Debate

NHS campaign goes national

Sarah article snip

Blog article in May

A PETITION started in Hedon by health campaigner and Town Councillor Sarah Rommell has gone national. 

The petition started in March objecting to the withdrawal of minimum income guarantees for small GP surgeries has already attracted thousands of signatures from across the region, but now Sarah Rommell has joined up with health campaigners in London which she says gives the campaign a real national focus and identity.

Dr Sarah Williams a GP from the Nightingale Practice in Hackney is leading a campaign in London and has suggested to namesake Sarah in Hedon that it would be good to demonstrate that rural and inner city areas are campaigning together on the issue.

In an article in the The Independent Dr Williams has said that patients needed to be warned about the scale of the threat to smaller GP services. The article suggests that up to up to 700,000 patients in England could lose their local GP surgery as minimum practice income guarantees is withdrawn over the next seven years. “If we don’t get publicity and start shouting about it then it will just get pushed through quietly and it will be too late,” she said. “We need to mobilise patients. There are so many people who don’t want to see their surgery close.” In her own Practice, Dr Williams has ensured that all patients have been sent a text message urging them to sign a petition.

Whilst Sarah Rommell’s petition has concentrated on gathering real signatures on paper, with Sarah preferring face-to-face contact, the London Sarah’s campaign has taken to the internet and set up an online petition on the 38 Degrees website Campaigns by You.

If you haven’t already signed Sarah Rommell’s petition on paper, you can sign the online petition at the link below:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-inner-city-gp-surgeries
38-degrees-petition-web-snip_thumb.jpg

In both cases the petitions are destined to be sent to Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt.

8 replies »

  1. We have received this from Dr Sarah Williams;

    Dear Friends,

    Thank you for signing the petition Save our GP surgeries. In addition to the nearly 6000 of you who have signed online we have collected approximately 15000 paper signatures.

    We will be handing in the paper and electronic petition on Wed 6th August at Downing St.

    It would be great if as many of you as possible could come along to raise publicity – we will have press there.

    Assemble outside the gates of Downing St at 12:30 if you can come, for photos

    The petition will be handed in at 1:30pm

    In the meantime please forward to family and friends so as many people as possible can sign before 6th.

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/MPIG

    Many thanks

    Sarah Williams

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  2. I also got the impression at the meeting that a couple of councilors abstained, and noticed what looked like opposition from two other Cllrs which included ukip.

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  3. I was present at the above meeting. A couple of cllrs did abstain but it is worth noting that there was opposition voiced from two cllrs. Counsellors are public servants representing their community and so should be radically AGAINST any cuts to health services that effect the people they represent. Well done Cllr Rommell for having the integrity to take action on such an important issue.

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  4. Hi Aly and Ray,

    I was present at the aforementioned meeting and can quite categorically state that there was open opposition from Cllr Thurston in the chair and Cllr West. Cllrs Dennis and Marshall were sympathetic towards the petition but due to their parties policy could not be seen to vote for it and therefore abstained. In point of fact Cllr Thurston in the chair attempted to amend a motion, which had been proposed and seconded before the vote was taken, which if I am not mistaken is against procedure.

    Advice was taken from ERNLLCA at the town clerks request and the council as a whole was advised not to pass the petition, fortunately level heads prevailed and it was passed by majority by councillors voting based on the needs of their constituents and not party politics.

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  5. Well done Cllr Rommell in taking action, shame all our councillors can’t take the same lead and shame on the UKIP councillor voting against Hedon Town Counil backing the petition to save our local NHS services.

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    • Hi Aly – I think it’s worth pointing out that when the council discussed backing the petition on March 27th 2014, there wasn’t a single voice of opposition to it.

      However, under the advisement of ERNLLCA their support organisation, councillors were warned that supporting the petition which is critical of Government policy, it might be deemed that Hedon Town Council was ‘acting politically’ and set a precedent.

      Four councillors heeded that advice two actively by voting against, two passively by abstaining albeit they were the minority (See: Town Council endorses NHS petition).

      It would be wrong to suggest that any councillor showed opposition to the petition itself.

      Like

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