Brown unveils vision of public service with people first' pledge
PUBLISHED: 01:01 30 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:29 05 October 2010
GORDON Brown visited London's East End to see one of the first polyclinics before going on to reveal his vision for the NHS and other public services. He later went on to reveal controversial issues such as giving local residents priority over immigrants' on council housing waiting lists
GORDON Brown visited London’s East End to see one of the first polyclinics before going on to reveal his vision for the NHS and other public services.
He toured the Barkantine polyclinic on the Isle of Dogs yesterday before going on to unveil plans for legal rights to hospital care.
He also wants to give local residents priority over immigrants’ on housing waiting lists.
He came to multi-ethnic Tower Hamlets—with one of the country’s biggest immigrant populations—to see how a one stop’ health centre operates.
“There are lots of facilities here you would normally see in a hospital and facilities that were never here before,” he said.
“There are so many community services and a better use of money than we had put into health care.”
The Prime Minister saw the birthing suites, dental centre and hi-tech pharmacy opened just 18 months ago, and met patients and staff.
There was a small GPs’ practice in West Ferry Road which was replaced 18 months ago by the polyclinic just a stone’s throw from Canary Wharf. It was one of the first of its kind in London.
Now more than 10,000 patients mainly in Poplar and the Isle of Dogs use its services.
Mother-of-four Lina Nodder was one of the patients meeting the PM with her 11-week-old baby Nelson.
“The best thing for me is how local it is,” she said. “I had fast birth deliveries and got here with only 20 minutes to go, which was much easier than having to go to a hospital in central London.”
Brown’s Building Britain’s Future concept of public services includes parents receiving a statement of entitlement’ on what they can demand from their child’s education.
Access to council housing and social accommodation has been a sensitive issue in the East End, while Labour slumped in the EU election on June 4 with just a few areas such as Tower Hamlets bucking the trend in their favour.
Gordon Brown’s strategy on housing is that immigrants would not be given priority on the waiting list over local residents. More weight is going to those who have grown up in an area, or been on the waiting list for a long time.
Immigrants and others moving in to districts where they had few links would be moved down the priority list.
Housing has been a contentious issue in past years in the East End where there have been unease at young couples unable to find homes where they grew up, where parents live, because of the influx of newcomers.