Latest Stories

Southport_A_E.jpegFormby MP, Bill Esterson has written to the Health Secretary about government plans to shut A&E at Southport and Formby Hospital.

 The plans were highlighted in national media reports and are part of the so-called “Sustainability and Transformation” Plan (STP) for Cheshire and Merseyside. Government plans for Southport and Formby would see cuts in the hours or outright closure of A&E, which would mean patients having to travel to Preston, Aintree or Liverpool in an emergency.

Formby’s Labour MP, Bill Esterson said, “Plans to shut A&E at Southport would have a drastic impact on people in Formby, Hightown and Ince Blundell. It would affect some people in Crosby as well. The government plan is supposed to be about sustainability. But it doesn’t sound very sustainable or sustaining for people living in Formby, Hightown or Ince Blundell, who will face a much longer journey to A&E in an emergency.

"I have only the highest praise for staff at Southport and Formby Hospital for the care I received when I was admitted through A&E a few years ago and I want all my constituents to continue to receive the high levels of care that I received. So the idea of cuts in the hours or outright closure are of great concern to everyone living nearby.

"When the then Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition government made changes to the NHS with the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, it was clear that pressure would grow for closures including of A&E. So, sadly it is no surprise that this is being considered. My Labour colleagues on Sefton Council voted against the plans for closure and rejected the STP. Now we must fight hard stop the government from going ahead with these cuts to A&E.

"That’s why I have written to Conservative Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, asking him to confirm what his plans are for Southport A&E. It cannot be right to close such a vital A&E as it will add significantly to the journey times and the risks for people in Formby, Hightown and Ince Blundell as well as in Southport and in South Ribble as well. A further consequence of the closure of A&E would be to undermine the effectiveness of the hospital and I have therefore asked Mr Hunt to confirm whether his long term intention is to close the hospital or not.”

Bill Esterson MP’s letter to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is attached and he is pictured with Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Southport, Liz Savage and Labour candidate for South Ribble, Veronica Bennett. Residents in Formby, Southport and parts of South Ribble will all face longer journeys to A&E if Southport is closed.

Formby MP writes to Health Secretary about proposed closure of A&E

Formby MP, Bill Esterson has written to the Health Secretary about government plans to shut A&E at Southport and Formby Hospital.  The plans were highlighted in national media reports and...

WhatsApp_Image_2017-02-20_at_12.25.00.jpegSefton Central MP, Bill Esterson has written to the Transport Secretary to demand changes be made to Switch Island as a matter of urgency.

The move by the MP follows the latest series of accidents at the busy junction, which followed the opening of the new Broomes Cross Road or Thornton by-pass.

Bill Esterson MP, who lives in Maghull saw the aftermath of one recent accident

and reality TV star, Chelsey Harwood, posted pictures on social media after being involved in a further accident a few days later.

Bill Esterson MP said, "Highways England are taking far too long to review Switch Island. We have seen a catalogue of serious accidents. I saw an accident last Sunday and there was another yesterday. Anyone who saw the pictures of Chelsey Harwood’s car after her accident knows she is lucky to be alive. It is clear to everyone that the junction simply isn't working. Safety must come first and Highways England must act. I have written to the government minister again, demanding immediate action to reduce the carnage at Switch Island."

“Switch Island was already a busy junction and the fact that it is where the M57 and M58 meet adds to the level of traffic. So it should have been clear to the government that when the much needed Broomes Cross Road was opened, it was likely to cause some confusion. I have been inundated with comments from road users, with suggestions that range from how to improve the junction, to better signage to comments about the number of drivers who ignore red lights. People who are not used to the junction often say they find it confusing and judging by the way some drivers behave, there are clearly major problems.

“It is also clear that had Switch Island been in London, then the government would have built a flyover or a tunnel for Broomes Cross Road. The government spends £289 per person on transport in the North West of England, whereas the figure is £1,859 in London and the South East. Safety must be paramount and there should be fair funding of our roads too. Highways England has held a review. They will have heard the comments, which have also been made to me about what is wrong at Switch Island. Now it is time for action. That is why I am calling on the Conservative Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to intervene straight away to give road users at Switch Island the priority they deserve.”

Sefton Central Labour MP, Bill Esterson is pictured at Switch Island.

MP calls on minister to take immediate safety action at dangerous road junction

Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson has written to the Transport Secretary to demand changes be made to Switch Island as a matter of urgency. The move by the MP follows...

WhatsApp_Image_2017-02-17_at_12.14.28.jpegSefton Central MP Bill Esterson, is calling on the Government to act over the lack of GP appointments in Lydiate and Maghull and has written to Conservative Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt calling for intervention to help.

This follows news from one Maghull doctor's surgery that they would only be taking new patients in exceptional circumstances. Last year, Parkhaven surgery in Maghull closed and some patients from Parkhaven moved to High Pastures, which is also in Maghull, while others have now moved to the new surgery at Westway Medical Centre in the town centre.

Bill Esterson MP represents Maghull and said he had been approached by a number of residents who had been told they could not register with High Pastures.

High Pastures has one vacancy for a GP and has been unable to recruit a new GP despite advertising locally and nationally.


Maghull resident, May Barton, went along to register at High Pastures Surgery in Maghull. She said,


To my dismay they informed me that they were not taking on any new patients. I approached them again several weeks later and received the same response, with no indication as to when they will allow new patients. They do not have a waiting list and there is no way of registering your interest in attending the surgery… 

"One year on and the surgery are still not allowing any new patients. My concern is that when they eventually do decide to open up for new patients there [may be] no system in place for fairness in relation to the time people have been waiting to join the practice. I also do not know how I am supposed to know when they will be open for new patients again, other than constantly going into the surgery to ask


Residents of Maghull and Lydiate have tried to sign up to High Pastures surgery following the closure of the surgery at Parkhaven but have been told that High Pastures is simply too full to take more patients. NHS England is responsible for GP services on behalf of the government and said that there would be enough places for residents at surgeries in Maghull and Lydiate.


Bill Esterson MP said:


"We can see in Maghull what happens when government does not invest in training staff. For the last 7 years there have not been enough doctors or other health staff being trained and only government can organise that training. It is no wonder that High Pastures is reluctant to take new patients, other than families of existing patients or anyone new to the area. 


“We have also seen massive cuts to social care by the Conservatives and Lib-Dems in government. These cuts add to the pressure on GP surgeries. Sefton Council has had millions cut from its budget and simply doesn’t have the money any more to run the social services for older and disabled people, which are really needed. As a result, people try go to see their GP more often or go to A&E at Aintree Hospital and often they only go when they are seriously ill, because there is no one available in social services to help prevent them from becoming ill in the first place. This is what happens when cuts to vital services are made.


“Meanwhile, High Pastures has the highest number of frail elderly patients on their books in Maghull and Lydiate and therefore faces greater pressure than other GP practices. They offer a very high standard of care but due to cuts in NHS funding, it is clearly becoming increasingly difficult for High Pastures, through no fault of their own. The GPs and staff at High Pastures are doing all they can but unless we see a complete shift in policy from the government the problems at High Pastures and at other GP practices are not going to go away. The Conservatives and Lib-Dems have caused real problems to GP practices by the lack of investment in recruitment and training and by the short sighted cuts to council budgets. But my colleagues in the Labour Action Team and I are determined to do all we can to lobby the government to make the changes that patients need.


“That is why I have written to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt calling for investment in our GP surgeries and in social care. He must recognise that it will cost more in the long run if frail elderly people do not receive the care they need as early as possible. If people deteriorate, their care becomes more expensive and they end up needing medical care for longer. The cuts that Mr Hunt has made to health and social care are a false economy. They are bad for patients, bad for our NHS and bad for the public finances. This government’s approach to health is typified by the experience of High Pastures patients and GPs alike and it simply doesn’t add up.”

MP writes to Health Secretary over GP surgery refusing to take new patients

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson, is calling on the Government to act over the lack of GP appointments in Lydiate and Maghull and has written to Conservative Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt...

More Stories >

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.