There is a huge level of concern from the public and NHS staff about the crisis we are seeing and it’s insulting that Government aren’t taking it seriously.
The NHS is going through a winter crisis and the number of patients being turned away from A&E and sent to other hospitals is at a record high. I’ve heard from constituents who have had happened this happen to their loved ones. They’ve told me about their terrifying experiences and the things they have witnessed whilst in A&E, but all made a point of how hard NHS staff were working.
We know the crisis we are seeing in the NHS is not down to the staff at the NHS, it is a sign of wider problems. The NHS has been squeezed and squeezed, and we are now facing the consequences. The £4.6 billion cut from social care budgets has had a detrimental effect.
The week before last I supported an opposition motion which called for extra funding for social care to be brought forward to help hospitals cope this winter, and for a new funding settlement for the NHS and social care to be part of the March Budget. However, Government opposed the motion and we have seen more action since. Instead of dealing with the problems, the Health Secretary has suggested that the four hour A&E target should be downgraded and no longer apply to minor injuries.
We need to see measures put in place to ensure hospitals have the resources they need to get through the winter. Patients aren’t receiving the care and they should be and NHS staff are having to work in impossible circumstances.