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Opinion: Tories are simply following their same old policies of damaging our precious NHS

PUBLISHED: 08:30 21 September 2019

MP for Brent North Barry Gardiner is angry at how austerity has hit the NHS in North West London.

MP for Brent North Barry Gardiner is angry at how austerity has hit the NHS in North West London.

©Louise Haywood-Schiefer/lhschiefer.com/2017

Dominic Cummings says the Tories don't care about the National Health Service - and he should know: he's special adviser to Prime Minister Johnson!

Even he might be surprised though by the new NHS strategy in North West London - to discourage GPs from referring patients to consultants. As if GPs are somehow in the habit of referring patients who don't need urgent specialist attention!

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This controversial rationing system is to be introduced in to Brent straight away and will mean lack of choice, longer waiting times and I fear could result in unnecessary deaths.

This is on top of the closure of the overnight service at the urgent care centres at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals. Ironically this is planned for the very day Mr Johnson wants to leave the EU: October 31, 2019 — only five years after the A&Es at both hospitals closed.

This is what austerity looks like in the NHS. Real-term spending cuts, increased privatisation of the service since the Tory/Lib coalition Health and Social Care Act In 2012 put competition rather than cooperation at the heart of our NHS. Checking their purse before checking your pulse!

In 2012 North-West London was the testing ground for David Cameron's "Shaping a Healthier Future" programme which had to be halted after an Independent Report in 2015 said "the deeply flawed" decision to downgrade several North West London hospitals threatened "the fundamental principles of a universal NHS". Cameron may have come out of hiding this week to attack his successor, but when it comes to the NHS this government is just following the same old Tory policies.

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