Stockton North Labour Member of Parliament, Alex Cunningham, has written an open letter expressing his deep disappointment and concern that the people of Port Clarence have lost access to a vital healthcare service as a direct result of Tory-led changes to the National Health Service.
Until recently, a GP practice in Billingham was funded to provide a nurse for the people of Port Clarence one day a week by the former Primary Care Trust. However, the provision was never funded as a core service and, following recent changes to the NHS, the practice is no longer paid to deliver this service and it has been withdrawn without notice.
Despite several health professionals trying to get the service reinstated, nothing has happened so Alex has written to everyone in the new commissioning groups in the hope that someone will take the right decision and reinstate the service without delay. He has also published the letter on his website.
“Despite Tory promises to protect services and the Government’s claims that their new arrangements would bring health care decisions closer to communities as they would be taken by GPs, the decision making couldn’t be further from the people of Port Clarence.
“Despite the help of various local parties with an interest in protecting this valuable local service, and a request to the NHS England Area Team who I understand are responsible for commissioning this service, nothing has happened.
“I have taken the decision to write an open letter to local, area and regional commissioners within the NHS, and have published it in the hope that someone, somewhere, will accept responsibility and reinstate this service.
“While I welcome the planned review of health provision in the community by health professionals on 16 October, the loss of this provision is completely unacceptable and I sincerely hope that action can be taken ahead of this meeting to reinstate this important nursing service before any further damage is done.”