|Anger Over Sexual Health Cuts|
Ealing Consultant Dr Paul Fox speaks out
There are fears over the future of sexual health services in Ealing after the council cut its funding by half.
Ealing Consultant Dr Paul Fox has condemned the move which he says was done in an entirely undemocratic manner.
He says the decision to cut the budget was taken in January and service users were only informed the following week.
He says '' They were given no opportunity to challenge the decision before it was made. Nor was there any prior consultation with local GPs, with service users, or with the wider community as a whole.''
Dr Fox is angry with the manner in which Ealing Council has conducted itself: '' At the stakeholder event we were told that the cuts in services were necessary because of government cuts, but this is a complete whitewash. Effectively £10.6M was taken from NHS supported services and £9.3M of this is to be spent on other Council projects.
''Are the young people of Ealing happy that their access to sexual health services is about to be rationed? Ealing residents have a right to be informed about how arbitrary and undemocratic its Council has become.
An Ealing Council spokesman said: “Cabinet approved changes to public health funding, subject to appropriate consultation being undertaken before a final decision is made. That consultation has taken place, the findings are now being considered, and there will be a further report to cabinet on the May 19.
“Any changes to services will be assessed to ensure they continue to meet the statutory requirements for how public health money must be spent.
“Our priorities continue to be preventing illness, health promotion, tackling health inequality and the protection of vulnerable residents.”
15th April 2015