Friday, 4 June 2010

NHS London and Strategic Health Authority Resignation

The Editor, Richmond & Twickenham Times

You reported last week on the resignation of Sir Richard Sykes, Chairman of NHS London, its Strategic Health Authority, “following a change of Government policy” – and the effect this is likely to have on the clinical review now being undertaken on the A&E and maternity services at Kingston Hospital.

But this major change, announced by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley in the May 21st Telegraph, applies to community health services just as much as it does to hospital services.

The Health Secretary has ordained a “halt on the current process” and “a complete change in the way we (the NHS) deal with these issues, (such as) closures and reconfigurations” – so as to allow, among other criteria “genuine engagement with the public, patients and local authorities”.

It therefore has to be considered that the “externalisation” of Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare, and its “alignment” with some remote hospital or mental health trust, is one of those current processes on which a halt has to be called – and that this will be made clear at the Stakeholder Event” NHS Richmond has planned for June 7th.

It is also to be hoped that Sir Richard’s will be the last of the NHS resignations arising from this change of Government policy and practice.

Yours sincerely

Francis King

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