After nearly 10 years of Tory austerity no organisation has been as impacted as our NHS. Swinging cuts to social care, the closure of children’s centres, the shortage of GPs has combined to result in an NHS on the brink of collapse.
On top of that, the impact of Brexit on the NHS’s ability to attract staff from other EU countries was causing grave concern as early as 2017, when the Nursing and Midwifery Council reported a 96% reduction in applications from other EU countries.
According to the government’s own figures, between 1 April 2019 – 30 June 2019 there were 90,992 advertised full-time equivalent vacancies in England, leaving the remaining workforce under extraordinary pressure, with doctors, nurses and allied professional groups facing a daily struggle to deliver the standard of care they were trained to.
In Crawley, registering with a GP in the town, let alone in your neighbourhood, is no longer a given.
Waiting times, even for urgent cancer referrals, are up and the statistics on cancelled operations show where the real cost is being felt. Last year, 78,981 operations were cancelled nationally. In our local trust there has been a near 30% rise in cancelled operations affecting 3,397 local people. The number of operations cancelled because of staffing issues and/or equipment failures has gone up by a third in the last two years.
It’s clear to all that our NHS is in a funding and staffing crisis.
Labour Parliamentary Candidate Peter Lamb said: “There can be little doubt that a combination of underfunding and failed recruitment strategies, has bought our NHS to its knees.
“Hearing first hand from local Consultant Surgeon, Tim Campbell-Smith was enlightening. The facts and figures tell a story but Tim sees every day the impact that this is all having on people right here in Crawley.
“Another five years under Tory control, with future U.S. trade deals clearly circling like wolves, will surely take the NHS we have all grown up with and depended on, tipped over the edge.”
Mr Tim Campbell-Smith said: “The NHS is on its knees in terms of funding, staffing and infrastructure. In my 25 years of service, I have never known it so run down, and the staff so demoralised. It needs serious sustained investment to get it back on its feet & only Labour can be trusted to deliver on this.”