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.”
The full motion of the Lib Dem motion that will be brought to Council in July:
This Council notes with alarm:
- That there were over 10,000 excess deaths in England and Wales in the first weeks of 2018 (a rise of 12.4% on the previous year) after the Government failed to grant the NHS adequate resources to deal with winter pressures;
- That the North Bristol NHS Trust have said that they expect the cost of winter pressures this year to amount to £6 million locally, with up to 300 extra beds being needed;
- That, despite this, the Trust have received only £1.4 million from Government to cope with this year’s winter pressures;
- That while the Prime Minister recently announced that the NHS’s annual budget will increase from 2019/20 this will be too late to help relieve the impending crisis in the NHS this winter; and,
- That the 3.4% increase in funding promised by the Prime Minister is, in any case, deemed to be inadequate to meet the future needs of the NHS according to experts at the Health Foundation.
Council therefore resolves to call upon the Government:
- To urgently announce additional funding to adequately support NBT and other NHS Trusts this winter;
- To be honest with the British public that any increase in funding will have to be met by tax increases; and,
- To increase taxation in order to boost funding for the NHS by at least the 4% extra per year deemed to be the bare minimum necessary by experts at the Heath Foundation.