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At a Health and Wellbeing Board meeting held last night (30/06/14 at the Civic Offices in Sutton) it was apparent that a serious rift has arisen between local GP’s and Lib Dem Councillors. Reacting to the divisions, Emily Brothers, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton and Cheam, said:
“I welcome the decision of Sutton’s Health and Wellbeing Board not to support the Five Year Health Strategy for South West London at this time. I don’t see any clarity in the implementation of the proposed broad Five Year Strategy for Health Services across South West London and how this might impact on Sutton residents.
“I’m very concern by the lack of trust between Lib Dem Councillors and the GP’s who run the Clinical Commissioning Group.
“I’m very conscious that the Clinical Commissioning Group has been presented with a longstanding thorny challenge which has not been resolved over eleven protracted years. This hasn’t been helped at all by former Health Minister and local MP, Paul Burstow, putting in place the new architecture for a privatised health economy.
“That’s why I’m perplexed that it is only now that Lib Dem Councillors are raising concerns about Elected Representatives having a place at the Board of Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group. This is self serving for the Lib Dem majority on the Council, rather than looking at wider political and community representation.
“I understand that much of the premise behind the challenge facing NHS provision remains largely consistent, but people tell me from community groups that engagement has been poor, whilst information sharing by senior level officers has proven wholly inadequate. This lack of engagement, coupled with the consistency of the strategic challenges, I have little doubt that services will be cut and that Sutton Lib Dem Councillors will fall in line, as they tend to gravitate towards austerity.
“I’m reliably informed that the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee to be held on 07/07/14 will consider their own Local Health Prospectus - reported to hold a contrary position and which Councillors have so far failed to share with GP’s in Sutton. This is a tangible example of poor communication between the two key local public bodies concerned.
“Due to the lack of leadership, shared vision and joint working, there is a serious risk that NHS England will impose decisions on GP’s locally, ultimately with further Lib Dem collution.
“The Tory-LibDem Coalition established new architecture for the NHS with an internal market. It is failing - blaming GP’s rather than accepting that passing their Health and Social Care Act (2012) was entirely flawed. They need to take responsibility, not blame the very system they created.
“I’m pleased to confirm that later this year; Labour will introduce a Bill in Parliament to remove the internal market and the other elements of the privatised health economy. Labour is the only party that will defend the NHS and seek to protect the needs of people in Sutton and Cheam.”

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