Spending a sunny afternoon in the North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) with another campaigner. We put the question about the Kathy Headdon, the Chair, and her conflict of interest. The CCG will come back with a formal written response.
I asked how it could possibly be that a private company, with shareholders and overpaid bosses to feed, can be more efficient than the NHS model. They have asked me to submit the question in writing and they will get an answer from the Trust Development Authority.
Apart from that the meeting was a long exchange of information, mostly delivered in an inaudible monotone.
The one item of interest was when a GP, Dr Stephen Pill, raised the matter of rising demand by patients. He was told that not only demand, but demand for a more speedy response, is rising, and a paper measuring the demand will come to a later meeting.
Demand management is vital to the survival of the NHS. Richard Lawson's book Bills of Health showed that unemployment, poverty, bad housing and pollution absorbs up to 20% of GHE NHS clinical budget.
In terms of demand, we ain't seen nothin yet. North Somerset Council is about to put large numbers of people in poverty, in fear of losing their council houses and even make them homeless outright. This is through cuts in Council Housing Benefit relief. That is going to send people to their GPs in droves with anxiety, depression and exacerbation of physical illness.