Labour County Councillors are expressing their disbelief that the Conservative and UKIP Groups on the County Council abstained on a key NHS vote in the council chamber. The motion, which celebrated the work of NHS staff in the county, raised concerns around poor resources that local NHS services receive.
The NHS is facing record amounts of pressure in the county and, whilst the NHS Trust does everything it can to keep our services going, the Government continue to underfund healthcare.
Labour amendments to the motion recognised and celebrated the important work that local NHS workers provide, and also asked for reassurance that health and maternity provisions would be secured in Stroud. This request was denied by the Conservative administration who uniformly refused to vote for the motion.
Steve Lydon (L. Dursley), who proposed the amended motion said: “I was shocked and appalled by the spineless Conservatives in the Council chamber. At a time when we should be celebrating the work of NHS staff, the Tories resorted to petty politics and shameful deceit. We asked for reassurance over the STP, over maternity and health services in Stroud, and over NHS funding. They scorned those attempts. The NHS is not safe under Tory hands, how many more Gloucestershire hospitals have to be closed or downgraded.”
Brian Oosthuysen, (L. Rodborough), who seconded the amended motion said: “I asked the questions that needed to be asked over the STP and they couldn’t answer them. I knew that the Conservatives liked to play politics, but I never would have thought they would have done it on the NHS like this. What a shame.”
The amended motion was carried by Labour and other opposition Councillors, whilst the Conservatives were joined by UKIP in declining to support the motion.
The motion reads:
Motion 790 – Saving our NHS
Amended by Cllr Stephen Lydon and Cllr Brian Oosthuysen
This Council celebrates all our hardworking NHS colleagues in the county and wishes to send a motion of appreciation to them at this difficult time. This Council notes that the NHS is going through the biggest crisis in its history.
The impact of this can been seen locally affecting ambulance response times, Accident and Emergency waiting times, the length of time it takes to get a GP appointment and changes to the Minor Injury and Illness Units (MIIUs) across the county.
This Council is concerned that with a sustained fall in NHS funding our local services in Gloucestershire will continue struggling to cope. This Council also notes concerns over the future of hospital and maternity provision in Stroud and asks that reassurances are made to residents that the service will be retained.
The Government has refused to give the NHS the extra funding that it needs with the percentage of our national income spent on the NHS set to fall between now and 2020. The UK is a relatively low spender on health care and this Council would therefore like to see adequate funding.
This Council resolves that the Leader of this Council and the Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, calling the Government to establish a cross-party NHS and Care Convention with the objective of obtaining a long-term settlement for NHS and Care Services.