NHS plans criticised by local Conservative

A PROMINENT local Tory has hit out against South Cambridgeshire MP and secretary of state for health Andrew Lansley for his “frightful” plans to change NHS frontline services.

Jeremy Fordham, chairman of The Mordens and Abington Pigotts branch of the Conservatives, criticised Mr Lansley’s idea of having a central call centre for patients to make appointments.

Mr Fordham, who lives in Odsey, said: “Moving the NHS to a national call centre would be frightful, and completely impersonal.

“I don’t know how anyone would expect a patient to share personal details with someone who they don’t know, who doesn’t know anything about their medical history and who could be hundreds of miles away.

“There are call centres for electricity, water, gas and bringing one in for health would be absolutely awful, and there is a lot of anti-feeling amongst the branch.”

Mr Fordham, who has held his position for 20 years, rallied local people to show their disproval of the plans by contacting Mr Lansley, though he wasn’t sure whether anyone would get a response.

“What I hop is that other people will take note of what I am saying and agree, then show their grievance by writing to Andrew Lansley,” he said.

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“If no one complains then no action will be taken, after all, this could affect everyone. If we force it on him he might react and say something.

“Andrew Lansley doesn’t often return calls or letters though. I have been writing to him for 20 years and have had very bad correspondence. I expect him to say he is too busy but people must write to him.”

A spokesman for Mr Lansley said that any changes will give more power to patients, and that money will be spent in the right areas.

“We are investing an extra �10.7 billion in the NHS. We are also modernising the service so that patients are given more power and choice,” said the spokesman.

“We set out our plans very clearly before the election and we need to remove layers of bureaucracy in order to improve standards and invest more in patient care.”