I write over several issues have been raised by the panel and I would like to try and address them quickly.
I would like to raise a few issues. The current deficit with NHS hospitals was predicted in January. This was raised at the time as hospitals were to be paid less forthe work that they were doing, an issue that has been the case since 2010.
The argument used by the government and NHS England is that this money is to be directed to community services. But I work in North East Essex and the CCG, which purchases community services has been told to make £14 million in savings each year and has been making cuts in services and is discussing others such as restricting the use of hearing aids in some patients with moderate hearing loss.
Next, Grant Shapps has mentioned that the Labour party has been scaring junior doctors. The BMA, the doctors union has nothing to do with the Labour Party, it is not a member of the TUC and pays no fees to the Labour party. His implication, though he has not said it, is that the doctors union, the BMA and the Labour Party are working together on this.
Also he has mentioned that thanks to the Conservatives, that people can see a GP in the evening. This has been the case for years. If anything, like elsewhere in the NHS, this is getting harder as more and more GP’s are leaving the NHS.
And last of all, the use of agency staff. With limited pay rises more staff, GP’s included have left the NHS. Why should a nurse work for less in the NHS for doing the same work then they now can earn more and have more control over hours and work life balance working for an agency. This applies to doctors and also to GP’s which is why our surgery has lost three doctors, one to early retirement and two to working a locums where they can earn more and work less hours!
If we want a health service to compare to the best in Europe, why do we not fund it as much as they do?