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GPs win Tower Hamlets backing in revolt over NHS ‘sustainability’ savings

PUBLISHED: 16:46 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:56 20 July 2017

Campaign to save NHS from cuts. Picture: Mike Brooke.

Campaign to save NHS from cuts. Picture: Mike Brooke.

Mike Brooke

GPs worried about plans to streamline NHS functions with social care to save £500 million across east London have won Tower Hamlets Council support.

Dr Jacki Appleby addresses Tower Hamlets Council over proposals to streamline NHS with social services. Picture: Mike Brooke.Dr Jacki Appleby addresses Tower Hamlets Council over proposals to streamline NHS with social services. Picture: Mike Brooke.

A delegation handed a petition to the town hall over fears that the North East London ‘Sustainability and Transformation’ plan would cut services in deprived areas in eight boroughs.

They urged the council to join neighbouring Hackney and Waltham Forest in refusing to sign up to the government proposals.

“I was alarmed to see responsibility for saving NHS money put on patients,” Dr Jacki Appleby told councillors. “The onus is being put on patients to give up smoking and to lose weight, but people in deprived areas have the least control over their health.”

Dr Appleby, who chairs Tower Hamlets GP Forum and runs Bow’s Tredegar practice, had “a huge worry” about over-stretched resources already having an impact on ‘safe patient’ care.

The GPs won backing when deputy mayor Rachael Saunders pledged the council would not sign up to the government’s sustainability plan.

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