7Dials Save our NHS

As reported in last month’s online Whistler, the 7Dials Neighbourhood Group is now up and running. Here’s an update on what we’ve been up to.

We’ve had two discussion meetings in the upstairs room at the Duke of Wellington, sharing experiences and learning on a broader level about the frightening levels of privatisation, failures and wastage through selling off our local NHS services. It’s very worrying to realise that so many of us haven’t a clue about what’s actually happening to our NHS in Brighton & Hove.

For instance:

  • Big increases in consultants appointment / treatment waiting times
  • A 25% drop in number of GPs – 6 surgery closures in Brighton & Hove in the last two years, leaving thousands seeking another surgery with spaces
  • Private company Optum now vetting all GP referrals in order to reduce hospital appointments by 25%
  • Attempted and/or failed privatisation of musculo-skeletal services (knees and hips) locally and elsewhere
  • Massive drop in number of available hospital beds
  • Endoscopy under a new unpleasant process because they won’t employ qualified staff for the recovery room
  • Child health services massively cut, health visitors to be replaced by Nursery Nurses

This has to be our focus for local activities, sharing the knowledge with everyone in our locality. To that end, we are inviting anyone and everyone to come along to our meeting again upstairs at the Duke of Wellington in Upper Gloucester Road (not far from the Dials, above the station) on Monday 26 June. 7.30 – 9pm. We’ll be putting invitations through doors so look out for your reminder!

On Saturday 20 May we had our first stall in the Seven Dials, where crowds of people dropped by, picked up leaflets, signed our petition and chatted to us. We urged everyone, for our children and grandchildren’s sakes, to use their vote for the NHS.

Whatever the result of the election, there’s still work to be done to protect our local NHS and social services.

If you’d like a blue poster for your window, contact Sussex Defend the NHS on defendthenhs@gmail.com or, even better, come along to 7Dials Neighbourhood Group on Monday 26 June, 7.30pm upstairs in the Duke of Wellington, Upper Gloucester Road, collect a poster and tell us your ideas for action!

Katrina Miller


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