Wiltshire Publications

Issue 439 – Government ‘fob off’ healthcare petition

A PETITION to replace the Wiltshire NHS with a democratically elected body has received a disappointing response, says Dilton Marsh man Bob Lee.

The e-petition was posted on the Downing Street website in March 2008, attracting 206 signatures by the time the petition closed on March 16th this year.
Bob Lee said, ‘The response just set out all their policies. I felt it didn’t really address the questions we were suggesting. I would call it a fob off, really.”
The government’s response read, in part: “It is for local NHS organisations to plan, develop and improve services for local people. The decision to implement the Reforming Community Services (RCS) programme in Wiltshire was made in January 2007 following two years of engagement and consultation with local communities, clinicians and patients.”
“…providing services closer to, or in, patients’ homes where appropriate can be more convenient and lead to a more positive experience of moving between different parts of the system, especially between health and social care.”
Bob Lee said, “It didn’t address whether the nursing teams which visit people’s houses really work. It’s not really very accountable – you can’t nail it down like a hospital.”
Something of a serial petitioner, Bob Lee said that despite the poor response, he had not been put off using the e-petition service as a mode of social protest.
He added that he would be looking forward to the outcome of judicial review into the closure of the Minor Injuries Unit at Savernake Hospital outside Marlborough, which is due to take place next month.
He said, “It was claimed that the consultation was not at all thorough and I’m hoping it might lead to something wider where they look at the whole of the county.
“It might just unleash a hornets’ nest.”
To read the petition and the government’s response in their entireties visit www. number10.gov.uk/Page19486