Over 100 people attended a meeting held in Wirksworth Town Hall on January 29, to express their concerns about the impact of recent legislation on the National Health Service.
Without exception, questions from the floor expressed a deep unease about what is perceived as a drift towards the privatisation of the NHS.
There was a strong sense that the pursuit of profit has no place in the provision of health care and a fear that the very concept of a universal Health Service was in danger of becoming fragmented, as private companies tendered to provide outsourced services.
Concern was expressed over the vetting of such companies and the power of the NHS Commissioning Board, the largest non-elected Quango in the UK, to impose policy on the regional boards.
Speakers Dr Lawrence and Mr Layzell denied that there was an intention to privatise the service and were both striving to provide the best service they could within the constraints of the new legislation. However, the vast majority of people attending the meeting, without doubting their sincerity, remained unconvinced that the move towards privatisation was not taking place and a deep sense of unease remained.
Dr Jill Rapoport, one of the organisers of the meeting, urged people to sign a petition to be presented to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on February 22nd, and to talk to their GPs about the impact of the Act and to become involved in Patient Participation Groups.
Members of the public are also free to attend CCG meetings which are held regularly in Derby, in order to get their views heard. They were also encouraged to contact their MPs and express their concerns.
For more information on the campaign group that organised the meeting, contact Jill on 01629 823515 or 07967 973 730.