MP warns of ‘perfect storm’ threat to NHS
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