Stockport Lib Dems continue campaign against Health Service cuts

Stepping HillStockport Liberal Democrats have continued their campaign against cuts to our Health Service by tabling a motion to be debated at the meeting of the Full Council next week.

Cllr Iain Roberts, Leader of Stockport Liberal Democrats, said: “Having raised the issue of increases to staff car parking charges, the wider cuts to hospital services and, most recently, the increased patient and visitor parking charges at Stepping Hill Hospital we are bringing a motion to the Council which highlights our concern about the way the Conservative Government is failing to provide fair and transparent funding for our health service.

“A key issue is the continual cuts to preventative budgets including Public Health, which will only lead to ever more demand for expensive and unnecessary hospital admissions.”

Cllr Keith Holloway, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Stockport Together, said: “The under-investment by the Conservative government in both NHS and non-NHS Health Spending puts at risk our efforts to save money by pooling our budgets with the Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver preventative health care and makes it more likely that the NHS will face a major crisis in the near future.”

The text of the motion follows and will be debated by the Full Council on Thursday 15th September:

Health Service Cuts

This council meeting notes with grave concern:

  •  Stepping Hill Hospital’s budget deficit, which has led to proposals to close a ward, to lose 350 full-time equivalent staff, to increase parking charges for staff, patients and visitors and to sell off part of the hospital site;
  • The £30bn black hole in NHS funding, acknowledged by all parties in the run up to the last election; 
  • That £22bn of this funding gap is to be tackled through spending cuts in the NHS;
  • That KPMG have been brought in to Stepping Hill Hospital and University Hospital of South Manchester Foundation Trusts under the NHS Improvement Programme to support local managers to find savings, at a reported cost of £2m per hospital;
  • The draft Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), which are likely to result in further cuts to services in hospitals; and
  • The Conservative government’s cuts to the local public health budget, including in-year cuts totalling well over £2m for the current and previous financial years, with a further 2.5% cut announced for next year.

This council meeting believes:

  • The medium-term solution to these issues is the Stockport Together approach of local services delivering preventative health care and avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions;
  • To achieve this, it is imperative that in the short-term we have sufficient investment for both the hospitals and the local provision; and
  • That under-investment by the Conservative government in both NHS and non-NHS Health Spending such as Public Health makes it less likely that the Stockport Together-style approach will work and makes it more likely that the NHS will face a major crisis in the near future.

This council meeting resolves:

  • To reaffirm its commitment to Stockport Together and the use of pooled budgets with the Clinical Commissioning Group; and
  • To ask the Chief Executive to write to the Health Secretary, calling for fair and transparent funding for our NHS and non-NHS Health Spending.

Moved: Cllr Iain Roberts
Seconded: Cllr Keith Holloway

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