Thirty odd years ago, as a cub reporter, I was expected to attend a long list of public body meetings.
Among those were the regional and district health authorities and the community health council.
Between them they ran the NHS locally and were accountable to the public not least because the Press was invited along.
They were made up of health service workers, local councillors and other worthies who were interested and/or elected to be on the committees.
Anything sound familiar about them? Aren’t they exactly what the Government is being advised would be best to keep a check on the GP consortiums?
It seems that this week Cameron and Clegg may well have to consider forming a new group along pretty much the same lines as those from yesteryear if they proceed to do away with the Primary Care Trusts we have currently.
The GPs who are going to be expected to handle vast sums of public cash need to be accountable and so we need to set up a committee of councillors, health workers and other people from the community.
Well hurrah to that if if it happens.
At the end of the day, if you get sick and need the health service, you need to know that your local service is the best and can be trusted to offer you the best.
You really don’t want to have to worry about choice and whether your treatment can be bought in cheaper from elsewhere. We don’t want a postcode lottery system.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley said yesterday: “We want to continue to listen to, engage with, and learn from experts, patients and frontline staff within the NHS and beyond and to respond accordingly.”
Protesters against the NHS reforms marched through Wirksworth on Saturday and made their views quite clear.
Hopefully Messrs Lansley, Cameron and Clegg will get to hear what was being said in the Market Place.
Amanda Hatfield, editor