Many of my constituents will recall that five years ago, the Tories imposed a huge top down re-organisation on our NHS. It cost £25million to implement- on Wirral alone.
And as Parliament sits this week, we have the turbulence of further strike action by junior doctors. Whilst immediate action has been called off, this dispute between the junior doctors and the Health Secretary shows no sign of being permanently resolved. It is distressing for doctors and patients alike.
But – devastatingly – there is further bad news for our NHS. I am troubled by the latest reports of Sustainability and Transformation plans.
Put simply, these plans are being set up to meet the Government’s demands for funding cuts to the NHS.
Though, bizarrely, they imply yet more reorganisation, as the Government seeks to close parts of hospitals, and undermine existing arrangements. The plans by-pass the very commissioning bodies that the last Tory Health Secretary spent so much cash setting up. And crucially, all of this does absolutely nothing to get more cash in the one place we need it: social care.
Our A&Es are straining at the seams because the Tories have cut councils – who are charged with preventing unnecessary hospital admission – to the bone. We have older people in hospital too long because there is insufficient care budget to help them home.
But the Tories in power just don’t seem to get this. Or maybe they are determined to run down our health service so people feel (if they can) they have to go private.
We don’t yet know what exactly this will mean for us in Wirral.
But nonetheless I am keen to hear from constituents so I will be holding a meeting about these plans on the evening of Friday 23 September at 6pm and anyone with concerns is welcome to come along. Just call my office for more details on 0151 645 6590.