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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 20 August 2009
Physiotherapy blow just another nail in the coffin

• SO the Royal Free Hospital has now sold off its physiotherapy services (Physio services are taken over by private firm, August 13).
There was a time when the Royal Free (pictured right) trained physiotherapists and they were considered some of the best physios in the world.
Now a bit more of the National Health Service is being privatised. We thought it was bad when the hospital cleaning services were sold off, but there will be no stopping them now. Gradually all the services hospitals provide will be sold off and Nye Bevan won’t be turning in his grave, he will be jumping out in anger and disgust! 
Kentish Town

Privatising profit

• POLITICAL commentator Will Hutton has coined a neat phrase for the privatisation of public resources: “privatising profit and socialising loss”.

In other words, if there’s a profit the shareholders (and, of course, the executives) reap the reward; if there’s a loss, the public pay.
This process has been well documented for the drive towards the privatising of the NHS by Allyson Pollock and colleagues.
She also writes about the pushing aside of care-quality criteria by market-driven criteria. Summaries of her work are there for anyone to read on the web.
Thom Osborn, Kentish Town

Power politics

• I AGREE with every word of Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Braithwaite’s well-expressed denunciation of NHS Camden’s privatisation policy.
However, I wonder how different this is from Camden Council’s own policy which results in the privatisation of estate cleaning, the selling off of council housing, and the replacement of library assistants by machines (just in one issue of New Journal).
It cannot be denied that the Liberal Democrats are a principled, progressive and even radical party, well to the left of New Labour. Except where they’re in power.
Agincourt Road, NW3

Patient records

• IN response to John Sturman’s letter (Cuts threat, July 30), we would like to explain some of the reasons behind our improvements to IT, and what benefits they will deliver for our service users.
At Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, we are introducing RiO electronic patient records.
This system is being used across the NHS and allows relevant information to be shared by professionals.
So, for example, a GP prescribing medicine or a hospital taking an admission can see what the patient has had before as well as knowing about any allergies they may have.
This will help us to deliver therapy for our service-users based on more accurate and full information, leading to speedier diagnosis and recovery. It will also help us to join up our services and support for service users even more effectively.
To do this we need to train all of our own and our Bank staff in the new systems and we have offered this training to Mr Sturman as well as all other Bank staff.
He can still work for us without receiving training but, as he correctly says, at some stage in the future we may have to insist on all staff learning the system.
We do not want to lose any of our valued Bank staff through this change and will continue to offer free training to them to help them develop the new skills needed to help us provide better services.
Chief Executive,
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

Policy from on high

• THE web world was abuzz with politicians from all parties talking about their love of the NHS last week.
Except in the case of the Conservative MEP who doesn’t love it much – but David Cameron wants us to forget about him.
Some of us in Camden who have been campaigning to protect the NHS from Labour’s primary care trust’s plans to introduce private companies into GP surgeries, including the new Hampstead Road site, were a bit bemused by all this activity from on high in the Labour Party, even from Gordon Brown.
Camden PCT tells us that they are being forced to introduce tendering and the private sector because of government policy.
So my suggestion to Labour cabinet ministers is that they stop twittering, and start helping. Protect our NHS.
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigner
Holborn & St Pancras

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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