This morning both of Swindon’s Labour Party Parliamentary Candidates, Sarah Church and Kate Linnegar, met for a further meeting with the Clinical Commissioning Group on the subject of ongoing problems at the five surgeries under the IMH group.
Sarah and Kate have been speaking and meeting with health commissioners regularly since the problems arose last autumn, and today they met to find out what is going on after months of promises, but seemingly no improvements. Patients have been demanding transparency from IMH and the CCG, and today Kate and Sarah put the pressure back on to provide some answers.
Today they were assured that the CCG is finally digging into the detail, including staff numbers and finances, at IMH. They were also assured that the CCG will not be looking for another private company to replace IMH.
Following the meeting, Kate said, “I receive messages and emails every day from patients who are still waiting too long on the phone or getting cut off. The CCG have promised to make these problems their priority. When I asked how they plan to create a sustainable service, it was encouraging to hear that they are looking at best practice across the country- I’ll look forward to hearing about what they plan to do”.
Sarah said, “This was a robust but constructive conversation. The CCG are very aware that the public will not let this issue go. Kate and I will not be letting it go either.”
Kate and Sarah updated Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jonathan Ashworth, on the issue this afternoon, who commented, “The work Sarah and Kate are doing to hold the decision makers to account is very important. Labour is committed to a properly resourced and staffed NHS for Swindon residents- we recognise how important GP services are for people. For too long cut backs from the Tory Government have impacted health services across Swindon.”
The CCG sent an open letter to the public earlier this week and will be holding their AGM on 18th July, which is open to the public. Both Kate and Sarah will be attending.