A new group opposing cuts to Enfield’s health services has been formed by concerned patients.

Defend Enfield NHS has been formed after what they describe as “many crises” in the borough’s healthcare.

Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recently released a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) after being rated inadequate and placed in special measures by the government as a result of overspending.

The plan says the CCG will “reduce activity” in services in order to make savings of millions of pounds, and “reduce their level of approval” for many services.

Defend Enfield NHS say they are worried this will force people to seek additional private care which they might not be able to afford.

Member Martin Blanchard, of Palmers Green, said: “We are members of the public who live in Enfield. We have come together, we meet in each other’s houses, because of our concerns about what is happening to the NHS.

“Several of us have great experiences of NHS care and we do not want to lose this for our families. Others have retired or left the NHS, we know how well it can perform, and have seen the damage that serial ‘efficiency savings’ can do to the availability and quality of care.”

In an email sent to the Enfield Independent, Defend Enfield NHS said it “does not want any cuts in services nor does it want more privatization.”

It says: “Any rationing will mean that some people may have to endure pain and worry because they cannot afford private treatment. How will they take care of their families on low wages if they have to pay for healthcare? Others will use their savings to pay for private care – but what happens when the money runs out and the health problem is still there?

“What we need is the full re-instatement of a comprehensive, publicly funded, publicly owned and publicly accountable NHS which is free at the point of use and has the resources to provide excellent health care for all.”