
· Preventative care: a good home-help service is essential and will reduce admissions to hospital. Community based care, post-natal for instance, needs better resources.
· Hospital care: domestic/cleaning services should be provided in-house rather than contracted out to improve hygiene and cleanliness; health care assistants are being over relied on and should not be asked to undertake care for which they have not had proper training. The use of private hospitals for weekend procedures/operations, with a quick in and out, is a cause for concern with the cost of care picked up by NHS organisations.
· Funding for the NHS should be derived from tax/NI revenues. If additional funding is needed, the use of (up to) 16 hour contracts by companies to avoid employers NI contributions should be ended; employers NI should be based on a percentage of the total wage bill rather than be based on individuals.
· Integration of Health and Social Care: in principle a good idea but there needs to be clarity about who/which body is responsible to/for the patient; the focus should be on the outcome. Social care is fundamental but initial integration of services will need to be properly funded. The key factors to get right are: management, control, delivery, cooperation amongst the different professions and adequate money/resources.
· The NHS: should be publicly funded but there was no consensus about tax hypothecation.
· Health authorities need to be local rather than regional and a sense of ownership needs to be achieved; this may be by giving more powers to Health Watch to scrutinise and question and by reducing the power of the medical profession.