- On 10 March 2012 a consultation event with local residents revealed widespread discontent about access to contraceptive services
- Stella raised these concerns with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley on 27 March 2012.
- Andrew Lansley dismissed these concerns
- Please get in touch if you would like to help me lobby for better services
Stella raised concerns about these services with Andrew Lansley following a consultation event for residents on 10 March, where she collected evidence which showed widespread discontent about access to contraceptive services from local women. This follows reports conducted by local healthcare services which highlighted high levels of teenage pregnancy, repeat abortions and sexually transmitted diseases in the Walthamstow area and repeated complaints by local residents about the service.
Speaking about her work on this campaign Stella said:
‘These problems with access to sexual healthcare services are clearly having an impact on the lives of local women as well as costing the NHS money - and the new healthcare bill will make it even harder to know who to hold to account for these problems as there will be even more confusion about who will be responsible for services. Despite this, Andrew Lansley shockingly ignored these concerns and my request for help for Walthamstow women in addressing them – that’s why I’m asking men and women locally who care about these issues to help me change his mind. If, like me, you believe Walthamstow women deserve better, you want to see the evidence of these problems that has been collected for yourself, or you want to help me lobby for a better service for Walthamstow; please get in touch.’
The Government say that clinicians understand patients best, but there are doctors in Walthamstow who will not provide contraceptives to local women, and we now have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and repeat abortions in the country. Will the Ministers agree to meet women from my constituency and help them understand who, under the new system and the new layers of bureaucracy, they can hold to account for these problems—yes or no?
The hon. Lady should first have expressed a welcome for the fact that there has been a further reduction overall in the numbers of teenage pregnancies. As she knows, in her constituency there are doctors who, as she says, do not provide contraceptives, but there are also many other practices that do—17 out 18 GP practices in Walthamstow provide contraceptive services. There was a 60% increase in a decade in the number of managers in her area and the result seems to be that she does not understand how services were managed in Walthamstow. Under local authorities and the clinical commissioning groups in the future, there will be a clearer system.