Barbara Keeley MP


Salford Advertiser Column 23 June 2011

In Carers Week I spoke in a debate in Parliament about the impact of Government cuts on people with caring responsibilities. Local organisations had given me examples of how the Government’s policies are hurting the carers of older people or people who are ill or who have a disability.

Also, we saw the Conservative-led Government try to amend its plans for the future of the NHS.  In the last 12 months the Government’s plans have caused confusion, with staff being made redundant and changes affecting our local services. Nationally, waiting times are rising and it is clear that service to patients is being affected.

The Government’s unnecessary NHS re-organisation is wasteful, with £760 million spent on redundancy payments. Instead of one Primary Care Trust for Salford we will have five different organisations doing the same work. The Government’s latest plans are a political fix to a problem that they caused by rushing into changes which could damage our local health services. The Conservatives had promised no more top-down re-organisations in the NHS. We should be spending time and money on improving patient care, not on re-organisation.

Now we have job cuts that could affect our local services. Our Primary Care Trust is being abolished and the NHS walk-in centre in Little Hulton is being closed. Salford Royal is cutting 720 jobs including 146 nurses. The Christie hospital is losing 212 members of staff over the next five years, 42 of them nurses. At the Royal Bolton, 60 posts have gone with 185 further job cuts planned. Staff in the NHS do a great job but all this upheaval must put a great strain on them.

The Government should think again about the way its policies are affecting vulnerable and ill people and all the services that they depend on.

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