Barbara has called on the Health Secretary to recognise the impact that cuts to social care and local health services are having on the NHS, particularly on Accident and Emergency. Barbara asked Jeremy Hunt when he would take responsibility for the impact that Government cuts were having on her constituents.
This week both Royal Bolton Hospital and Salford Royal Hospital have declared major incidents. This means their accident and emergency services are struggling to cope with demand. Patients have experienced significant delays in receiving treatment, with patients reported as waiting up to 12 hours for a bed to be available at Royal Bolton Hospital.
As a member of the Health Select Committee, Barbara and her colleagues plan to hold an inquiry into the crisis facing Accident and Emergency Departments.
“The current crisis in our local Accident and Emergency departments is unacceptable. NHS doctors, nurses and ambulance staff are struggling to cope with the surge in demand. The problem is worse than it should be because of the Conservative-led Government’s failure to protect other health and social care services since 2010.
In our local area we have seen the closure of the Little Hulton walk-in centre, which saw 2000 patients a month. Salford city council has also had £100 million cut from its budget from Government, so 1,000 people in Salford are losing their care packages this year. It is not surprising that more people are ending up in hospital when their care needs have not been met”.
“Labour has recognised that social care cuts are an important cause of the pressure on hospitals. We have called for an urgent summit of councils and other public services to develop a co-ordinated plan to address the crisis. So far, the Conservative-led Government has refused to take up this idea but they must start to take responsibility for the impact of their policies.”