Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
- Government launch 10 year plan for NHS as Derriford Hospital hits OPEL 4 high alert
- Government plan criticised for ignoring workforce crisis and social care
- “Ministers are still failing to provide a credible, fully funded plan for our NHS” says Labour MP Luke Pollard
Today, city MP Luke Pollard and Cabinet Member Cllr Ian Tuffin from Plymouth City have criticised the Government’s new NHS 10 year plan for failing to give Plymouth’s health services the support they need.
The Government’s 10 year plan for the NHS has been released in middle of another winter crisis for Plymouth’s hospitals. Since Friday last week, Derriford Hospital has been on Opel 4 alert which used to be known as ‘black alert’ the highest level of alert since Friday.
The Government’s plan has been criticised for failing to tackle the severe workforce crisis, with our NHS currently short of over 100,000 staff, including over 40,000 nurses and 9,000 doctors.
Plymouth is also facing a crisis in primary care with severe shortages of GPs and a third of surgeries reported at risk of closure last year by the Herald.
Nine years of Government cuts and privatisation have resulted in nearly 2.8 million people waiting over 4 hours in A&E last year, over 540,000 patients waiting over 18 weeks for treatment and NHS waiting lists growing to over 4.3 million.
The number of people waiting more than 4 hours in A&E to be admitted to a hospital bed – ‘trolley waits’ has increased by over 500,000 a year compared to 2010. In 2017/18 over 618,000 people waited more than 4 hours to be admitted.
There are 17,000 fewer hospital beds now than in 2010.
Derriford’s financial troubles remain unsolved despite the efforts of staff and management to make savings and increase efficiency.
Luke Pollard MP says:
“NHS staff at Derriford and throughout Plymouth’s NHS services have worked their socks off over Christmas and New Year and are continuing to do so under immense pressures. But they cannot be expected to do more and more with less and we were all looking to this plan to sort out this mess and properly fund our health services.
The fact that Derriford is on the highest state of alert for a hospital yet again shows just how desperate the situation is on the ground in one of the richest economies in the world. But the Government’s plan fails to give our NHS staff the certainty they need with no rollback on cuts and no action on tackle our severe workforce crisis. On the day the Government launches its NHS plan our hospital is on the highest state of alert and this is now so common that is hasn’t even hit the headlines.”
Councillor Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care says:
“Without withdrawing the cuts to public health, the Tory focus on the prevention agenda will fail and it is going to be very difficult to solve the NHS crisis without solving the crisis in social care. The social care green paper needs actioning now – ongoing local government cuts are going to continue to impact on the health sector”
As winter bites patients will understandably feel concerned that another extremely challenging winter will be facing Derriford.
Analysis by the Health Foundation has found that wider health spending will see a £1 billion reduction next year. This will mean reductions to spending across public health, workforce training and capital investment in buildings and equipment of £1 billion.