Deputy Prime Minister visits UCLH 

26/05/2011 00:00 

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited UCLH today to speak to patients and staff ahead of a speech on the government’s plans for the future of the NHS.

 Nick Clegg meets patients at University College London Hospitals

Nick Clegg meets patients at University College Hospital

Mr Clegg was introduced to patients at the University College Hospital physiotherapy department which he described as ‘terrific’.

The patients had just completed a gym session as part of their rehabilitation following hip replacements and for conditions such as osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. One patient said her care had been ‘superb from start to finish’ and another described the physio and hydropool as ‘marvellous’.

Mr Clegg was greeted on arrival by Mike Foster, deputy chief executive, Katherine Fenton, chief nurse, and Dr Paul Glynne, medical director for the medicine board.

In the physiotherapy department he was introduced to Dr Rob Urquhart, clinical director for clinical support services; Sophia Mavrommatis, clinical specialist for rheumatology and Bruce Paton, clinical specialist physiotherapist.

Nick Clegg meets UCLH staff

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (far right) is greeted by (l to r) UCLH chief nurse Katherine Fenton, Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, and UCLH deputy chief executive Mike Foster

Mr Clegg was then taken to the UCH Education Centre where his speech on the government’s listening exercise on the proposed NHS reforms was aired live on the BBC and Sky news channels.

Before an audience made up of patients and charity representatives, Mr Clegg was introduced by Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Mr Clegg described how the NHS needs to be ‘updated and modernised’ to meet the demands of the current economic climate and an ageing population.

But he was clear that patients needed to be at the heart of any reform. “I can tell you that the right kind of reform starts from the patient’s point of view…not bureaucrats, not unions, not Ministers, not political parties – patients.”

Nick Clegg meets patients at University College London Hospitals

Following the listening exercise Mr Clegg said patients had stressed that they wanted three things from the NHS: “peace of mind, the best care and a say in the decisions that affect them and their families. Those are the tests by which every element of the Government’s package will now be judged.”

Mr Clegg was the third health minister to visit the Trust in recent weeks as part of the ‘listening exercise’. Earlier this week Paul Burstow visited the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Anne Milton visited UCLH on May 10 for a listening event on NHS modernisation exclusively for doctors and allied health professionals.


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