Retired Rugby GP's COMMENT: Lobby to make the Government act on NHS before it is too late

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Health news.
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The Prime Minister recently stated complacently that cancelling routine planned operations and some outpatient appointments is merely sensible planning for the winter – humbug.

For the last 12 months the Government has been repeatedly warned that the NHS and Social Care is facing a true shortage of resources, not merely money but staffing, training, recruitment and retention.

NHS Providers announced that unless the Government gives a commitment to improved long-term funding, training and recruitment then the NHS will have to reconsider what services it can provide?

We read of leaked internal emails where consultant oncologists in one hospital trust in Oxfordshire state that because of specialist nursing shortages cancer patient chemotherapy might have to be delayed or courses shortened.

On national news we were told that the failure to meet the December four-hour wait targets to be seen and treated at A&E departments is the worst ever!

Patients being treated in the ambulance outside A&E, other patients on trolleys being treated in corridors, others seen lying on the floor- when a Minister of Health in the Commons makes a statement about this he says there are plenty of chairs in the NHS!

Mrs May is heading a Government that is obsessed with Brexit while merely rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic and ignoring the iceberg ahead.

In contrast to this there are some politicians who accept the need for a long-term cross- party approach that recognises the needs for increased funding and resources for the NHS and Social Care.

Late in 2017, 90 MPs together with the chair of the Commons Health Committee Dr Sarah Wollaston wrote to the Prime Minister stating these aims and solutions.

How many people will have to continue to suffer the indignity of lying on a trolley in A&E for hours? God forbid how many more will have to die on a trolley.

And how many cancer patients will have their chance of cure or palliation denied them because of Government inaction?

Remember the Government decides on its policy of what not to spend money on.

Its policy on the NHS and Social Care amounts to a deliberate starving of resources when we live in the sixth largest economy in the world.

I would ask all who can to lobby their MP to put pressure on the Government to act before it is too late.

Barrie Bemand
Retired GP

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