This is an email I’ve sent to all peers with links to Tower Hamlets I can find contact details for. On the off chance any member of the House of Lords who cares about the east end of London is reading this, I’ll post it here too…
I am writing as the Tower Hamlets Council Labour Group lead on Health, to ask you to speak and vote against the health bill as it is presented to the House of Lords this week.
As someone with strong links to Tower Hamlets you will know that our excellent local services have been developed through co operation and collaboration, not market competition. Our outstanding Primary Care Trust has been vital in bringing health professionals together to tackle deep rooted health inequalities. GPs in Tower Hamlets have stated their support for the good work that the PCT does. Whilst they will do all they can to preserve its good work if this bill passes, the legislation will make it very difficult for them.
You will know that there are significant health inequalities between Tower Hamlets and the rest of the country. Male life expectancy is 75.3 years compared to 77.8 nationally and female life expectancy is 80.4 compared to 81.9 (2006-8). The borough has the highest or second highest mortality in London for the three major killers: cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease. There are also substantial inequalities within the borough with life expectancy at ward level varying by eight years in males and six years for females.
We know that these statistics are rooted in deprivation and overcrowding. The tragedy of these NHS proposals is that there has been no attempt by the government to describe how their changes will help areas such as Tower Hamlets improve our health outcomes.
That the proposed NHS reorganisation is unnecessary, costly and not in the interests of the people of Tower Hamlets. This bill was not in any party manifesto. There is no democratic mandate for a costly top down reorganisation of our NHS.
Please speak and vote against this Bill.
Cllr Rachael Saunders