16 Jul 2010

Lymington Times

Axe NHS fluoride body quickly, urges Forest MP
THE proposed axing of the NHS body which approved fluoridating the water of 8,000 Totton residents should come as quickly as possible, the town's MP has urged.
The government's plans to give GPs more responsibility for spending will abolish primary care trusts and strategic health authorities — which have the power to add fluoride.
The plan affects 190,000 people around Southampton including Totton because of the layout of the pipes. Fluoridation was proposed to combat child tooth decay and approved by South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) last year.
New .Forest East's Julian Lewis called for the local SHA to be one of the first to be phased out and congratulated Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley for taking "an axe to the forest of bureaucracy".
He said it would "ensure that it was no longer able to waste hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money on fighting a hopeless legal case to impose fluoridation on a population, three quarters of whom have
indicated that they do not want it".
Mr Lansley said: "Yes, 1 am indeed aware of precisely what my honourable friend says and will certainly take it into account."
The SHA has put aside £400,000 to fight a judicial review In the High Court next year. Opponents fear dangerous side effects, resent, "forced medication" and want a referendum.
They submitted a 15,000-name petition against the plan and during consultation 72% of 10,000 respondents were against — although a Mori telephone poll for the SHA showed only 38% opposed against 32% in support.
In a letter to health minister Anne Milton, Dr Lewis also demanded the government immediately state its position on whether It will change the law to insist that a majority of residents must approve before fluoride is added to their water.
He wrote: "That was the pledge by a shadow health minister in the run-up to the election: nothing about the court case currently underway need impede you from answering the question now."

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