I have been fighting alongside Conservative councillors, MPs and local residents against the cuts to NHS services in South East London for almost two years. The “Picture of Health” proposals and consultation have both been very unpopular.
There has been considerable disquiet about the cuts, particularly in Bexley and Chislehurst because of the drastic cuts in Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup. Boris and I joined local protesters on the SOS QMH marches last year.
I had always felt that money was the big driver for the cuts but the Picture of Health committee insisted that clinical needs were the driving force and that over 100 local clinicians supported the plans. Who could argue with over 100 local medical experts? No one, surely!
Well the Bexley Times has done the kind of local campaigning journalism that is rare these days and found out that there was in fact no list of 100 clinicians! The cornerstone of these proposals turns out to be a sham.
Huge well done to the Bexley Times and I the Picture of Health committee had better get ready for huge row.