I WAS very sorry to read the letter from Jenni Ord, acting chairman of Solihull NHS Care Trust, regarding the proposals for a new 'Poly Clinic' in the centre of Solihull.
Ms Ord claims that the people of Solihull have been misinformed about the provisions of a new GP led Health Centre. If this is the case it is a shame that public debate about the effects of this new centre on the needs and implications of the existing health care in Solihull has not been held by the Care Trust. It should be noted that the procurement process which is already being actioned is open to private companies. This would seem to be another stealth move to privatise the easiest and most profitable NHS activities.
It is stated by the Care Trust that Solihull is well served by the current number of general practitioners. Can, therefore, Ms Ord guarantee no reduction of GPs in the current practices within the borough and no reduction in the Accident and Emergency service at Solihull Hospital?
The impetus for this development is not a carefully thought-out business plan to meet the needs of the people of Solihull. It is a directive from the Department of Health, the implementation of which is being managed by NHS West Midlands. Solihull Care Trust does not appear to have any say in this matter let alone the people of the borough.
Ms Ord continues to state that a wide consultation has taken place. I beg to differ. Consultation should mean asking people's views before making a decision, not asking a question after the decision has been taken. If, however, it is accepted that what Solihull Care Trust undertook was a real consultation of the people, more of the people I have spoken to have not received the consultation document than have.
As I believe the document was supposed to be delivered to every household, I would hope the Care Trust would enquire of the firm responsible for the delivery why it failed in so many cases. It would therefore be interesting to know the claimed 75 per cent agreement of how many delivered and returned questionnaires.
I would refer the acting chairman to the article in the recently distributed 'Talking about Solihull' which identifies the results of an October 2007 survey about access to general practitioner services. This states: "Three out of four of you found it easy to see your GP."
Councillor Sue Rose, via e-mail.