Urgent care review presents great opportunity to expand services at Yate Health Centre

South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats have welcomed an NHS initiative to review how urgent care services are delivered across our area and are lobbying for Yate Minor Injuries Unit to be upgraded to an Urgent Treatment Centre, with a greater range of services.

Lib Dem councillor for Yate Central, Sue Walker said: “The staff at the Yate Health Centre provide a good service with the resources they have available, but they are currently only equipped to deal with minor injuries. The local NHS’s review of urgent care presents an excellent opportunity to expand the range of services available at Yate, to give patients a full walk-in service for ailments as well as for minor injuries.”

Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, Cllr Sue Hope, said: “At Wednesday’s Health Scrutiny meeting I asked the CCG’s South Gloucestershire Director, David Jarrett, whether Yate Heath Centre was in line to be upgraded to an Urgent Treatment Centre. His response was that local health managers are currently considering locations but that no decisions have yet been made. We will continue to lobby for Yate to be upgraded.”

Lib Dem councillor for Yate Central, Ruth Davis, said: “It’s good that local health managers have acknowledged that the current way health services are provided can be confusing for residents. Staff at Yate MIU have recently improved information about which services are, and are not, provided there. But it would be far better to increase the range of services available, rather than having to turn people away. The Health Centre is a popular and accessible facility, so it would make sense to make fuller use of it by turning it into an Urgent Treatment Centre.”

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South Glos Lib Dems call for urgent funding to avert a winter crisis in the NHS

South Gloucestershire’s Liberal Democrat councillors have warned of a repeat of last year’s winter crisis in the NHS if extra funding isn’t made available. The warning comes after North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) announced that they have only received a fraction of the money they will need to fully meet anticipated winter pressures later this year.

Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Cllr Sue Hope said:
“While winter may seem a long way away as we enjoy the July sunshine, our local NHS are already planning for the extra pressures they will face this winter. NBT have told us that they expect to have up to 300 extra beds worth of patients to treat this winter at a cost of £6 million. However the Conservative Government has given NBT just £1.4 million to deal with winter pressures. This simply isn’t good enough and both patients and staff will suffer as a result.”

South Glos Lib Dem Leader Cllr Claire Young said:
“Without adequate funding to cope with winter pressures the NHS will be forced to cancel operations and move patients about, as they did last winter. While the Prime Minister has announced an increase in funding for the NHS from next year, that will come too late to help to those needing treatment this winter. In the first few weeks of 2018 there were over 10,000 more deaths than expected across England and Wales. We cannot allow that to happen again. The Lib Dems will be bringing a motion to July’s meeting of Council calling on the Government to urgently increase the NHS’s funding, so that our hardworking doctors and nurses can adequately cope with the pressures they will face this winter.”

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South Glos Lib Dems react to overnight Brexit resignations

Three figures from South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats have been speaking this morning of their reaction to the resignation of David Davis, Secretary for Exiting the EU, and a junior minister in the department.

Davis resigned late last night, with his letter of resignation setting out the rifts in Cabinet laid bare by the “Common Rulebook” negotiating offer announced by Theresa May last week.

Cllr. Claire Young, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Thornbury & Yate, tweeted overnight:
“Obviously the PM was speaking too soon when she announced her cabinet had agreed an approach on #Brexit. Did David Davis jump to embarrass her or was he pushed for demanding a damaging hard Brexit at any cost?”

This morning she adds:
“We now know from his resignation letter that he jumped, at the most critical time yet in the UK’s negotiations for the EU and at the first sight of a plan to bring to Brussels – and he has taken Steve Baker with him. This looks more and more like a co-ordinated effort to bring down the Government in order to fight for the hardest, most damaging Brexit at any cost. Unlike the Tories and Labour, the Lib Dem position is clear: we cannot crash out of the EU without a public vote to approve the exit deal.”

Louise Harris, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Filton & Bradley Stoke, adds:
“The Tories are clearly in disarray over the Brexit negotiations. Theresa May’s smokescreen about a cabinet agreement on the issue hasn’t even lasted a week. It’s hard to see how she can possibly continue leading the country when she can’t even lead her own ministers. Labour are just as useless on Brexit, but Lib Dems have a plan we’re all behind: a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, with an option to remain a member of the EU if the deal doesn’t stand up. Nearly 90,000 people have now signed our petition in favour of the plan.”

Lindsay Gough, South Gloucestershire Lib Dems Vice-Chair for the Kingswood constituency, quips on Davis’s successor:
“I think the emperor just got another new set of clothes with Dominic Raab's appointment.  The Conservatives promised a ‘Strong and Stable Government’ but they have been completely derailed by their own people. Goodness knows what would have happened if there was any real opposition from Labour.”

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Local Lib Dems welcome end to disposable cups at South Gloucestershire Council

Local Lib Dem councillors have welcomed a move by South Gloucestershire Council to end the use of disposable cups at council facilities after the Cabinet approved the plan on Monday. This move follows a successful motion by Lib Dem councillors Claire Young and Mike Drew earlier this year, which required the Cabinet to take action.

Lib Dem Leader, Cllr Claire Young, said: “We welcome the fact that our motion received cross-party support and that the administration say that they will implement these changes by the end of the year, as we proposed. I’m proud that we were able to provide leadership to the Council on this issue and that South Gloucestershire will now become one of the first authorities in the country to take this step.”     

Lib Dem councillor (Yate North) Mike Drew said: “This change should stop over 36,000 unrecyclable cups being thrown away every year. While we very much welcome the fact that Conservative administration have followed our lead on this issue, we will be pressing them to go even further in eliminating other unnecessary waste. The administration expects residents to reduce waste, with the introduction of smaller bins, so it’s only right that they practice what they preach.”

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Louise Harris slams Filton and Bradley Stoke MP for insensitive response to Airbus announcement

Louise Harris, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Filton and Bradley Stoke, has called a piece written by the constituency’s Conservative MP Jack Lopresti “disgraceful” and “insensitive to local workers”.

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