Save Osler House: Harlow Labour and residents join forces to protest outside surgery

News / Sat 17th Mar 2018 at 12:33pm

Harlow Common

A LARGE number of Harlow Labour councillors joined local residents to protest against the possible closure of Osler House in Potter Street.

In sub-zero temperatures, they stood close to the Prentice Place surgery with a large number of placards, calling for the surgery which treats over 3,000 people to be saved.

YH spoke to local ward councillors, Maggie Hulcoop, Mark Wilkinson and Emma Toal to ascertain where the campaign is and where it can possibly go.

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13 Comments for Save Osler House: Harlow Labour and residents join forces to protest outside surgery:

m ingall
2018-03-17 12:45:39

The closure of Osler House Practice is a disgrace. It is the direct result of this Conservative government's policies of lower taxes for the very rich and corporations, with cuts and austerity for the rest of us. I understand our Tory MP Robert Halfon has written to Osler House patients saying he is doing what he can to stop the closure. I am not sure how he has the nerve to do this. For seven years he has supported the increased privatisation of services and inadequate funding of the NHS. Not once has he voted against this government's cuts, not once has he raised his voice against Increased privatisation. You, and the government you are a part of Mr Halfon, are responsible for this and your concern now is too little too late.

2018-03-17 13:45:17

Overwhelmingly positive response for the demonstration this morning, there's a side that the public are on and it ain't the side of cuts to vital services. 3000 people use the surgery and the Harlow MP saying he's against the closure, when he voted for the pointless (unless you're into privatisation) top down reorganisation of our NHS which has led to this action is trying to play both sides against the middle. Remember one D Cameron who said "I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS"? With our health service, you can't trust the Tories.

2018-03-17 14:42:57

Yes, the closure of Osler House is wrong but again Cllr Ingall is making cheap and irrelevant political points at the expense of others; the closure has nothing to do with taxes on the rich or corporations. In fact, his point is completely irrelevant. I am sure Cllr Ingall is well aware that the closure is as a direct result of the company providing the service deciding it could not provide the service any longer and the other surgeries in the area declining the opportunity to take it over. His comments about privatisation are similarly loose with the truth: https://fullfact.org/health/NHS-privatisation/

2018-03-17 16:32:16

This is not the first time that this kind of thing has happened. The Practice Group plc has closed surgeries in the London Borough of Camden, Woking, Leicester, and Nottingham, because it could not make enough profit out of them. Companies like this are vampires draining public funds from NHS services, and when they have drained the corpse, they spit it out. Those who criticise the Labour Party for “politicising” such things are themselves “being political”, for in failing to attack the cause of closures of surgeries like Osler House they are by default justifying that cause. If you limit yourself to treating the victims of an outbreak of cholera and do not shut down the contaminated water pump that is the cause of the outbreak, then you are not going to stop the outbreak.

Dave Whitney
2018-03-17 16:40:57

It may be wrong to blame the Con-Dem coalition government for the closure of Osler House. Privatisation of GP surgeries began under the Blair-Brown New “Labour” regime. The Cameron-Clegg government was continuing a privatisation programme begun by New “Labour”; not that that lets the Tories or the Lib Dems off the hook. Their Health and Social Care Act 2012 is enabling ever greater privatisation. Now that the Blairite crypto-Tories have been overthrown in the Labour Party, it can now be said to represent the immediate interests of working class people. A government led by Jeremy Corbyn would act in those interests by halting and reversing the conquest of public services by the owners of capital. The National Health Service would once again be able to operate fully according to need, not profit.

2018-03-17 17:22:55

I've met cllr Ingall several times and not once has he made cheap or irrelevant political points. The Tory Party themselves are fond of making cheap and irrelevant political points, saying anything that deviates from their rampant twisted version of capitalism will "bankrupt the country" when it is their old pals in the city that almost did just that in 2008. In no universe that anyone can imagine will the Tories ever be the party of public services.

m ingall
2018-03-17 18:56:26

MEHardware is right that Osler House Practice is a private company, but he is fooling nobody when he pretends the closure has nothing to do with government underfunding. The Practice got its funding from the local CCG which is funded by the NHS which is crying out for more investment from this government. It is my understanding that the CCG had to cut the funding to Osler House Practice by £120,000 per year, meaning the practice would run at a huge loss - so it shut. It is a common Tory trick to out-source public services, then underfund them so that the service to the public declines or the company goes bust. The Tories then feign ignorance, shrug their shoulders and pretend it's nothing to do with them. But they had a choice, cut taxes for corporations and the very rich, or invest more in the NHS. Doctors, nurses, Hospital administrators were all protesting that funds were too tight, but the Tories chose tax cuts. As for me being loose with the truth. Many in the town will remember MEHardware and Robert Halfon strenuously denying school cuts were in the pipeline before the last election, now we find out most secondaries in Harlow are facing cuts of around £500 per pupil. See this article http://www.yourharlow.com/2018/03/12/unions-claim-many-harlow-schools-set-to-be-hit-hard-by-cuts/comment-page-1/#comment-15632 You can't trust the Tories with the NHS and you can't trust MEHardware at all.

2018-03-19 10:39:08

I guess we can all look forward to Labour (or should we now call them Momentum) spending more money that we don't have and then raising taxes to pay for services. It seems that Labour have forgotten it was they themselves that introduced a bill in parliament to outsource the NHS, It was also labour who saddled the NHS with Massive PFI debts. It looks like their former Leader Jon Clempner was correct when he called the current Labour Councillors "Amateurs"

2018-03-19 20:36:52

There's something fishy about someone calling themselves a maverick. That's what someone else should call you, not a name you give yourself. Something fishy about the comment too. The Tories have borrowed more in eight years than Labour did in 13 and on their watch have accounted for two thirds of the national debt. Money we don't have eh? Labour's councillors work hard week in week out for the people of Harlow, and have in the budget a £1 million pot for improving neighbourhoods, not to mention their campaigning on local issues like the Osler House debacle caused by the Tories' ideologically-driven privatisation agenda.

2018-03-19 20:53:10

As the surgery has had issues for almost 2 decades and has always been in the bottom 2% in customer satisfaction surveys why we're the councillors not raising concerns earlier or is it just politicising the issue.

2018-03-20 06:25:23

Hate to break it to you, Goose but councillors in a political party are a bit political now and then. How do you know they haven't been raising concerns, Ice Man? They don't have to tell you everything they do. In fact, most of what the Labour councillors do will be below the radar. Little things like helping local residents, organising clean ups of the local area, bringing minority groups into the process and making them feel more welcome in our community.

2018-03-20 10:07:59

Interesting comments you make there Jerry, firstly you say Councillors don't have to tell the public everything they do and secondly Labour do lots of stuff under the radar. I would assume that as an elected representative of your residents you have a duty to be open and upfront about Everything or is it Labour's policy to hide things from residents.

2018-03-20 12:31:31

Thanks, Viper. Maybe a councillor can help me out here but I don't think they have to inform everyone everywhere about everything that they do. If politicians did have to, old Bob Halfon would never stop going on about his votes for anti LGBT legislation. There also may be reasons as to why residents don't particularly want the help they're getting from councillors to be known to everyone, to do with domestic abuse for example.

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