The full toll of the government’s highly controversial NHS reforms on healthcare in the capital are to be probed by an independent panel, in a new far reaching inquiry, launched today (Friday 6 September).
The People’s Inquiry into London’s NHS will bring together an eminent panel of experts in their fields, who will examine evidence on some of the big issues, surrounding hospital reconfiguration, access to services, emergency care and mental health across the capital.
Polly Toynbee – political and social commentator for the Guardian - and NHS blogger and health policy analyst Roy Lilley will form part of an illustrious six member panel which is meeting today to finalise the scope of the initiative.
Three years after the government announced the biggest shake up to the NHS in its 65 year history, London’s NHS has been hit with a number of A&E and maternity unit closures, bed cuts, increased privatisation and a funding squeeze that is pushing the service to breaking point, says Unite.
Peter Kavanagh Unite regional secretary said: “The aim of the People’s Inquiry is to build a comprehensive and robust analysis of the state of London’s NHS using independent experts to probe the evidence as it stands.
“With hospitals in London fighting for survival the time is ripe to delve into the full impact of the government’s controversial Health and Social Care Act on healthcare in the capital.
“Members of the public, healthcare professionals and campaigners will be invited to submit evidence to the panel in writing or at a number of public meetings to be held at key locations in the five former NHS London clusters; North East, North Central, North West, South London and Central London.”
The public sessions will take place from October to December 2013 and will be in Ealing on Friday 11 October, Tooting, South West London on Wednesday 23 October, Walthamstow in the north east on Friday 25 October, Archway on Friday 1 November and in Lewisham on Friday 8 November. Venues to be confirmed in the coming days.
Notes to editors:
- In addition to Polly Toynbee and Roy Lilley the six member panel includes, Sue Richards, former Professor of Public Management at the University of Birmingham, Dr Louise Irvine GP, chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign, health activist Naledi Kline and Frank Wood, Unite executive member and pathologist at Kings College Hospital.
- The People's Inquiry website will go live from Monday 9 September. Please visit www.peoplesinquiry.org for details of the public sessions, including times and venue locations.
- For further information contact Chantal Chegrinec, Unite communications officer, on 07774 146 777 or for for pictures and a bio of the panel members please email Chantal Chegrinec
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.