Cancer battling former GP practice manager from Lydiate says Tor

Bill Esterson

 

A former GP practice manager from Lydiate who has battled cancer four times is advising her family to take out private health insurance because the Tory-Lib Dem Government is "bringing the NHS to its knees".

June Webb, 62, has been diagnosed with cancer four times since 1993.

With the expert care of the NHS, each time she fought the disease.

Originally diagnosed with breast cancer, June's latest battle has seen the disease spread to her bones and liver.

As a former GP practice manager, the mother of three has seen the NHS "survive the Thatcher years" and now fears the worst for the service which she said is under a "Tory-Lib Dem assault".

It is her children and grandchildren she really fears for.

Speaking to MP Bill Esterson, June said: "I worked for the NHS through the Thatcher years. I saw the damage that was done then. The NHS was just getting over all that. Now this government is bringing it back to its knees. But they are going even further.

"My sister has received a letter to say that her surgery is being taken over by a private company. As has my friend.

"This government is privatising the NHS right in front of us and it'll be us, the patients who will suffer.

"The companies that are coming in to run our surgeries are businesses. They want to make money.

"I owe the NHS my life. I have been fighting cancer for the best part of 20 years and it is only thanks to the NHS that I am here now. We have to protect it."

June said she fears for the long term future of the NHS because of the Tory-Lib Dem Government changes.

She said: "The way I can see the NHS going is that GPs won't want to take on patients who will be expensive to treat. There will be no continuity of care. There will be poor quality of care. If you have complex conditions, the GP won't see you. If you're in your 70s or older you won't be able to get a GP. Instead of being doctor-led, it will be nurse-led.

"One of the first things we will see is a charge just to see a GP. I can easily see that charge being £25 a time.

"They really are bringing the NHS to its knees.

"I have been lucky. I've had fantastic treatment from fabulous doctors and nurses, but already I have seen the effects of the changes. When I was diagnosed this time, my doctor had to appeal in writing to get the life saving drugs I need. I then had to wait two weeks for that drug as all along, the cancer was growing in me.

"That was never the case before. No one should have to go through that.

"Money should be spent on patients, but instead it is being spent on a reorganisation and managers.

"That's why I am advising my daughters to take out private health insurance to cover their children. It is my children and their children who will suffer because of this government's treatment of the NHS.

"Now we have to protect the NHS from this government's privatisation. I love our NHS and it has got to be protected."

Bill Esterson, who is a vocal campaigner against the Tory-Lib Dem NHS reforms, said he was very concerned at June's experience.

Bill said: "I have been contacted by lots of people now who have been contacted by their local surgery telling them it has been taken over by a private company.

"People are very worried that the sell off will mean poorer quality patient care. Private companies have won tenders to run some GP practices because they have put in the cheapest tender.

“Patients are telling me that they fear they won’t be able to see the doctor they want because these surgeries will use locums and will rely on nurses more and more.

“There are of course many treatments expertly administered by nurses. But when you want to see your doctor you should be able to do so. Private companies running GP services will be doing so only because it is profitable. There must be a concern about the impact on patient care of a slice of funding having to be set aside for the management and for profit.

"I share June's concerns about the quality and continuity of care and the cost-cutting Potential shift from a doctor-led to a nurse-led service NHS.

"These are the concerns being echoed up and down my constituency and up and down the country.

"The Tories and Lib Dems are carving up and selling our NHS to the highest bidder. People in Sefton Central are very worried that they may include some GP surgeries."