Cancer-stricken Labour councillor upset at Tory accusations of scaremongering over treatment cuts
Date posted: 29-10-2012
A CANCER-STRICKEN councillor described as “highly insulting” an accusation by a senior Tory councillor that a decision to cut care that “has helped her to keep her alive” was “scaremongering”
The controversial exchange between Stifford councillor, Diana Hale (Lab) and Corringham councillor, Mark Coxshall (Cons) occured at last weeks full council meeting during a question and answer session with the portfolio holder for adult social care, cllr Barbara Rice.
Cllr Hale asked “Can you assure me that the Cancer Networks, that have done so much to keep me alive, are secure under the new NHS?
Cllr Rice indicated that she could not give an assurance and then read from a recent newspaper articles which stated that
“Hundreds of specialists in cancer, heart disease and strokes face being made redundant as a result of the new NHS commissioning board’s decision to shrink the number of clinical “networks” which are intended to drive up standards of treatment in hospital and help patients affected by those three conditions.
The board, the powerful new body that will take over running the NHS in England from next April, has decided to replace the 28 cancer networks and 28 combined heart and stroke networks with 12 of each. But the successor bodies will have far fewer staff and smaller budgets than the existing groupings of experts
“The rationalisation has prompted fears that it will affect patient care and set back the NHS’s efforts to improve how it treats cancer, heart disease and strokes, which account for six in 10 of all deaths.”
Clr Rice also quoted from Basildon and Billericay MP, John Baron (Con) who praised the network and said: ”Cancer networks provide a valuable service to patients. Their expertise provides support where necessary. This allows clinicians to spend more of their time on what is most important – their patient. It is essential that this expertise is retained within the NHS, yet we risk losing it.”
At this point, cllr Coxshall spoke.
Cllr Coxshall, “Other than the scare-mongering that you are doing, it is absolutely outrageous. You are worrying someone for no reason. It is just the Labour Party talking it down.
A visibly shocked cllr Hale, who is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment responded: ”I really do object because it is very insulting and I will show you the docments.
Cllr Hale was supported by the former mayor, cllr Charlie Curtis, who has suffered from cancer. Cllr Curtis said: “It is alright Diana, you don’t have cancer.”