South Gloucestershire Council backed a motion from Lib Dem councillors Sue Hope and Claire Young on Wednesday night, calling on the government to provide urgent extra funding to avert another winter crisis in the NHS later this year.
Proposer of the motion, Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Sue Hope said:
“The NHS is there for all of us when we need it, and we now need to return the favour. We are told by North Bristol NHS Trust that they expect extra winter pressures this year to cost them up to £6million, and yet, only £1.4million of extra funding has been made available by Government. NBT are doing their best to be prepared for the winter and are recruiting extra staff to cope, but they can only do so much with the money they have been given.
“If this funding black hole is not redressed, we will see a repeat of last year with cancelled operations and patients forced to wait in corridors. This would place terrible pressure on both staff and patients, and could lead to unnecessary deaths, as it did last year. The best 70th birthday present we could give to the NHS is to make sure that it is adequately funded this year, and every year.”
Seconder of the motion, Lib Dem Group Leader Claire Young said:
“We are pleased that our motion gained cross-party support and that the Council is now calling on the Government to urgently address the impending winter crisis in the NHS. However we were disappointed that the Conservatives felt the need to vote down our call to be honest with the British public that any increase in NHS funding will have to be met by tax increases.
“Leading health experts estimate that the NHS will need a bare minimum of an extra 4% in funding each year to cope with the growing needs of our aging population. Despite the illusorily promises of Boris Johnson during the Brexit campaign, the only way that the NHS will get the money it need is through an increase in taxation. It seems ludicrous that the Conservatives would not support being honest with the public about this.”