Letter to Editor: Councillor Vince and his chums need to realise that the NHS is everybody’s, not just Labour’s.

Politics / Tue 12th Oct 2021 at 08:55am

Dear Editor

THE fact that reading Councillor Vince’s letter left me more bemused than he could ever be as it is blatantly obvious that he didn’t read either of my letters preferring to use the crisis that GPs and Health centres find themselves to try and continue his ‘evil Tories’ narrative.

In my previous letter I alluded to the problem that we now find ourselves could be traced back to 1997 and the introduction of National Health Service (Private Finance) Act 1997, rushed through without any safeguards by Tony Blair’s New Labour government in July of that year. Essentially, it moved the NHS from public health strategic planning to finance led planning, completely ignoring clinical need and strategic planning based on those needs. 

This situation has nothing to do with evil Tories or feckless Labour, it has to do with our NHS at the community health centre level being forced, by the bureaucrats and accountants who were given the power in 1997 and still have it, to stop face to face appointments, only to have phone consultations with GP’s, only allow appointments to be made by phone, not in person, because it makes the spreadsheets look better and that is all the bureaucrats understand. 

In essence it removed the ability for patients and their GPs to interact properly, allowing patients to trust their clinicians.

At this moment in time, we are coming out of probably one of the scariest periods in recent history. People’s anxiety levels are through the roof. We need to restore medical services that lockdown affected. That will not be a quick job. The primary point of contact for patients is their GP and how can your GP actually spot a problem on the phone? We already have reports of just this sort of situation from Brentwood and I am sure that is, sadly, not an isolated case.

Councillor Vince and his chums need to realise that the NHS is everybody’s, not just Labour’s. 

By trying to make out that my letters are an attack on the Clinicians and nursing staff who have worked so hard during the pandemic and for that matter every day making the NHS the best health service in the world is an insult to NHS staff and clearly shows that he is more interested in weaponizing the NHS for his own interests rather than recognising that there is a problem that needs addressing so that GP’s can return to face to face consultations and patients will be able to contact their doctor without the hours of waiting or just being cut off. 

When he was made Member Champion for Mental Health and Wellbeing in 2019, I met with him on neutral ground for a coffee and he promised me that he would ensure that mental health and wellbeing issues would be his highest priority, I am still waiting to see that priority appear. His successor didn’t do anything to promote the issues either. 

If Councillor Vince wants to actually be taken seriously as his group’s leader it is time he stopped all the posturing and actually listened to what the residents of Harlow are saying and represent his constituents in his ward and across the town. 


Councillor Nick Churchill

Member Champion for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Harlow District Council

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7 Comments for Letter to Editor: Councillor Vince and his chums need to realise that the NHS is everybody’s, not just Labour’s.:

2021-10-12 09:34:06

Seems to be everybody's alright. As in the entire world's.

Michael Hatton
2021-10-12 10:06:32

P F I comes to mind. Conveniently forgotten by the F I M group.

2021-10-12 11:14:47

Simples: spend more money more efficiently! Stop throwing public money at wasteful projects like Sizewell C and Hinkley Point.

2021-10-12 13:01:16

As a resident in Councillor Chris Vince's ward, i can assure you that he regularly listens to resident within the whole community and is the first to get problems sorted! he is respected by all that know him. Chris Vince is a wholesome down to earth guy who engages with everyone who crosses his path and that is exactly what we need in politics! people who have the time and patience to listen to anyone problems. Thank you Chris for all you for me and my fellow neighbours! If you don't want to be called out for conservative hypocrisy then do not be hypocritical!

2021-10-12 13:29:01

Lisa, have you been to the Town Centre recently. The area on the north side looks like a war zone. Chris Vince and his mates have left the place to ruin. It is the worst town centre in the region by far, if not the entire country. They were and are useless, which is why most people in this town had the good sense to kick them out.

2021-10-13 07:15:01

Conservatives have had plenty of time to address issues within the NHS but have managed to make the issues much much worse. Stop vying for popularity and actually make a difference to people’s lives.

Pauras Kolah
2021-10-22 11:01:34

Do we as "Jo public" or "Josephine public" know enough about the workings of the NHS, and should we know more? Having worked in procurement for 30 years, and qualified Buyer, I took a great interest in the NHS last year with regards to the procurement of PPE, and voiced them to the Government and national media. The issues in brief concerned: (1) Forward planning; (2) Reliance on overseas suppliers; (3) Lack of appropriateness of suppliers who are unable to manufacture and test to specifications. Away from PPE I have heard of inefficiencies in the NHS - one example that there was over 200 suppliers for coat hangers? True or not, there needs to be more public scrutiny on the way we services are purchased and delivered and the unfair stresses being politically imposed on our treasured NHS Service! For instance should we listen to politicians or the medical experts with regards to face masks, social distancing, etc? You decide!

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