Call to make health chiefs accountable

SUFFOLK'S health chiefs should be more accountable and have elected representatives, it has been claimed today.

Rebecca Lefort

SUFFOLK'S health chiefs should be more accountable and have elected representatives, it has been claimed today.

Elected councillors have highlighted concerns that NHS bosses are appointed and do not rely on the support of the public to stay in office, despite making extremely important decisions.

On Monday eighteen Ipswich Borough councillors met with Carole Taylor-Brown, the chief executive of Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Alastair McWhirter, the PCT's chairman, to highlight their worries.

One of the topics discussed was the decision to scrap head and neck cancer surgery from Ipswich Hospital.

The proposal is massively unpopular and nearly 3,000 people have now signed an Evening Star petition to stop the move, yet it is being forced through by unelected health bosses.

Most Read

John Carnall, deputy leader of Ipswich Borough council, said: “There was a pretty reasonable discussion about health issues including the decision on the head and neck unit.

“The purpose of the meeting was to talk about the democratic deficit as far as the health service is concerned.

“It was an opportunity for elected representatives to find out what is going on in the health service and ask questions.

“I do think it is appalling that there are no elected representatives in the health trusts. The trusts should be accountable to the local people, not to some health authority.

“If councillors were on the health trusts then if people didn't like what they did they could get rid of them.

“The trusts have very large budgets and there needs to be more accountability.”

Mr Carnall added that he felt the consultation into the head and neck move had been a sham.

Should health bodies be more accountable? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter