May 25 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Friday, June 15, 2012
Haringey needs 2,000-strong community meetings in order to best defend its health services, a Tottenham doctor has said.
Dr Gino Amato, who has worked in Tottenham since 1988, told residents and health campaigners who met at Lordship Lane Health Centre, Lordship Lane, on Tuesday evening he wants to see thousands of people voicing their opinions about the best way to spend Haringey’s health budget in future.
Dr Amato is a member of the new Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), made up of local GPs, a nurse and a hospital doctor among others, which will be in charge of how the borough spends its frontline care budget from next year.
He was responding to demands by some campaigners that the CCG signs a pledge to protect Haringey’s NHS from privatisation, which includes taking decisions based on the best interests of the patients, not to engage in contracts which impose conditions of commercial confidentiality, and consulting with the local community before making changes.
Dr Amato and his colleagues declined to sign the pledge – saying they had already outlined their promises to the local community and, as GPs working in Haringey, would be directly responsible to their patients for any decisions which are made.
But the CCG members stressed they did not want to make decisions by themselves, but with the help of Haringey residents – and not just those already attending meetings.
Dr Amato said: “We should be meeting at Ally Pally with 2,000 people. We then get an enormous mandate to get things done.”
He added: “I think we can find common ground. There has to be an element of trust. We are working in Haringey because we believe in it.”