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 Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson said that Woodlands Hospice deserve the gratitude of everyone in Sefton and Liverpool for the support they give to people who are terminally ill and their families.

 Mr Esterson met Woodlands Chief Executive, Rose Milnes and trustee Barry Bartlett to discuss the work of the hospice.

 Mrs Milnes explained that many younger people are now being cared for at Woodlands. She also told Bill Esterson that older people are coming to the hospice in crisis more often than in previous years as a result of cuts in social care by the government.

 Bill Esterson MP said, “Woodlands Hospice staff all work extremely hard. They look after people at the end of their lives. I was really impressed by what Rose Milnes told me about the latest work being done by her team. As more younger people, sadly need hospice care, more children need support. Rose told me about an 11 year old and the support that the hospice is able to give through counselling. And thanks to MacMillan, Woodlands has been able to recruit a family support worker to help. Rose also told me about the important of support for carers. When my mum was nearing the end of her life, my dad cared for her and I know from the experience in my family, just how tough it can be for carers.

 “But there have also been new challenges for Woodlands. This is the result of having so many more people aged 41-64, who need hospice care. This is one result of less support being available from social services because younger people would like to go from hospice but it has become harder for their wishes to be granted because the care cannot be put in place. Conversely, older people, ie those 65 and older are coming to Woodlands hospice in far greater crisis than in previous years and stays by elderly people are in contrast shorter than they used to be. Again, this is because of less support from social services. To be quite clear, staff in social services are doing what they can, but the Conservatives have cut £4.6 billion from social services and what is happening at Woodlands, just like the increase in numbers at A&E, is a direct result of the cuts made by the government.


“Overall, the average length of stay has increased from 14-16 days to 18 days, which puts additional pressure onto the staff and leaves fewer places available for new patients.”

 Rose Milnes asked a simple question. She said, “Why are we seeing people at end of life in crisis, rather than earlier so we can do more to smooth the way for them and their families?”

 Bill Esterson MP said, “I thought Rose asked the right question. She and her team want to make end of life as comforting for those who are terminally ill and for their families. When this is becoming harder, it is very distressing for families and those nearing end of life. It is very worrying that so many people are unable to receive the care they really want at home. Of course it is a tribute to the wonderful staff and volunteers at Woodlands that hospice care is available. But until recently, care was also available at home. The cuts in social care are causing a real problem including for end of life care and people need to understand the consequences of what is happening as a result of decisions taken by this government.”

 “I know that Rose Milnes and her team will continue to do all they can to look after people but they need our help. So while I will press the government about what is happening to people in our community and their families, everyone here can help. I would therefore encourage you to support Woodlands Hospice at their shop in Maghull or by giving donations to the hospice directly.”

 You can donate to Woodlands Hospice online

Bill Esterson MP is pictured with Woodlands Hospice, Chief Executive, Rose Milnes and Trustee Barry Bartlett

Woodlands Hospice tells MP they are still doing a superb job caring for terminally ill but seeing more people in crisis

 Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson said that Woodlands Hospice deserve the gratitude of everyone in Sefton and Liverpool for the support they give to people who are terminally ill and...

School_funding.jpegSefton Central MP Bill Esterson has slammed the Government for cuts to
school budgets and called on Education Ministers to think again.

Bill Esterson MP said, "Proposed changes to funding by the Government
will lead to reductions in school budgets. This follows a number of
years in which there have been no increases in funding, and after
schools have already had to pay extra in pension and national
insurance contributions.

"Primary and Secondary schools in Formby, Maghull, Crosby, Aintree, Melling and Lydiate rank among the very best in the country. I am therefore united with parents, teachers and pupils in wanting to maintain and exceed this proud record. And so it is devastating for schools in Sefton that they face some of the biggest
cuts in funding from this government.

After meeting with Headteachers of Primary Schools in Sefton Central, Bill
Esterson MP, has demanded the Government take note not just of the
damage the cuts will do in undermining school achievements that have
taken years of hard work, but also warned that the effect of these
cuts will be totally self-defeating.

 Bill Esterson said, “As a result of the cuts , a typical single form
entry primary school in my constituency faces a cut of £75,000 or more
out of a total budget of £800,000, equivalent to the loss of 4 support
staff. For larger primary schools and for secondary schools, the cuts
are far higher and the numbers of staff affected far greater. This
loss of staff will have a significant impact on children.

"Head teachers have told me that support staff are essential in
ensuring teachers are as effective as possible. Having teaching
assistants also means that children who have additional needs are
supported, without other children's education being affected. Hard
working teaching assistants
also compare extremely well with the option of children having to be
in much more expensive alternative provision or special schools.

"The proposed cuts in my constituency are bad for schools and for
children. They are a false economy both because they add to the
overall cost of education and also because of the negative impact on
our economy. I have therefore written to Justine Greening, the
Secretary of State for Education to make plain the impact and I hope
they will reconsider their proposals and reverse these cuts so that
children, staff and parents across Sefton can continue to deliver
excellent results.”

Bill Esterson MP is pictured being presented with letters from parents
and from staff and governors at St Nicholas Church of England Primary
in Crosby.

School cuts bite in Sefton Central

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson has slammed the Government for cuts to school budgets and called on Education Ministers to think again. Bill Esterson MP said, "Proposed changes to funding...

ChapelLane_Surgery.jpegFormby MP, Bill Esterson has given his support to a campaign to keep Freshfield GP surgery open. The campaign has a petition which is online or can be signed in Ryder’s Chemists, next to the surgery.

Patients at Freshfield GP surgery received a letter from NHS England Director of Commissioning, Anthony Leo, which stated that “the contract with the current provider has been extended to 31 December 2017, to ensure continuity of care while we put new, longer-term arrangements in place.”

 The surgery is being run by Chapel Lane surgery and Formby’s Labour MP, Bill Esterson said he shared the concerns of patients that closure of Freshfield surgery would just add to the existing difficulties in booking an appointment.

Bill Esterson MP said, “Patients are telling me that they really value the care they receive at Freshfield and that the surgery does a good job. But they also say that it can be very difficult to book an early appointment. Formby Labour Action Team is supporting the campaign to keep Freshfield open because we know that the closure would just add to the pressure on other surgeries. There have been problems with the GP surgery contracts which saw some patients leave. But patient numbers appear to have stabilised, so it would seem unwise for patients if NHS England were to close Freshfield or Hightown surgeries, both of which are under review.

Ryder’s Chemists is next door to Freshfield GP surgery and pharmacist, Martin Hough asked Bill Esterson MP to support the campaign. Mr Hough said, “I am concerned about the impact on patients if the surgery were to close. It is difficult for surgery staff to speak out, so I felt I had to help organise the campaign, which is why we are running the petition to stop the closure.”

 Pharmacies also face a significant funding cut by the government and Mr Hough added, “The cut to our funding is also a big worry and we face the potential double whammy as a business of losing both the surgery and our funding.”

 Bill Esterson MP said, “I am very glad that Martin Hough approached me about the petition to prevent the closure of Freshfield GP surgery. Formby residents need both GP surgeries and pharmacies to have full support from the government, yet at present there are real worries for the future of both.

“Pharmacies face significant cuts to their budgets from this government. There is also a national shortage of GPs and the government since 2010 under the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems has not trained enough doctors. Hopefully, that lesson has been learned but for now, patients in Formby need the existing surgeries and in future years, the population is set to grow anyway, thanks to a relaxation of the planning rules by the same government. Staff in our NHS do an excellent job but they need NHS England and the government to give them full backing.

“The Formby Labour Action Team and I will do all we can to support the campaign to keep Freshfield GP Practice open and to support our local pharmacies as well.”


In photograph Formby Labour MP, Bill Esterson with

Martin Hough and Sue Miller from Ryder’s chemist.

MP backs campaign to stop GP surgery closure Inbox

Formby MP, Bill Esterson has given his support to a campaign to keep Freshfield GP surgery open. The campaign has a petition which is online or can be signed...

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