14th October 2011
MFG&D Society Public Meeting

As I was unable to make the public meeting due to being indisposed, it was chaired by Cathie Whitcroft who ably stood in for both me and Sue Cartwright, the Society's President. The Meeting was very well attended with 85 people in the audience. Our Guest Speaker was Dr Peter Cureton, Senior Partner, Frimley Green Medical Centre (FGMC), who gave a very interesting talk titled "LOCAL HEALTH CARE – WHAT LIES AHEAD?". The following is a short synopsis of the talk as recorded by Martin White, the committee member who took the Minutes of the meeting.

Dr. Cureton spoke of the proposed changes in the organisation and funding of health care provision. The Local Commisioning Group, replacing the Primary Care Trust, would have local representation from Consultants, nursing staff, GPs and patients. There would be diversity and greater flexibility to buy services economically and in a timely manner to serve the population’s needs. This should reduce the many levels of health management, and use funds saved for healthcare.

The NHS has steadily increasing financial needs: it is the 4th largest employer worldwide (after the Chinese Liberation army, Walmart and the Indian Railways); our population is living longer; more hospital admissions, new treatments and drug research have significantly increased financial demands. As it is our taxes which pay for all this, we can all help by reducing wasteage (FGMC averages 50 missed GP and 50 missed nurse appointments per month - this costs doctors’ time and lost opportunities for others, there are also 2000 missed appointments per month at Frimley Park Hospital), stay healthier (60% adults and 30% children are overweight) through good diet and exercise.

There was considerable interest in the talk, Dr. Cureton answered some questions as the talk progressed but the audience was asked to save most for the question and answer session after the tea break.

Besides our guest speaker Dr Cureton, the MP for Surrey Heath Michael Gove, Surrey County Councillor and Surrey Heath Borough Councillor Chris Pitt, Surrey Heath Borough Councillors David Allen and Alan Whittart and Sergeant Jon Castell from the Surrey Police took questions at the question and answer session after the tea break. Unfortunately none of the Surrey Heath Borough Councillors representing Deepcut and Mytchett were able to attend. For a description of the the question and answer session see the Minutes of the meeting.