Dawn Butler MP has this week written to the Chair of Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dr Ethie Kong, calling on her to urgently reconsider the decision to decommission the Brent Sickle Cell Advisory Support Service (BSCASS).
In her letter Ms Butler questioned the process behind the decommissioning asking whether the CCG had carried out an equality impact assessment ahead of taking a decision to axe the service. She also asked whether a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis had been carried out, and whether consideration had been given to the impact on sickle cell patients forced to travel to the other ends of the borough to seek support.
Drawing on her own experiences of family members with sickle cell, Ms Butler said:
“You have no idea how painful it is to sit when you are in crisis and to expect someone to travel an extra 60 minutes for help is very cruel. The decommissioning of this service adds further to the existing health burden of my constituents and represents a growing inequality in the provision of healthcare services within the borough.”
Ms Butler also offered to personally meet with the CCG, as well as community activists, to explore ways to keep the service open. She said to Dr Kong:
“I would welcome the opportunity to meet with the CCG and community activists to explore alternate funding arrangements… I am pleading with you to reconsider your decision.”