We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)
Kent Liberal Democrat County Council Group 2013

Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council: Fighting For You

  • Norman Lamb
    Article: Mar 16, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have today published the interim report by the independent panel of health experts commissioned by Norman Lamb to set out a new deal for Britain's Health and Social Care Services.

    The panel is independent of the party and is making recommendations based on the experience and expertise of its members which they hope are considered by all political parties.

    The panel was set up by Norman Lamb in Autumn 2016 with the remit to ask the difficult questions about the challenges facing health and social care and to come forward with bold solutions needed to meet them.

    Today's report has been published ahead of the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference this weekend to update the party on its progress. The full report will be published later in Spring.

    Amongst the key conclusions are:

    • The current funding settlement for our health and care services is not fit for purpose. It is well documented that there is a projected funding gap in the region of £20bn across health services by 2020/21 and a further £6bn gap in social care.
    • The panel is unanimously of the opinion that it is necessary to raise additional revenue for health and care through taxation.
    • The panel will propose the establishment of an independent body to make health and care budget recommendations to Government, setting out what is needed to deliver services and essentially providing a similar function to that of the Office of Budget Responsibility.
    • The panel are considering a number of options for where additional taxation should come from, taking account of how we can raise the amount of money needed; but also, how this can be done in a way which is progressive and takes account of intergenerational fairness.
    • The options under consideration are as follows and the panel will conclude which of these they think is preferable in the final report:
    1. Raising Income Tax

    2. Raising National Insurance

    3. Introducing a dedicated health and care tax

    Commenting Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:

    "I commend Norman Lamb for establishing this independent panel and thank them for their work so far. I hope this is a wake-up call for politicians as to the scale of the challenge we face in Health and Social Care.

    "I have made clear that we will take the final report and its recommendations seriously, and we can see from this interim document that bold solutions will be needed to tackle the ever growing challenges facing health and social care. My guarantee is that the Liberal Democrats will consider these seriously and will not shy away from offering big solutions."

    Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said:

    "I thank the panel for their work, I brought this panel together in the face of the undeniable crisis in health and care. We have over a million older people with unmet care needs, people having to wait months for the treatment they need, and a situation that is only going to get worse.

    "The government are dragging their heels on offering anything resembling a vision for the future of health and social care in Britain. We are a wealthy country, we have to do right by our sick and elderly and excuses and promises of fixes tomorrow simply are not good enough."

    The full report can be read here.

  • Article: Feb 11, 2017

    The Liberal Democrat group at County Hall was unable to support the budget proposed by the Conservative Administration, see keynote speech by Lib Dem Group Leader, Trudy Dean, in previous article.

    However, both the budget amendments, which the Liberal Democrat introduced during the budget debate, received overwhelming support from the Council.

  • Trudy Dean
    Article: Feb 11, 2017

    Trudy Dean's speech at the Kent County Council budget debate on Thursday 11th February

    I received an email a couple of weeks ago from a constituent thanking me for KCC neglect. He said that he had got off a charge of speeding because the speed limit signs were so dirty the court deemed them impossible to read.

  • Article: Feb 10, 2017

    Figures show that Theresa May's Government does not appear to care about the NHS.

    • 38 Trusts facing serious pressure
    • More beds closed due to Norovirus
    • Cancelled operations up 15%
    • 9 hospitals had no available beds on some days in February

    Analysis by the Liberal Democrats of the Weekly Situation Report for the week ending 5 February 2017 reveals that:

    • 38 trusts are facing major pressure that could lead to poorer care. The NHS themselves describe this as leaving organisations unable to deliver comprehensive care. There is increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised.
    • Bed occupancy rates were 95% or 96% every day between 1st February and 5th February - significantly higher than the official 'safe' threshold of 85%.From the 1st-5th February 3,517 beds were closed due to Norovirus.
    • 21,249 operations were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons. This is 15% up on the previous year. 1551 of those cancellations still had not been treated within 28 days.

    The data, released today by NHS digital showed in February that 9 hospitals had no General and Acute beds available on certain days.

    Commenting on the data, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "Day after day we hear more stories about the NHS struggling to cope and yet we hear silence from Number 10 and the Department of Health. What is it going to take for them to wake up. Enough is enough.

    "I don't know how bad the figures need to get for them to actually take action.

    "Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to make the case that we may need to raise tax to pay for the NHS and social care services patients deserve."

    The Liberal Democrats called for an additional £4bn of funding for NHS and care over the next year to help cash-strapped services cope with the impending winter crisis and ever-increasing demand for services."

    Norman Lamb, Shadow Health Secretary added: "The NHS is facing a perfect storm, with unprecedented demand for care and a chronic lack of funding. Bed occupancy is at dangerous levels, A&E units are struggling to cope, and patients in severe pain are having to wait longer for operations because resources are over-stretched. Patients are being seriously let down, and this has gone on for too long.

    "Sir Robert Francis has warned that the NHS is facing an existential crisis, and even the Health Secretary has admitted that the current situation is unacceptable.

    "Although there is no silver bullet to these problems, it is impossible to see a solution that doesn't involve additional funding. The Government must listen to the views of patients and healthcare staff, and release extra cash for social care and the NHS in next month's Budget. They must also trigger a cross-party process, engaging with the public, to come up with a long-term deal for the NHS and social care."

  • Trudy Dean
    Article: Feb 8, 2017

    At the County Council Budget Debate on Thursday, 9th February the Liberal Democrat Group will be asking for an in depth investigation into the costs incurred by the Coroners service in Kent. Although KCC meets the costs of the Coroners Service, they have no control over them.

    A report to councillors in December showed that Kent Coroners carry out an average of 48 post Mortems out of every 100 cases reported to them, compared to a national average of 38 per hundred. The highest number of post mortems are carried out in north east Kent where 55 in every 100 deaths are investigated by post mortem. There are also widely varying waiting times for inquests to take place from 15 weeks in north west Kent to 40 weeks in north east Kent.

    Trudy Dean, Leader of the Lib Dem group said, "This is not just a question of inquiring into the costs of the service, but the effect on relatives. Long waiting times for post mortems delay the time when the body can be released for a funeral to take place. Waiting up to forty weeks for inquests further prolongs the distress which relatives go through dealing with the loss of their family member. Local councils cannot of course interfere or influence Coroners judicial decisions, but we can enquire more closely whether the service is being carried out in an effective way which meets the needs of families as well as seeing that justice is done."

  • Article: Feb 8, 2017

    Tomorrow Thursday, Liberal Democrats at County Hall will propose that an effective cut of £500,000 to supply Crisis Payments to people in desperate circumstances be struck out of KCC's budget.

    In the open letter copied below to Paul Carter Conservative Leader of KCC, Trudy Dean Lib Dem Group Leader calls for his support for the move. " If we cannot help people through the most needy times of their lives, then what is Kent County Council for?

  • Sad old man
    Article: Feb 3, 2017

    A personal view by Rob Bird

    A few days ago I was walking round a small private estate in Central Maidstone. The bungalows were mostly well loved and well maintained but some - a few more than last year - reeked of neglect. They showed all the signs of being occupied by an elderly person, on his or her own, totally isolated from the community.

  • Norman Lamb
    Article: Feb 2, 2017

    Norman Lamb, the former Liberal Democrat Health Minister, has responded after West Kent banned all non-urgent operations until April.

    "Patients who are in severe pain should not have to wait for a new financial year to have an operation. This is not what our NHS is about. What we need instead is a new financial plan from the government to deliver the funding the health service needs.