By Matthew Gooding
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Royston’s MP hopes a consultation on elderly care will lead to more health services being made available in the town.
Oliver Heald was speaking following a consultation meeting on changes that could see one private sector firm taking over NHS contracts for all services provided to the elderly, meaning patients’ treatment would all be co-ordinated by a single person, rather than several different organisations as it is under the current system.
The meeting took place at Queen’s Road Methodist Church, Royston on May 16 and Mr Heald said: “It was absolutely packed out, there was standing room only.
“The reason I encouraged people to go along was because I think elderly care can be an important factor in the plans for the Royston Hospital site, and this consultation is a good chance to call for extra services to be made available in Royston rather than at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. I’m talking about things like dementia care and diabetic care.
“A decision is going to be made about how big a building we want on London Road, and the more services that are provided in Royston the bigger building we’re likely to get.”
A ‘masterplan’ is currently being drawn up for the future of the Royston Hospital site, on London Road.
The meeting saw representatives of the Unite union raise concerns about health services being put out to tender to private companies, but Mr Heald believes this could benefit patients.
He said: “The most important thing is that we get the best services for people and that they are free at the point of delivery.
“There’s only one private company involved in the tender process, the rest are not-for-profit organisations.
“I travelled round Europe when I was Conservative health spokesman, and looked at healthcare systems in many different countries, and a lot of them used private contractors.”
There is still time to get involved in the consultation, which is being run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, which oversees health care services in Royston and South Cambridgeshire.
To have your say, log on to www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk and click on the consultations page.