GP services have not grown with demand
NHS budget Bishop’s Stortford
GP appointments are taking longer to get and A&E visits are heading the same way with January having the highest ever recorded wait times.
The reasons for this are much more than just lack of funding. The NHS budget Bishop’s Stortford has missed the drastic cuts of Tory austerity but has still seen considerable ‘efficiency savings’. GP services have not grown with demand, ‘walk in centres’, as in Harlow and Hertford, have closed. This means less alternatives to an A&E visit, but the squeeze is coming from both ends as it is getting harder to move people out of hospital once they are well enough to be cared for back in the community.
Social care is the service that cares for people in their own home, or a care/nursing home, for mostly the very elderly and the disabled. Local County Councils organise the service and choose how to fund it NHS budget Bishop’s Stortford. Government provides a grant to part fund local council services, but since the coalition government started in 2010 the grant has halved and will be completely removed by 2021. Across the whole country, grant cuts have translated into a 17% reduction in social care funding NHS budget Bishop’s Stortford, 28% less district nurses employed and about 400,000 vulnerable people removed from publicly funded social care.
It is as if hospitals are roundabout that are having the exit roads closed while more entrances are added. Growing the roundabout with extra Hospital funding is the unnecessarily expensive fix. The real solution is to fund more GPs, ‘walk in centres’ and social care available in the community.
So would Labour be any better dealing with an NHS crisis ? Well that was the case when Labour last took power and they put into place a long term program to increase NHS funding NHS budget Bishop’s Stortford to the EU average.
They created the ‘walk in centres’ and NHS 111 Helpline along with a fundamental culture change from ‘doctor knows best’ decision making to ‘patient experience’ driving improvements. They introduced the measurement of ‘seen within 4 hours in A&E’ and ‘patient satisfaction’ surveys as the measures of success. In 2010 the Tories inherited the highest patient satisfaction recorded, but it has been downhill since then.
If you have an emergency, go to A&E, but if you are not sure, consider using the Minor Injuries unit at Herts & Essex Hospital staffed by nurse practitioners (no doctors) open Mon-Fri 9-4:30 (Call 01279 655191 ext 4298), or if you need medical advice try calling the NHS ‘111’ non emergency number, open 365/24/7. If the right drug will cure you then pharmacists are as good as doctors, ask them. Else try and get a same day GP appointment (they do exist, honest). Our nearest A&E is Princess Alexandra in Harlow.
NHS budget Bishop’s Stortford article supplied by Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth Labour Party