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If It Ain't Broken Don't Try To Fix It

November 15, 2000 15:46: Readers should not be misled by Councillor Yeldhams letter supporting the abolition of Bromleys Community Health Council, which represents the interests of local NHS patients.

In fact, the new organisation proposed to replace our CHC will be inferior in important respects:

It appears patients will have to address complaints about NHS services to staff employed by the NHS itself. Can they be expected to pursue the interests of patients as robustly as do the totally independent members of CHC?

Dedicated and experienced CHC members currently attend NHS Trust Board meetings as of right, to scrutinise and comment on major changes to the health services. Such independent reviews are to be replaced by only two meetings per year between the trusts and non-specialist local councillors with (inevitably) conflicting party loyalties.

Is it wise to abolish a body which, while it is not perfect, has done a good job (Cllr. Yeldhams words), at a time of top-to-bottom change in our local NHS services with the amalgamation of Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley health authorities, and the creation of the Bromley Primary Care Trust (uniting GPs, social and mental health services)?

If it aint broke, Cllr Yeldham, why not work to improve our CHC and forget about abolishing it.

Peter Sheldon

Park Langley Residents Association

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