Honiton: Call for urgent meeting over NHS reforms

Senior council and patient groups want their voices heard before changes are decided.

CONCERNS about NHS reforms have prompted a Honiton organisation to call for a meeting with local MP Neil Parish.

The call comes at a time when patient groups in Honiton and Sidmouth say they want a say on Government proposals.

According to a spokesman for the senior council, the East Devon consortia of doctors has been asked been asked to allow a patient representative to attend weekly meetings, but the request has, so far, been declined.

Among those to make the request was Honiton town councillor Alf Boom, an active participant of a patient group.

The chairman of the senior council, Tony Smith, says he fears reforms could lead to means testing.

Tony Simpson, the council’s secretary, said: “There are 140,000 patients in East Devon, who are largely being excluded from these reforms.

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“So far the Government’s claims about widespread public consultation on the most important changes to our NHS are ‘far too weak’, according to eight leading health care charities.

“We are asking for an urgent meeting with Neil Parish, MP for Honiton and Tiverton.”

NHS reforms will be discussed at an open meeting of Honiton Senior Council on Monday, February 21. The 10.30am meeting will take place at Honiton Royal British Legion Club.