Local NHS activists today welcomed Hull North MP Diana Johnson’s demand for extra cash to help the hard hit Accident and Emergency Department at Hull Royal Infirmary. It is having to cope with the strain being imposed on the unit by a lethal combination of the impact of the Health and Social Care Bill and a funding crisis for the Trust which is expected to squeeze £100 million from its budget over the coming four years.
Speaking during a visit to the Anlaby Road site this week Ms. Johnson was quoted in the Yorkshire Post as saying, “Last week the coalition Government allocated £250m of emergency winter top-up funding for A&Es across the country. It was announced that NHS trusts in neighbouring areas to Hull and East Yorkshire – such as York, Leeds and Northern Lincolnshire – are getting extra A&E funding of up to £2m each. But the NHS trust serving Hull saw their bid for around £2m rejected.
“NHS hospitals have to cope with the coalition’s wasteful top-down reorganisation, the botched introduction of NHS 111 and the loss of thousands of nurses.
“New figures also show that the NHS in Yorkshire and Humber has lost 1,264 nursing posts since 2010 under the coalition, while the South East Coast area has actually gained 552.
“As with the distribution of council funding, Hull is not getting a fair deal from this coalition Government.
“Hull, the tenth most deprived area of the country, should be one of the first in line for any extra A&E funding.”
She added: “A&Es have had their worst summer in a decade, but now Hull’s A&E will have to get through the coming winter with none of the extra help given to other areas.”
Save our NHS Hull and East Yorkshire Secretary Theresa Vaughan said, “The Department of Health figures show that nearly a million patients across the country had waited longer than four hours to be seen at A&E last year. This is not good enough and is causing needless suffering and worry to our residents who are so much under the cosh due to the savage cuts imposed on our area by the Government”.
Campaign Group Chair Lyn Longbottom concluded, “More than ever our NHS is under attack and with the threat of being thrown back into intensive care by a toxic mix of cuts and privatisation. We must all stand up and be counted to defend the NHS free at the point of use that our forebears fought for after the sacrifice of World War Two. This Government is out to wreck it.”
The Campaign called on Ms. Johnson to commit to full repeal of the Bill plus a guaranteed return of the funding taken from our area by the Government as an absolute priority if Labour return to power in 2015, whether as a majority or in coalition.