Release Date: 20 June 2012
The new leader of Stroud District Council has written to NHS Gloucestershire to vigorously put forward the view that local health services should be kept within NHS control and not outsourced to private providers.
Cllr Geoff Wheeler, leader of the council, has written to chief executive of NHS Gloucestershire Jan Stubbings expressing support for the Department of Health's decision to allow NHS Trusts to be set up to provide community health services instead of outsourcing them to private companies.
He said that the whole council had voted in favour of ensuring all local health services are kept under the umbrella of the NHS.
To reflect this, the new administration has created the post of 'executive member for health and well-being', which has been taken on by Cllr Karon Cross.
Cllr Wheeler said: "With reforms to the NHS and local health services on the agenda in the coming months and years we wanted to be more hands on and involved in decisions that may affect health services in the Stroud district. We felt it was important to have an executive member for health and well-being to represent the council's views on these issues and raise them to the appropriate bodies."
Cllr Cross, who also recently qualified as a nurse, will be responsible for liaising with health and social care providers in the district and for ensuring that future health changes are being raised in a fair, transparent and democratic way.
Cllr Wheeler added: "The possibility of creating an NHS Trust to provide community services is most welcome and is an option we as a council would encourage is pursued vigorously. Not only does it mean that our local services are not outsourced to private providers, but it has the potential advantage that it would not require the delay and expense of a tendering process."