Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Voting with our feet!

Tonight I attended the Hornsey Neighbourhood Health Centre's user group meeting. We were told that the meetings would include us all working towards an NVQ in volunteering, and would include homework. We 'Defend Haringey's Health Service' people suggested that the NHS Haringey staff, who were dominating the meeting, let the people decide what they wanted to do instead.

We were talked over and patronised for our efforts.

Why had the user group not been advertised more widely, we asked? Why had they not made an effort to be more inclusive?

I explained how the Royal Free Maternity Services Committee works (I am a member). It certainly isn't a perfect arrangement but it doesn't involve homework, which the time-pressured amongst us (wait a minute, that's everyone!) might be put off by.

The predominant feeling was that whilst the NHS Haringey staff were claiming to want to listen to us patients, the very opposite was the case.

So we walked out. But they haven't heard the last of us, of course! Veteran campaigners such as Janet Shapiro, who have a wealth of knowledge, will never be silenced when it comes to something as important as our health service.

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