Parish councillor resigns to campaign for NHS

Roger Bellamy from Hornton, is trying to improve his village's access to health services. NNL-180213-225711009
Roger Bellamy from Hornton, is trying to improve his village's access to health services. NNL-180213-225711009

A parish councillor has resigned to devote his time to NHS changes and development affecting his village.

Roger Bellamy has stepped down from Hornton Parish Council after being inspired to get involved with saving the NHS and monitoring planning.

After attending public meetings he says the ‘penny has not dropped’ with people that their NHS is threatened.

He describes planning expansion as a ‘developers’ charter’ and intends to draw attention to cases that affect his community.

“Unfortunately, because the vast majority of our fellow citizens have had the NHS for their entire lives, they cannot imagine life without one,” he said.

“The first task is to wake the district to what’s likely to happen. The penny hasn’t dropped.”

Mr Bellamy’s new self-imposed task is to make people aware of changes to access to NHS services as they are moved from a single national health service to the 44 regional ‘footprints’ which are due to become ‘integrated care organisations’ with greater involvement of private companies.

A typical issue, he said, is that many Hornton (Oxfordshire) villagers use the Shenington surgery, a branch of the Fenny Compton practice – a Warwickshire service now in a different NHS footprint.

He says patients are being pushed ‘from pillar to post’ between Warwick and Coventry for treatments as services are taken from Horton Hospital.

“The NHS is one of the few things people get for free. Even water comes with a price tag.

“We take this for granted, like freedom from oppression or freedom itself – but once this goes, is anything safe?”

Mr Bellamy, 59, lives in Millers Road and runs The Burford Tour walking route.

“Whilst I live in a nice house in a nice village now, I grew up in a poor household when my mother had to bring up five of us alone when my dad died.

“It’s this gratitude at my current good fortune that has driven me to try to make this a better country. I think all the sacrifices made by previous generations are being thrown away by our foolish leaders,” he said.

“The youth of today are probably the first generation in 200 years materially worse off than their parents. Not only will they find it hard to own their own home but they will be saddled with a permanent debt they have neither the will nor opportunity to shake off.

“What will they leave for their offspring?”

Warwickshire CCG said: “Patients registered with a south Warwickshire GP practice will be treated by the Warwickshire Out of Hours; if registered with an Oxfordshire GP but live in Warwickshire they would be directed to the Oxfordshire Out of Hours service.

“Patients have the right to choose where they are referred for planned care.”

“If a patient calls 999 and an ambulance is sent, the ambulance will take the patient to the nearest appropriate hospital for their needs.

“With regards to primary care, patients are able to apply to register with any GP practice but it is important that they check the area the GP practice covers. This will be published on the practice website.

“More details about local services can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/pages/home.aspx.”