Health meeting: Time to RSVP, Mr Lansley

Monkey not listening

Following a health debate at the April meeting of Cambridge City Council, Council Leader Sian Reid issued an invitation to attend a public debate on the government’s health ‘reforms’ to both the city’s MPs, Julian Huppert and Andrew Lansley.

Cambridge City MP, Julian Huppert accepted the invitation very quickly, but nearly two months later, we still await a response from the Rt Hon Andrew Lansley, MP for South Cambridgeshire (into which Queen Edith’s falls) but better known as Secretary of State for Health and the architect of the government’s planned changes to health service commissioning.

This is disappointing since here in Queen Edith’s, we have Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The Addenbrooke’s NHS Trust employs some 7,000 staff, many of whom live in the city. The proximity of the hospital also means we have a high proportion of residents with long-term illness.

During the election campaign and since, I fielded questions about the future of the health service from staff concerned about service provision and of course their own jobs. It would be good to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

Following the concerns at his plans voiced at the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham, Mr Lansley declared that he would listen.He said that government will “take the opportunity of a natural break in the passage of the bill to pause, to listen and to engage with all those who want the NHS to succeed”.

What better place to listen and engage with the public and those working in the health service than Cambridge? In fact, what better area than Queen Edith’s?

We look forward to hearing from our M.P.

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