CONCERNED residents are adamant they do not want to see the health service handed over to the private sector after a meeting held to discuss radical changes to the way the NHS is run.
Locals from across the borough attended the event, organised by the Solihull Save our NHS Campaign, to have their say on the changes, to be introduced in the Spring.
From April, the Solihull Clinical Commissioning (CCG) will take over the running of NHS services from the NHS Cluster Group. However a group of residents have formed the Save our NHS action group amid concerns the CCG may ‘sell off’ services to private companies.
The group held its second public meeting at the Bridge Centre, Stratford Road, Shirley last Thursday evening.
Dr Peter Fisher of the Royal College of Physicians and Dr Grant Ingrams, a GP at a Coventry practice, both spoke at the meeting, outlining their concerns of ‘privatising’ the NHS.
Dr Fisher said: “Good healthcare is not like ordering something from Amazon. There have been 18 re-organisations of the NHS in the last 20 years and each one of them becomes more complex.
“We must be seen as part of a mass movement across the country, to object to what is going on.”
Dorridge resident Colin Smith said: “I came because I wanted to learn a bit more about the changes and it has confirmed my fears.
“I am not in favour of private companies being involved in the running of the NHS.”
Another local, Clive Savage, said: “For the last 20 years my wife has been very poorly and we have received an excellent service from the NHS - Solihull Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“I am very worried about the future of the NHS and the way it is going to be run. There is going to be a big change and it is up to make a difference.”
Patrick Ruane from Solihull added: “If I wanted private healthcare, I would have paid for it. The NHS is the most precious service we have got and everyone has the right to healthcare.”