Our motion regarding the proposals for hospital reorganisation in the area (see our blog of Nov 6th.) were discussed at last nights meeting of Bromley Council. More information has become available since then but we felt that the essence of our motion, that the Council had a community leadership role in pulling together the many strands of concern and making sure they were well presented to the auditor still stood. The Leader of the Council proposed a motion saying that the matter should be deferred to the meeting of the Care Scrutiny Committee on December 4th when, Matthew Kershaw, the author of the report, will be attending. We disagreed for the reasons above.
We were still able to debate the issues. Briefly, the main points we made affecting our area were that:
The Consultation process is flawed. The period is too short and needs extending; there are no easy to access meetings in our end of the borough; the on line response is difficult for some people and the hard copies have not been available. The Leader did say that he would take up these complaints.
The withdrawal of current diagnostic and outpatients services from Beckenham Beacon would severely reduce local provision. As we heard at the Beckenham meeting the new Care Commissioning Group (see blog 8th November) will provide services at the Beacon but we have no guarantees over what those services will be and who will provide them. We wanted the Council (and our MPs) to join together to co-ordinate representations on our behalf. The community has to find a way to engage with the CCG and the Council is best placed to do it. . We need to tell them what we want (at least what we have already, I would suggest) before they tell us what we can have.
Lewisham Hospital is the local hospital for Bromley people in this end of the Borough. The withdrawal of some services will reduce its effectiveness and could leave a heavily populated area too far from critical care services. (See map on p.5 of the response document). We also need to maintain Maternity services at Lewisham.
The majority on the council rejected our motion. Many Tories and the Lib-Dems supported us but not enough for us to win. Strangely, Cllrs Phillips and Milner from Clock House did not support us. The Copers Cope councillors were sitting behind me so I am not sure how they voted. And so, as far as Bromley Council is concerned, the matter is now shelved until December 4th.
Unless the consultation period is extended, responses have to be submitted by December 13th. If you wish to respond to the Consultation now, see our blog of November 12th.