Parliament returned on Monday to hear the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt’s, Ministerial Statement on the performance of the NHS. What did we learn? The Government are continuing to bury their heads in the sand by refusing to admit the #NHSCrisis that is affecting patients across the country, including those in our very own Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Jeremy Hunt claimed that care is only “falling over in a couple of places” but the facts tell a very different story: a third of hospitals declared last month that they needed urgent help to deal with the number of patients needing treatment; A&E departments have turned patients away more than 140 times; several hospitals have warned that they cannot offer comprehensive care; and elderly patients have been left languishing on hospital trolleys in corridors, sometimes for more than 24 hours.
Today, we see the Tories continuing to blame everyone but themselves and their funding decisions for this wholly avoidable situation in our hospitals which the Red Cross are calling a “humanitarian crisis”. In my opinion, the Government’s refusal to provide additional funding for adult social care lies at the heart of this #NHSCrisis.
Councils have been told to put up council tax, in Birmingham this will only raise £5 million. This means the social care budget is going to cost the average council tax payer an extra £30 per year but still leaves a shortfall of £23 million. At the same time, the Tories are slashing corporation tax again which will disproportionately help big businesses. That’s why Labour is calling for the proposed cuts to corporation tax to be diverted to the social care budget.
I’m currently conducting a telephone survey of my constituents to find out their views on the funding of adult social care. If we haven’t already spoken to you, get in touch to let me know what you think by filling in my survey on social care, please click here
I’m determined to #SaveOurNHS and I think this can only be achieved by first tackling the chronic underfunding of adult social care by successive Tory-led Governments.