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National AIDS Trust: We hope Nick Clegg’s comments on HIV will reach all parts of government

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  1. Iain Murtagh 23 Jan, 3:14pm

    Lets hope this reaches Herts County Council ! They cut all funding for a long established HIV Charity, The Crescent 3 years ago after 25 years. Everyone seems to consider it a political issue and unwilling to help. Dept of Health and the local Govt Ombudsman all refer back to Herts County Council, who refuse to budge even after local hospitals have appealed on our behalf.
    The move last year of Sexual Health services to Local Govt is a bad decision, and the issues have been highlighted in reports both by Bashh (British Society for Sexual Health and HIV) and BHIVA (British HIV Association) in the last few weeks. Both have highlighted that tendering and outsourcing decisions are not being made for the right reasons, and that care standards are falling as a result.
    It is all very well politicians like Mr Clegg suggesting more needs to be done, but appeals to his office for help have been referred back to the County Council without the slightest hint of assistance…
    If it wasn’t for the hard work and personal sacrifice of our former staff, now working mainly as volunteers, we wouldnt be here, and the hospitals who turned to us for help would have nowhere to go. There is supposed to be a new provider covering the whole county, but three years on those affected, and clinicians, are still coming to us as they cant seem to get the help they need elsewhere…
    We are surviving on public donations and small amounts allocated by local County Councillors from their locality budgets, to keep going.. Clinicians can see a need for our services, as can local County Councillors and MP’s yet the decision makers at Herts County Council refuse to budge…. lets hope Mr Clegg’s words hit home… though the experience of the last three years tells me this is more likely to be hot air, rather than firm action to help those living with HIV in the county of opportunity, as it has been called…
    Iain Murtagh
    The Crescent Support Group
    St Albans

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