Margaret Greenwood MP warns of impact of NHS funding squeeze on health services in Wirral

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12 Dec 2017
Margaret Greenwood MP intervened in an urgent debate today in Parliament called by Labour MP Harriet Harman to warn of the impact of the government’s failure to provide the £4 billion extra funding that NHS England says is needed this year.

The debate was called in response to the resignation by Sir Bob Kerslake, former head of the civil service, as Chair of Kings College NHS Trust in London which he said was prompted by the refusal of government to fund the NHS at the level necessary to meet the challenges it faces like rising demand and the increasing cost of drugs and medical supplies.

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“It is clear that the government is accelerating the privatisation of our NHS.

“The government’s failure to fund the service properly is causing suffering for patients and additional stress for staff.

“Hospitals throughout the country are in the red. Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Arrowe Park Hospital, had a deficit of £11.9 million in 2016/17.

“We are seeing rationing of healthcare, which means people are going without the treatment they need.

“People in Wirral West have contacted me with their concerns and made it clear to me that they do not want to see an American-style insurance-based system introduced.

“Today I called on the government to give the NHS the funds it needs and to call a halt to the privatisation.

“It is vital we protect our NHS. If we lose it, we will never get it back.”

In September this year Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was also predicting that the deficit for 2017/18 would be £10.9 million.

Prior to the Budget the Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation and The King’s Fund estimated that the NHS faced a funding shortfall of £4 billion in 2017/18 and a gap of at least £20 billion for the period up to 2022/23 as a whole.

In the Budget the Chancellor announced only around £1.9 billion in additional funding for 2017/18 and £6.3 billion up to 2022/23.

There was no new funding for social care at all which has a key impact on hospital budgets as patients often cannot be discharged because the social care they need at home is not available.