August 5, 2014

Bill Esterson



It is becoming increasingly difficult in some places to get an appointment with your GP. Just ask people who live in Hightown who often find the practice shut or who cannot get an appointment when they need. 

Meanwhile, those who can are moving to Formby or Crosby but not everyone, especially many older people. 

There is a growing crisis at GP practices and the experience in Hightown is being matched elsewhere, including in Melling. 

That is why it is vital that we gain control of our NHS and make sure that services in our communities are of the highest quality. 

Having the best community NHS services reduces pressure at A&E, where waiting times have gone up and is a better way of treating people. GP practices and other community services play a big part in preventing people from ending up in hospital and also in helping people return home again after hospital. 

The same should be said of social services. That is why hopefully after next year’s election, we will see a Labour government committed to giving you an appointment with your GP within 48 hours. 

For now, I am working with the local community in Hightown, Melling and across the constituency to try to improve your GP practices.

 

The cost of redundancy payments for NHS managers has hit almost £1.6bn since the coalition came to power and embarked on its sweeping reorganisation, according to the latest Department of Health accounts.

The total includes payouts to some 4,000 'revolving door' managers, who left after May 2010 with large payouts but have since returned either on full-time or part-time contracts.

The use of consultants who used to work full time is a massive waste of public money by the government and it follows a top down re-organisation which David Cameron promised not to carry out.

The figures released by the government, showed that in 2013-14 a total of 6,330 'exit packages' were agreed for NHS staff, at a cost of £197m. This took the total since 2010-11, when the government launched its reform plans, to 38,419 packages totalling £1.588bn. Last year some 237 managers received payoffs of between £100,000 and £150,000, 83 of between £150,000 and £200,000, and 40 of over £200,000.

Patients are paying a heavy price for reforms they did not vote for.

 

My colleague, Andy Burnham, predicted that the reforms of the NHS would cost at least £3bn and he was right. It explains why the NHS is now in such a financial mess. This scandalous waste cannot be justified when older people are being denied essential hip and cataract operations and when cancer patients are waiting longer for treatment.

Nurses denied a modest pay rise will find it galling to see millions wasted on six-figure payoffs for managers who were then re-hired. It amounts to mismanagement of the NHS on a mammoth scale and a government with its priorities seriously wrong.

The financial crisis in the NHS is also leading to the privatisation of services and that is why Labour will scrap the Health and Social Care Act if we win the election to stop the damage being done to our NHS and to the health of us all.

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