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Plans for NHS changes in Norfolk and Waveney denounced by pressure group

PUBLISHED: 16:25 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:04 21 December 2017

Lowestoft Coalition Against The Cuts held a public meeting to discuss the STP. Picture: Courtesy of Frank Joyce

Lowestoft Coalition Against The Cuts held a public meeting to discuss the STP. Picture: Courtesy of Frank Joyce

Archant

A pressure group has unanimously agreed to oppose a new NHS scheme.

Members of Lowestoft Coalition against the Cuts (LCAC) gathered for a public meeting on December 4, to discuss the sustainability and transformation plan (STP), which would see the various arms of Norfolk and Waveney’s NHS work more closely with local councils and other organisations.

The plan, which would see the relevant changes made by 2021, includes explanations for how the NHS would make use of its resources as efficiently as possible.

Among the measures pledged is the provision of more services in general practice and communities so that hospitals can focus on specialist and emergency care, as well as further integrating health and social care so that people can receive coordinated support at home where possible.

In attendance at the Waveney TUC-supported meeting was Bill Adnams, a long-time campaigner on NHS issues and member of the Keep our NHS Public group.

Mr Adnams stated that this latest NHS reorganisation was difficult to understand, but one that is “about cuts to services and privatisation.”

He said: “The STPs determine that the NHS will have to survive in a market system alongside private companies.

“The last NHS reforms - closing hospitals and selling them off - didn’t work. ‘Care in the Community’ was just a slogan and the result has been neither better nor cheaper.”

The meeting also saw Frank Joyce, secretary of LCAC, questioning the way the STP was introduced. He said: “Why has there been no explanation or apology for the cuts, mismanagement and suffering caused by the last reorganisation?

“To embark on another costly and disruptive reorganisation is insane.”

The new vision for Norfolk and Waveney includes a desire to help the region’s three main hospitals to become more sustainable by working more closely together, while there will be better utilisation of technology with consultations via Skype or Facetime.

A spokesman for the STP said: “The plan focuses on helping individuals to stay as healthy as possible while supporting more people – especially those with long-term conditions – to live independently at home. It sets out the changes which will manage demand while making sure everyone can access high quality services which meet their needs.”

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