March 3, 2015

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Across Merseyside we have seen cuts to council budgets for the last five years.

Those cuts have had a big impact on our NHS, as social services have struggled to support people at home and to help them get home again after being in hospital. 

Labour is proposing bringing health and social care closer together and councils like Labour-run Sefton have already made a start. 

Closer integration of health and social care is a key part of Labour’s plan to solve the growing crisis in our NHS where hospitals are unable to meet the target waiting times at A&E, where some GP surgeries rely on locums and offer appointments in three weeks time and where we see growing privatisation of services. 

Labour will stop the privatisation of health and also guarantee an appointment with your GP within 48 hours. 

But we know that in the last five years, the government has passed responsibility to local councils and to local NHS managers at the same time as it has cut funding. 

In Sefton the government has cut 46% of the money for council services. 

In councils in some Conservative areas the government has actually increased the funding. 

The government has talked about localism, but in practice localism has meant passing the blame to local authorities for government decisions. 

We have seen this with cuts to services where the government has tried to blame councils, police and fire authorities when the government is responsible. 

We have seen it with changes to planning rules, where developers are allowed to build on green fields and green belt land and councils have to let them or the government allows even more
building to take place. 

And we have seen it with our NHS, where the Health and Social Care Act has tried to avoid the blame for the damage it is doing to patients and staff. 

Labour will abolish the Health and Social Care Act and we will make sure our health and social care system works for patients and enables staff to do a better job. 

Over the last five years, it has been clear that the priority for our NHS has been to make money for private health firms, many of which are run by Conservative and Lib Dem MPs. 

Only Labour is committed to saving our NHS and we will do just that.