Chris Philp, the Conservative MP for Croydon South, has joined the campaign started by Inside Croydon reader Kerstie Smith to persuade the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to reverse its decision to stop prescribing formula milk for infants with allergies.
“It is not a luxury item, it is an essential item,” Philp said. “Categorically Croydon CCG should definitely keep funding this.”
But Philp has not had some sort of Damascene revelation about proper funding for the NHS: the Westminster new boy has added his influence to the lobbying of the Croydon CCG based on his own experience with his twins, who like dozens of other children in the borough needed to be fed with the costly special milk formula.
Croydon CCG has been ordered by the Conservative government to cut £30million from the budget of local GPs and hospitals over the next year. Baby milk and gluten-free prescriptions will provide savings of a little less than £400,000 per year.
Without the prescriptions, parents will have to pay around £120 per week for the milk formula to feed their infant children; some are even considering moving to another area where baby milk prescriptions have not been banned in the NHS funding lottery.
As well as baby milk, Croydon CCG is to stop providing IVF treatment and is to shut the Foxley Lane women’s mental health facility, which is in Philp’s constituency.
Philp announced his opposition to the milk cuts in a Twitter exchange with Smith. Smith’s own MP in Croydon Central, another Tory, Gavin Barwell, had failed to respond to Smith’s approaches before the weekend.
Philp said: “This is the wrong area for the CCG to be finding savings, as these tins can cost £40 per tin, and it goes quite quickly. It is not a luxury item, it is an essential item. Categorically Croydon CCG should definitely keep funding this.”
Philp’s twins, who will be 4 this year, were born prematurely and had dairy and lactose allergies, so needed to be fed with a specialist formula milk.
Philp says that he has been in contact with the Croydon CCG, and that he will raise the matter in parliament if the decision is not reconsidered.
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