MP warns of ‘per­fect storm’ threat to NHS

Southport Visiter - - Front Page - BY JENNY KIRKHAM jenny.kirkham@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @PJ_Kirkham

LO­CAL MP John Pugh claims that the NHS in South­port is fac­ing an un­prece­dented cri­sis be­cause hos­pi­tal bosses are stay­ing silent about the pres­sures they are fac­ing.

He is par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about the strain on South­port Hos­pi­tal A&E, which treats adults from all over West Lan­cashire, South­port and Formby.

He is urg­ing lo­cal NHS bosses to come clean about the ex­tent of the pres­sures, to help the pub­lic un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter.

He said: “In South­port we have the in­gre­di­ents for a per­fect storm this win­ter.

“We have a very large num­ber of el­derly peo­ple who de­pend on the NHS for the man­age­ment of com­plex con­di­tions, a re­duc­ing num­ber of GPs, a coun­cil un­able to meet the grow­ing de­mands of adult care, a pro­jected re­duc­tion in gov­ern­ment fund­ing, a hos­pi­tal heav­ily in debt and an am­bu­lance ser­vice strug­gling to meet its tar­gets.

“If that’s not a cri­sis, it soon will be as win­ter pres­sures mount.”

The MP is call­ing for lo­cal NHS bosses to throw away the rule book which forces them to act like busi­nesses trad­ing with one an­other and come up with a plan to weather the storm.

He said: “The coun­cil, the hos­pi­tal, the GPs and the am­bu­lance and other branches of the NHS are locked into the stu­pid­ity of an ‘in­ter­nal mar­ket’ jeal­ously guard­ing their own cash and em­ploy­ing armies of bean coun­ters.

“That sys­tem is waste­ful and is break­ing down un­der pres­sure as there is sim­ply not enough money to go round.”

When asked whether South­port and Orm­skirk NHS Trust felt that it was un­der pres­sure from pa­tient num­bers, as so many hos­pi­tals across the coun­try ad­mit­ted to over the last month, NHS bosses failed to re­ply.

A spokesper­son also failed to re­spond to the re­quest for in­for­ma­tion on how the trust was cop­ing with pro­vid­ing com­pre­hen­sive care.

Therese Pat­ten, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer for the South­port and Orm­skirk NHS Trust, said: “Win­ter is al­ways a busy time for our trust, es­pe­cially in the pe­riod im­me­di­ately af­ter New Year.

“We work closely with our com­mis­sion­ers, other NHS providers and col­leagues in so­cial care to pre­pare for it. We con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence a high de­mand for care.

“I want to urge peo­ple to use A&E wisely and think care­fully be­fore call­ing an am­bu­lance.”

“A&E is for peo­ple fac­ing life-threat­en­ing and se­ri­ous emer­gen­cies such as se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents, se­ri­ous burns, breath­ing prob­lems, heart at­tacks and strokes.”

MP John Pugh has re­vealed his fears for A&E ser­vices at South­port Hos­pi­tal, in­set

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