Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Healthwatch Haringey - Have Your Say

On http://www.haringey.gov.uk/www.haringey.gov.uk/healthwatch-haringey you will find a publicity brochure about a new organisation, Healthwatch Haringey, which is supposed to be 'your local health and social care watchdog'. On behalf of the Defend Haringey Health Services Coalition, I am writing to organisations who may be concerned about the following facts:-

1) Haringey Healthwatch will apparently replace 'Link', which has recently been the patients' representation body. It's being set up at a time when new laws and structures are changing the health service drastically. In particular, the new Commissioning Boards (to 'buy' hospital, etc  services on behalf of local doctors) and orders from central government to put many parts of the NHS out to tender to 'any willing provider'

2) The brochure contains a 'have your say' questionnaire and an invitation to any reader to 'get involved' presumably so that the Council and the NHS can choose who will be members of the new body and continue to represent patients. No elections, just volunteers - and they choose who to have.

3) This is apparently being distributed through Morrison’s supermarket (and some libraries); it has just been noticed in the last few days and we don't know where else it can be obtained except the website given above.

4) The brochure says 'our consultation so far has been with the following voluntary and community sector groups', then mentions a list of 22 local organisations. There are some MAJOR omissions in this list:-

NO consultation with residents' association or their Haringey Federation
NO consultation with trade unions
Two Christian groups mentioned, but no other faith groups
NO reference to Age UK or the Haringey Older People's Forum
Patchy and limited coverage of ethnic minority groups - have a look at the list

5) 'Decisions about what Healthwatch Haringey will look like will be made in consultation with local people, stakeholders and Haringey residents'. One might ask, how ?  and which residents ?
Please circulate this message and encourage the un-consulted people and organisations to come forward!

You may also wish to write to any of the Councillors who are cabinet members for relevant policy areas, to ask them how Healthwatch members are going to be chosen and how the population are supposed to find out they can put themselves forward:- 

Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Services – Cllr Dilek Dogus
Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion (and Economic Development, but it's inclusion that's relevant here) – Cllr Alan Strickland
Cabinet Member for Communities – Cllr Bernice Vanier

Councillor Reg Rice(Chair) , 225 High Road, Wood Green, London, , N22 8HQ, , reg.rice@haringey.gov.uk
Councillor David Winskill,(Vice Chair) River Park House, 225 High Road, Wood Green, London, N22 8HQ, 020 8374 5650, david.winskill@haringey.gov.uk.

Written by Anne Gray, Haringey Green Party

No comments: