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Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with 59-year-old grandmother Lynne Taylor.

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson told MPs that undue pressure was being put on an already crisis-hit A&E because of locum doctors at surgeries.

Bill referred to the case of one of his constituents from Thornton which highlights how the rise in locum doctors in surgeries throughout Sefton Central are putting even greater strain on hospital Accident and Emergency departments.

Speaking in Parliament, Bill told MPs, including Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of Lynne Taylor's experiences with her local SSP-run doctors' surgery.

Bill said: "My constituent Lynne Taylor had a chest infection but was sent to A&E by a locum because of a lack of appointments at her GP surgery. At A&E Miss Taylor was told that her doctor should have diagnosed her illness without her having to go to A&E at all. Wouldn’t the guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours help patients like Miss Taylor who need to see their doctor and wouldn’t it also be a big step in reducing the huge pressure at A&E?"

The 59-year-old grandmother told the MP that she hates going to her local surgery because she never gets to see a doctor she has seen before.

Ms Taylor said: "My surgery here in Thornton is a nightmare. It's difficult to get an appointment and when you do, you end up seeing a locum who doesn't know you and who doesn't have a clue about your health history.

"On one occasion, I had to see a doctor. I couldn't get an appointment to see my regular GP, so as usual it was a locum. Among other things, I suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I was struggling to breathe and I was breathless. I explained to him I had pains in my chest and he immediately left the room and rang 999.

"A paramedic arrived and I was taken to A&E. I spent over six hours there after which I returned home with nothing more than a chest infection. I have a history of slight chest pain. Because it was a locum, the doctor wasn't aware of that. He didn't even examine me. There was no need to send me to A&E.

"The problem is the constant use of locums. It has been like that at my surgery since 2013. If I am lucky enough to get an appointment, then the chances are I'll see a locum. It's gotten to the stage that I hate going because I just have to keep explaining my whole medical history each time I go.

"I am not the only one complaining about this. There are lot of people who live in my community who I meet who are very unhappy with the service we are getting around here. And it only seems to be getting worse."

Bill Esterson said the problems Ms Taylor and other patients in Thornton were experiencing were replicated throughout the constituency.

Bill said: "I have been contacted by constituents from throughout Sefton Central all telling me the same story. They either can't get a GP appointment and when they can get in, they are seeing locums instead of their regular GPs.

"The inconsistency is causing great distress for lots of people, including Ms Taylor whose specific case highlights the pressures that this government's health policies are putting on our A&E.

"This Tory-Lib Dem Government opened the door to private companies running GP surgeries as we have seen throughout my constituency. This in turn has led to an increase in complaints from people who say the surgeries are being staffed by locums instead of regular GPs. Locums will not have the personal connection with a patient that is built up over years and will therefore not know the patient's medical history. Which, as we saw in Ms Taylor's case, led to A&E having to deal with another patient at a time when they are already stretched to breaking point."

Bill said what is needed is a return to the 48-hour guarantee.

Bill said: "When we were in government, Labour introduced the 48-hour guarantee, which meant that patients could always get to see a GP within two days at the most. The scrapping of that guarantee by the Tories and Lib Dems has in part led to this A&E crisis. People are going to A&E when they should be seeing their GP.

"Savage cuts to social care funding are also forcing patients to seek help at our hospitals which, despite the best efforts of the doctors and nurses, are buckling under the strain.

"We need a return to the 48-hour guarantee and we need save our health service from the disastrous policies of the Tory-led government which are leading to the death of our NHS."

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with 59-year-old grandmother Lynne Taylor.

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson calls for return to 48-hour guaranteed GP appointments to alleviate pressure on A&E as he tells MPs of exeriences of Thornton grandmother

  Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson told MPs that undue pressure was being put on an already crisis-hit A&E because of locum doctors at surgeries.

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Labour councillors on Maghull Town Council are recommending a freeze in the town council precept - the fourth consecutive freeze since Labour took control in 2011.

A full meeting of the town council will meet on January 28 to formally vote on the proposal to again freeze the precept, as proposed by Labour councillors.

Maghull Town Council's clerk told a meeting of the council last week that the precept freeze is the equivalent of a 14% reduction in the precept since 2011 - the period Labour has controlled the council.

Councillors heard that if Maghull Town Council had followed Sefton's rises, the precept would have increased by 25%.

Maghull Town Council Labour leader Cllr Patrick McKinley said the precept freezes have been as a result of Labour's determination to get the best value for money for the town's tax payers.

Cllr McKinley said: "From the moment Labour took control of Maghull Town Council in 2011, we have had a root and branch appraisal of the town council's expenditure with the aim of eliminating waste. This has meant that we have been able to continue to provide the best quality of service while not incurring any charges on residents.

"This has only been possible due to our dual pronged approach to managing the council in a professional way, one being a more financially prudent council and two increasing the income we derive
from council activities.

"But as well as protecting the level of service for our residents, we have actually expanded the services the town council provides for the community. So you have seen us launch community events like Maghull Fest, the Christmas celebrations and support for our older residents, while also building on the traditional fireworks display.

"As well as that we have launched a number of innovative initiatives like the Emporium business incubator and Maghull Community Radio."

The town council also agreed for the first time not to increase the scale of charges for community activities for residents, such as use of the bowling green.

Cllr McKinley said: "We are determined to get value for money for the people of Maghull, and that is exactly what we are achieving.

"We are delivering on our commitment to deliver a lot more for less."

 

Labour-run Maghull Town Council set to freeze precept for fourth consecutive year

Labour councillors on Maghull Town Council are recommending a freeze in the town council precept - the fourth consecutive freeze since Labour took control in 2011.

Formby Labour councillor Catie Page is urging people to have their say on future of Duke Street Park.

Formby Labour councillor Catie Page is urging members of the community to have their say on what improvements they would like to see at Duke Street Park.

A small amount of funding is currently available for improvements at the popular park, but Cllr Page, who is Community and Safety Partnership Committee chairman, said it is imperative that residents and park users themselves get to decide what the money is spent on.

Sefton Council is holding two drop in sessions at Formby Pool to give residents the chance to air their views.

The first, on Wednesday, January 28 from 3pm-6pm, will give you the chance to have a say on what improvements you would like to see in the park.

And another will be held on Wednesday, February 25 from 3pm-6pm to discuss the options that have been suggested.

Ravenmeols Ward Labour councillor Catie Page is encouraging everyone to attend.

Cllr Page said: "Funding is currently available to make some improvements to Duke Street Park, but I think it's residents and people who use the park that need to make the decision on what the money is used for.

Formby Labour councillor Catie Page is urging people to have their say on future of Duke Street Park."There are lots of improvements that could be taken, such as improvements to the entrances, toilets, tennis courts or include additional features such as play equipment and multi use games area, but the best people who make the decisions are the people in this community who use the park.

"The drop in sessions are the ideal opportunity to have a say in how Duke Street Park evolves in the future.

"So please take the opportunity to take advantage of these sessions and call in and have your say or if you can't attend, send us your views ."

Cllr Page also welcomed suggestions for the creation of a 'Friends of Duke Street Park Group'.

Cllr Page said: "I think a Friends Group for the park is a great idea. These groups do a great job making sure that a specific park gets the attention it needs.

"Duke Street Park doesn't currently have a Friends Group, but it is certainly an option that I would be interested in.

"If you are interested, please let us know."

Have your say by attending the drop in session or by  emailing  parks@sefton.gov.uk

 

Formby Labour councillor Catie Page urges people to have say on what improvements are needed in Duke Street Park

Formby Labour councillor Catie Page is urging members of the community to have their say on what improvements they would like to see at Duke Street Park.

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