Frank Field MP
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We mustn’t allow NHS bosses to shut community services to save face at Arrowe Park.


Those local people with a petition to close NHS services run by private companies are mistaken. I understand the hullabaloo given that the NHS remains this country’s most cherished institution.

But Aneurin Bevan in 1948 agreed to GPs being private businesses. The major providers of healthcare have always been independent contractors providing NHS services. Let me give you an example of how these services benefit my constituents and me.

I pulled some soft shoulder tissue well before the election. My GP arranged some physiotherapy three days later.

I would have got an appointment from Arrowe Park in six to eight weeks. The physiotherapy didn’t work but as an NHS patient I went to Murrayfield a week after it was suggested. The MRI results were online that evening.

The Arrowe Park wait is two months for an appointment and maybe three weeks more for the results.

Behind the petition lies two almighty struggles. Could Arrowe Park match these terms if they had the contracts?

Here lies the second struggle. Arrowe Park is verging again on bankruptcy. A campaign is on to withdraw services from the community to feed Arrowe Park.

We’ve already lost the Practice-based Alcohol Service, Sexual Health Service and Community Ophthamology (OPH).

And now the Minor Injury Units and all diagnostic services, including ultrasound and MRI, and a number of specialist clinics that lay outside of Arrowe Park, are under threat.

We mustn’t lose these community-based services. The three GP-run Minor Injury Units see over 35,000 people each year. How does shutting these services help Arrowe Park which is consistently failing to meet A&E targets?

We mustn’t allow NHS bosses to shut community services to save face at Arrowe Park.

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