main speaker was Sarah Blow, the Chief Officer of the Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
and rather than make a formal report she immediately took questions from councillors.
The first from councillor Ross Downing revealed that Erith’s Urgent Care Centre which opened last October was now seeing over 100 patients every day, a third of them children.
Councillor Chris Beazley (UKIP) asked about the after-hours doctor service. His recent experience using 111 had not been entirely satisfactory. Ms. Blow said the correct procedure was to call 111 and recommended the Erith Centre as an alternative. The Urgent Care Service and out of hours doctors’ service were merged and there was no longer a need to go out of borough.
“What happens after ten at night?” asked councillor Beazley. Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, provides 24 hour out of borough service was the answer.
Councillor Ross Downing came back with a question about Obesity Services which was answered by Bexley’s Director of Public Health, Nada Lemic, and was entirely inaudible to those forced to sit behind her because of poor microphone technique.
Councillor Brenda Langstead said she had come across more than one case where residents were not allowed to register with a General Practitioner because a Driving Licence or Passport was demanded as ID, and some people had neither. Ms. Blow implied that was wrong because she took the problem away for investigation.
Councillor Alan Downing who was something like five times the distance from me of Nada Lemic asked with perfect clarity for more information to be made available about the Urgent Care Centre. Ms. Blow said they had done an awful lot already but would be happy to adopt any ideas councillor Downing might have. Except for my attendance at council meetings I don’t think I would have known about the Erith facility.
There were several more questions from the Labour members but a combination of backs to the public, poorly placed microphones and frequent whispering from the public gallery made them all but inaudible and I am not going to guess on matters some readers may take to be public health advice.