The NHS doesn’t understand good housekeeping; it wastes our money in so many ways, one wonders what the next daffy ‘initiative’ will cost.

Our local Kensington and Chelsea Healthwatch has decided that cancer care and prevention is no longer a priority, so it closed the Cancer group without telling the Chairman or any of its members. Yet, when I try and find out how and why a letter re Podiatry services is causing confusion locally – they pass the buck on to anyone they can pluck out of the air, and no-one can give a definite answer.

When I sat on the Healthwatch cancer committee Podiatry was frequently under discussion. In July I received no less than three letters about ‘Changes to the Community Podiatry Service‘ from Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH). This service is vital for so many cancer survivors with osteoporosis, lymphoedema, pain, etc. Thanks to osteoporosis I can’t bend down to cut my toenails, so depend on this.

The woolly two-page letters said there would be changes to Podiatry, didn’t elaborate but said there would be workshops to tell us what would happen; one in Kensington (difficult for many to get to), but none in Chelsea (where I live). The telephone numbers supplied were always on answer mode, and no-one replied to emails. Healthwatch couldn’t tell me what was going on.

One of the letters, dated July 28th, says “information transferred will include your name, address, D.O.B and clinical information ” to be given to Healthscare (sorry – Healthshare, presumably the newly appointed provider. If I DIDN’T want tmy data held by this company, I had to let CLCH know by June 23rd.!!!

It must have cost a lot in NHS time to answer my angry phone calls – and now I wait to discover how I can ensure this company can’t access my data: why do I wonder if this could be sold on? Meantime, it costs about £10 to generate and send out a letter, plus all the time that is going into answering angry phone calls, one wonders what this is costing the NHS? Money that could be spent on giving us better health services. In the meantime Healthscare tell me they can’t see me for my pre-booked appointment on August 11th, as they only do Muscular Podiatry – ordinary old fashioned footcare isn’t in their contract. What a mess. And no-one can tell me what is happening, or why so much confusion is around, which must be costing money.

Tim got our Podiatry service working so well, but in the NHS if something is working, that says it could be sold to a cobbled-together private provider to cherry-pick, and discard non-profitable parts. Just leave it alone!