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Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

DAN DALEY severely criticises the latest NHS shambles

April 3, 2017 10:16 AM

"The NHS is in a serious state": that is the headline in many newspapers these days - and unfortunately this is only too obvious. Dan Daley

It would seem that no matter how much money is pumped into this most precious public asset, it is never enough and that quite routine services even now are being scaled back; important operations postponed; prescriptions of some essentials being no longer supplied, Accident and Emergency departments closed and amalgamated, etc.

"And yet", says Dan Daley, who is a Member of the Kent County Health Overview Committee, "we are being fed with Gospels of Hope, as the Commissioners struggle with the publication of a viable and workable Plan for the next few years". The problem is not only lack of cash, it is also a lack of personnel with the proper training and in the right places to provide the services now being looked at for 'Reformation', another word for yet more 'Reorganisation'.

The latest version of the not yet ready Plan is full of prospective and cautionary future tenses relating to where or how the new provision is to be delivered. They strongly recommend transferring much of all Primary Care back to the local GPs and calling for their own reorganisation.

"So much of what we read really ought to be prefaced with the two words; 'if only'", Dan says.

It is stated that 'GP medical practices will provide 24 hour, seven days a week service in their locality, dealing with all sorts and every kind of primary care' - "Yes, if only they have the trained staff and resources to do this and that they can deal with the increasing black hole between doctors retiring and new doctors coming forward to fill that gap", warns Dan.

District nurses and other care workers are in such short supply already and there is no guarantee that more will be available to fulfil all of this pressure that is now being 'Planned'. This will become a serious deficiency if so many of our nurses choose to return or have to return to their own home countries after Brexit. Already some who were coming to the UK are now deciding not to, because of Brexit.

The number of practising GPs here in Kent is already 20-25% below target. Politicians may promise money for thousands of additional doctors - but we do not manufacture doctors; they need training and that takes several years.

The future plan has the optimistic title 'Sustainability and Transformation Plan'. What has been proposed so far is not sustainable; it is little more than another reorganisation of the NHS. It is a 'Plan' which the Liberal Democrats at County Hall cannot support.

So, look forward not to a better Health Service but one which we can remember with some nostalgia. This is a serious situation and, indeed, the headlines are correct.