Watts blasts Tories over NHS

Dave Watts MP says the future of the NHS looks grim under the Tories (8886291)

Dave Watts MP says the future of the NHS looks grim under the Tories (8886291)

First published in News by

THE result of the next general election will be pivotal in deciding the future of the NHS, says Dave Watts.

The Labour MP for St Helens North accused the Government of wasting more than £3b on an overhaul of the NHS and said it has broken its promise made at the election that it would not introduce any reorganisation.

He said that changes to the system have led to longer GP appointments, longer waiting times in “overcrowded” hospitals and hospitals facing financial crises.

He said: “Hospitals and GP practices had been packaged up to prepare for full privatisation of the NHS if the Conservatives win the next election.

“We have seen our own hospitals experiencing financial crisis every year, which has left it with no idea how it can financially survive.

“I am also receiving more complaints about the longer A&E waiting times and from patients waiting more than a week for a GP appointment.

"Our hospitals and GPs are struggling to provide high quality services but our NHS is now desperate for a government which will end unnecessary and wasteful competition and will work with them to end the present crisis that has been caused by a botched reorganisation.”

Watts claimed that Labour would guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours and would reverse changes that “have put profit and competition ahead of care".

He added: “The choice will be clear between a party that wants to privatise and destroy the NHS and a party that built the NHS and now wants to go on to build an integrated health and social care service.”

After Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, made similar remarks the Government accused Labour of playing politics and argued private sector involvement with the NHS had doubled in the last four years of the Labour Government.

A spokesman told the BBC its policies were about allowing doctors to make the "best clinical judgements for patients".

Labour criticisms about the plight of Whiston and St Helens hospitals' financial plight are often countered by those who claim the previous Government's policy of allowing private finance initiatives was the start of the problem.

Comments (2)

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11:15am Sun 10 Aug 14

Bill Bradbury says...

Pity Labour just carried on the Tory PFI initiative which I warned many times in Education meetings that there is no such thing as a free lunch. But nobody listened at Bradbury sounding off again which was at that time the only game on the block. The counter to this I was told "Bill we got 2 new hospitals"--so that's alright then?

So schools and hospitals have been landed with an enormous debt they have to pay off something that Private Eye was writing all through the "noughties" that they were over priced and had penalties in re-payments. One area in the NW pulled out of one as they said they could build 3 hospitals for the price of one.

However I have many friends who work at the sharp end in hospitals on the Wards and they tell me that the system is being set up to fail which will lead to the eventual privatisation of the service. So much waste and duplication and paper trails/note taking which detracts from the actual job of NURSING! Back office staff employed just to number crunch and to authorize payment for equipment. The game is that each area is protecting their budgets so delay is the norm. That is why the latest Cancer drug is deemed to be too expensive so people will die. What a disgrace. The answer is to pay for it yourself hence Privatization.

Some 35 years ago my ex head was dying and his daughter took him to Germany where she lived so she could look after him I said my goodbye before he left. To my surprise 6 weeks later he returned to St.Helens fully cured and when he told his doctor, who was also surprised to see him alive, told him that the drugs he was given in this country was banned in Germany and the one they gave him his Dr. told him it cost (then) £300 which his budget would not allow. Re. the cancer drug, nothing changes.

Unfortunately, like in Education, NHS is subject to the politics of all parties which Dave's article is just one instance. I have spoken to my practice GP over a 3 week delay for me to get an appointment and he tells me nobody wants to commit to a full time practice but are happy to pick and choose when they work as a locum. They have tried for over a year to get replacements for recent retirements of GP's at the practice.

Go to any A&E and the delay is usually over the lack of consultants who are overstretched. In the past waiting time figures have been fiddled by the very fact that if someone comes to take your blood pressure you have been "seen" and then you wait and wait and wait. They are talking of moving Wigan's A&E to Bolton!!

The public can see what is going on whilst the Politicians argue. Whatever the shape of the next Government, which for those that know me I hope will be Labour, the NHS as we KNEW it will never be the same. Be prepared for more charges for treatment already with us over hernia and varicose veins. What next??
Pity Labour just carried on the Tory PFI initiative which I warned many times in Education meetings that there is no such thing as a free lunch. But nobody listened at Bradbury sounding off again which was at that time the only game on the block. The counter to this I was told "Bill we got 2 new hospitals"--so that's alright then? So schools and hospitals have been landed with an enormous debt they have to pay off something that Private Eye was writing all through the "noughties" that they were over priced and had penalties in re-payments. One area in the NW pulled out of one as they said they could build 3 hospitals for the price of one. However I have many friends who work at the sharp end in hospitals on the Wards and they tell me that the system is being set up to fail which will lead to the eventual privatisation of the service. So much waste and duplication and paper trails/note taking which detracts from the actual job of NURSING! Back office staff employed just to number crunch and to authorize payment for equipment. The game is that each area is protecting their budgets so delay is the norm. That is why the latest Cancer drug is deemed to be too expensive so people will die. What a disgrace. The answer is to pay for it yourself hence Privatization. Some 35 years ago my ex head was dying and his daughter took him to Germany where she lived so she could look after him I said my goodbye before he left. To my surprise 6 weeks later he returned to St.Helens fully cured and when he told his doctor, who was also surprised to see him alive, told him that the drugs he was given in this country was banned in Germany and the one they gave him his Dr. told him it cost (then) £300 which his budget would not allow. Re. the cancer drug, nothing changes. Unfortunately, like in Education, NHS is subject to the politics of all parties which Dave's article is just one instance. I have spoken to my practice GP over a 3 week delay for me to get an appointment and he tells me nobody wants to commit to a full time practice but are happy to pick and choose when they work as a locum. They have tried for over a year to get replacements for recent retirements of GP's at the practice. Go to any A&E and the delay is usually over the lack of consultants who are overstretched. In the past waiting time figures have been fiddled by the very fact that if someone comes to take your blood pressure you have been "seen" and then you wait and wait and wait. They are talking of moving Wigan's A&E to Bolton!! The public can see what is going on whilst the Politicians argue. Whatever the shape of the next Government, which for those that know me I hope will be Labour, the NHS as we KNEW it will never be the same. Be prepared for more charges for treatment already with us over hernia and varicose veins. What next?? Bill Bradbury
  • Score: -2

3:57pm Mon 11 Aug 14

mikeperry109 says...

Perhaps Watts needs to be reminded why the NHS needed to be re-organised at every level.
When Labour came to office in 1997 they immediately embarked on an ambitious rebuilding programme for our hospitals – great news, we thought. However, in a cynical move to keep the borrowing hidden from view, they handed the control of the building programme to the private sector under the PFI initiative, landing the NHS with crippling debts but lining the pockets of the private investors.
In 2004 Labour negotiated a new contract with GPs allowing them to opt out of evening and weekend work while at the same time increasing the average salary to over £100,000 a year. More pay for less work and millions wasted on flying in locum doctors from Europe to provide out of hours cover.
During their time in office, the Labour government oversaw a rise in the number of targets imposed on NHS staff, with valuable resources wasted on managers to ensure that these targets were met. The consequence was that targets became more important than patients and so we had the shameful tragedy at Stafford hospital where hundreds of patients died needlessly for lack of care and respect, and since they left office, further examples have come to light.
All in all Dave, your assertion that the fate of the NHS being dependent on the result of the 2015 election is at best laughable. I seem to remember the private sector being used to treat NHS patients when John Reid was Health Secretary. While there is no doubt that the use of the private sector in the NHS is on the increase, it could be that they are providing a cost effective and efficient service.
Perhaps Watts needs to be reminded why the NHS needed to be re-organised at every level. When Labour came to office in 1997 they immediately embarked on an ambitious rebuilding programme for our hospitals – great news, we thought. However, in a cynical move to keep the borrowing hidden from view, they handed the control of the building programme to the private sector under the PFI initiative, landing the NHS with crippling debts but lining the pockets of the private investors. In 2004 Labour negotiated a new contract with GPs allowing them to opt out of evening and weekend work while at the same time increasing the average salary to over £100,000 a year. More pay for less work and millions wasted on flying in locum doctors from Europe to provide out of hours cover. During their time in office, the Labour government oversaw a rise in the number of targets imposed on NHS staff, with valuable resources wasted on managers to ensure that these targets were met. The consequence was that targets became more important than patients and so we had the shameful tragedy at Stafford hospital where hundreds of patients died needlessly for lack of care and respect, and since they left office, further examples have come to light. All in all Dave, your assertion that the fate of the NHS being dependent on the result of the 2015 election is at best laughable. I seem to remember the private sector being used to treat NHS patients when John Reid was Health Secretary. While there is no doubt that the use of the private sector in the NHS is on the increase, it could be that they are providing a cost effective and efficient service. mikeperry109
  • Score: 1

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