Public howl of rage leads Wirral Council to call on government to withdraw Sustainability and Transformation Plans
By MadAsHelll&NotGoingtoTakeitAnymore, Dec 20 2016 09:56PM
Report from Kevin Donovan, Defend our NHS
[with apologies for the Leader of the Council’s use of the phrase ‘going forward’ which makes one’s toes curl]
Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May are about to feel the force of some strong anti-STP feeling. Campaigners in Wirral scored a major victory on Monday night (19th December). A full meeting of Wirral Borough Council voted overwhelmingly to reject the Cheshire & Merseyside STP in the strongest terms.
The motion carried said:
This Council is extremely concerned about the failure of NHS England to consult with elected members and the public prior to the publication of Sustainable Transformation Plans which propose far-reaching changes to the configuration of hospitals in the acute sector and the delivery of health services in Cheshire and Merseyside in order to plug a £908m hole in the NHS finances.
Council agrees to write to the Secretary of State for Health and call on the government to withdraw these Plans immediately with a view to holding urgent discussions with key partners, including local Councils, on how good quality health and social care services can be provided going forward based on continuing to provide a National Health Service which is properly funded and free at the point of need.
Council is appalled that under this Tory government we have:
· The worst NHS deficits on record - £2.45 billion
· In England around 3.9 million people are now on the waiting list to start treatment
· 1.8 million people waited four or more hours in A&E last year – up over 400 per cent since 2010
· One in four patients have to wait a week or more to see or speak to a GP or nurse, or don’t get an appointment at all.
Council calls on Theresa May to give the NHS the funding it needs.
The rejection follows a long campaign by Defend Our NHS (DONHS) which has hundreds of members in Wirral and more widely across the North West and other parts of England, as well as several thousand Facebook ‘friends’. Council committees and councillors were lobbied and provided with evidence and arguments to use in making the case against the ‘slash, trash and privatise’ proposals.
Councillors from the Labour Party, along with Lib Dems and Wirral’s one Green Party representative, supported the motion; the Tory minority, to their shame (and to the harm of their constituents) voted against. Speakers, including some who had attended a recent large DONHS public meeting were passionate in support for our NHS. The latest leaflets from the Stop STPs campaign were particularly effective.
Victory gives heart to core DONHS activists who have now established their own plans for a higher profile media and public presence. Buoyed by several generous donations from trade union branches the Group will be much more visible with banners, leaflets and presence on the street. Group members will now be ‘howling’ more loudly against the STPs on 23rd December.
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