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Health Authority abandons plans to fluoridate North West

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Health Authority abandons plans to fluoridate North West England

Board told ' not enough time for consultations, and too expensive.

Doug Cross
9th September 2011

Chief Executive's Note to the Board
- we don't have time and anyway, we can't afford it!

The Chief Executive of the North West Strategic Health Authority, Mark Ogden, on Wednesday recommended his Board to abandon its long-planned project to fluoridate North West England.

He told the Board that the government's new proposals to abolish the Strategic Health Authorities included in the Health and Social Care Bill mean that the SHA would not have enough time to carry out the detailed 'public consultation' required of it before the SHA is abolished.

He also reported that the costs of any such consultation would be very large, and that the capital costs of the project would be around £200 million. This is far higher than had been expected initially, and in the present financial crisis are unaffordable.

And putting a brave face on this abrupt collapse in fluoridation in the North West, he said that extra money would need to be found to repair the ailing Cornhow Water Treatment Works in West Cumbria, where the fluoridation unit has been out of action since 2006.

Well, we told you so!

These costs come as no surprise to UKCAF- we have been quoting this figure of £200 million for at least three years, since we were tipped off from a source inside United Utilities.

And it will not be welcome in the South either, where the South Central SHA believes that it can convert a water treatment works for less than one tenth of the cost quoted by United Utilities. And if fluoridation is too expensive in the North West, it is unlikely to be affordable in the South.

This is the first real crack in the Health Police's doomed attempts to force 40% of people in the UK to drink its prohibited medicine. It is yet another indication of how the Health and Social Care Bill has been cobbled together without any thought of just how its fanciful proposals might actually be put into practice.

Even if the Bill is defeated and the SHAs survive, these astronomical costs must now force the government to abandon its hated plans to forcibly medicate the public in this discredited, unethical and illegal travesty of 'public health medicine'.

Fluoridation is effectively dead in England, even if it is a bit slow to lie down - now let's see it abandoned in the rest of the World!

Read all about it!
This is what the Chief Executive told the
NW SHA Board this week.

6.3 The Health and Social Care Bill sets out the intention that the responsibility for initiating new schemes will move to local authorities. There are additional issues which would act as significant barriers to NHS North West undertaking a consultation exercise for a new scheme.

· It is unlikely that the current timescales for NHS service reorganization will permit NHSNW to complete a consultation exercise.
· The costs of a consultation would be considerable and would fall to NHSNW.
· In transition it is unlikely that NHSNW would have the workforce capacity and capability to support a high quality, authoritative consultation exercise.
· The capital costs of a large scheme in the North West are considerable and would need to be agreed with the Department of Health.
· NHSNW has commissioned some work to identify costs of necessary renewal\refurbishing the fluoride dosing plant of the current Cumbria schemes.

6.4 Recommendations

· NHS North West does not actively pursue a consultation on a new fluoridation scheme in the North West prior to its abolition.
· All documentation on the feasibility assessment of a new scheme is handed over formally to successor body\bodies.
· NHS North West should aim to negotiate an agreement with United Utilities for renewal\refurbishing of the Cumbria plant which offers best value for money.

Accessed 18.34 9th September 2011

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