Fears follow NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney resignation

Fears have been voiced about the loss of local control of health services following the resignation of the chairman of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

David Edwards has announced that he will be stepping down from his role early next month, with Sheila Childerhouse, the current NHS Norfolk chairman, taking over.

Ms Childerhouse will lead a new 'cluster board' of NHS Norfolk and NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney until primary care trusts are abolished in 2013.

However, former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, who campaigned for a separate PCT covering Waveney and Great Yarmouth, fears the changes will result in less local influence on health service provision in north Suffolk and Yarmouth.

'This is not so much a merger, but more of Norfolk taking over,' he said. 'We were right to campaign for a separate PCT for this area as it is one of the best performing in the country.'

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David Edwards has been chairman of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney which has its headquarters in Beccles, for the past three years.

'It has been a privilege to serve and see the organisation progress to become the top performing PCT in the east of England.'

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Ms Childerhouse praised Mr Edwards' work and said: 'He leaves a strong legacy for the future health economy and the patients we serve.'

The Department of Health has determined that PCTs should be clustered together until they are abolished in 2013. Norfolk and Great Yarmouth and Waveney have worked as a cluster for some months but have kept separate boards, but they will now operate with a single board and executive team.


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