I attended the Clinical Commissioning Groups Annual General Meeting held at Tranmere Rovers along with my fellow Ward Councillor Phil Gilchrist, we sat through the first hour of the usual type of stuff to be found in an AGM regarding finance etc.
It got interesting at the time allocated to questions.
Residents who had registered to attend were given an opportunity to send in a written question and the first question was about the loss of the walk in facility in Eastham. This was quickly dealt with and then they tried to move to a question regarding phlebotomy.
At this point Phil strenuously objected, in a very loud voice, stating that people were here to find out what the intention was for our clinic, and for some answers as to why it had been closed and the manner in which it had happened. Other residents also complained and a long session followed with the CCG telling us that basically it was for the safety of patients in Arrowe Park A&E.
I asked why they had taken all the staff required from Eastham and not from other places enabling us to keep our facility to be told that it was only temporary. Shouts of give us a date rent the room. It was not possible for a date to be given as it depended on the waiting time reducing at A&E which it currently was doing but it had to be consistent over a period of time.
I pointed out that we were coming into the winter period and the numbers would naturally increase meaning that we would not get our facility back anytime soon. The answer came that when the time was right, they would look at what service would be required in Eastham and decide on what, if anything, will be supplied in the future
Phil and I were left fuming at the responses given, along with many others whose questions were not answered as they continually tried to move away from the subject and on to other issues only to be pulled back time and again. But with the same answers continually given eventually the meeting moved on.
My next question that I managed to get asked was regarding being proactive instead of reactive and questioned the reasoning for not continuing to fund the Diabetes outreach program run by Dr Seung at Arrowe Park.
This program funds Diabetic nurses at 3 GP centers in Wirral and has moved us up in the league tables from 35th position to 13th in the short time it has been running. In Wirral we have the highest rate of lower limb amputations in the country along with the highest number of children under ten clinically obese, so surely any work done to highlight this and reduce the onset of type 2 will have an enormous benefit to the NHS in the future.
The answer came that it was funded till the end of the year, which is incorrect as the funding actually ceases at the end of October, and considering the amount of funding required is a mere trifle in the grand scheme of things whatever happened to ‘Prevention is better than a cure’