‘Protect our NHS’ call from campaigners

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A group of campaigners concerned about the future of the NHS presented a petition to the new board that will be in charge of Dacorum’s health services.

It asked the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to do all it can to stop health services being broken up or taken over by ‘irresponsible’ private companies. It also requested that patients be consulted on changes, money is spent wisely and that policies and a constitution are adopted to reflect these values.

The group will be responsible for commissioning health services in Dacorum, Watford, St Albans and Hertsmere from April 1. It represents 70 doctor surgeries in West Herts and is governed by a board mostly made up of GPs.

Campaigners, who are supporters of the national group 38 Degrees, fear government reforms will lead to the break-up of the NHS and the privatisation of services.

Philippa Jones, group co-ordinator, said: “In the radically new and untried NHS set-up it is vital that we all monitor closely the actions of local decision-making bodies to make sure they put our interests first, not those of private companies or government.”

The petition, signed by 1,792, was presented by Hemel Hempstead group member Edie Glatter to CCG chairman Dr Nicolas Small. To join the campaign group can call 01442 865937.