I have organised a public meeting with Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth, to discuss the threat to our local NHS. The meeting with start at 18.00 prompt on Thursday 8th December at the Park View Sports and Social Club, 88 Liscard Road, Wallasey, CH44 8AB and I hope you can come along.
Our local NHS is under threat from savage cuts, a consequence of nearly one billion pounds of underfunding each year from the Tory Government. The so-called ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ have been hatched in secret, with virtually no consultation with patient groups, the public or elected representatives. The King’s Fund, an independent and respected health think tank, concluded that ‘patients and the public have largely been absent from the planning process’.
These plans would have a devastating impact on our NHS in Merseyside & Cheshire and particularly in Wirral. The report is opaque, full of acronyms and jargon-heavy. But the meaning of phrases like ‘re-profiling opening hours’ and ‘reconfiguring hospitals’ are clear: buildings are threatened with closure, and local services are threatened with severe cuts.
One proposal is to merge Arrowe Park, the Countess of Chester and Clatterbridge and move the merged hospital all the way to Ellesmere Port. This would effectively end acute health care in Wirral.
How are people who struggle to travel long distances expected to cope with this? What will happen to maternity care and care for those with disabilities? These plans have not been thought-through and I am deeply worried about their consequences.
I hope you will join me and the Shadow Health Secretary to discuss this critical threat to our health service on 8th December.
I have also launched a petition to oppose these changes at www.savewirralnhs.com. If you haven’t already, please make sure that you sign, and get friends and family to sign up as well. Please also let me know if you can help out with street stalls and delivering leaflets.