THURROCK Labour have continued to put pressure on the Thurrock Conservatives over their stance on the condition of the National Health Service.
AS YT reported at January’s Full Council meeting, councillor Rob Gledhill twice refused to describe the issues in the NHS as a “crisis” and opposed calls to ask the Government to properly fund the NHS.
A motion was brought to the council meeting by Labour Councillor Oliver Gerrish which called for the council to “use all powers and influence to apply pressure on Government” to solve the crisis.
Speaking at the meeting, he said “There is a severe crisis in the National Health Service. It is a crisis that threatens patient safety and is causing misery for many thousands of people in the UK. “I believe that we have a responsibility to advocate for the residents of Thurrock. That we must do what is in our power to help resolve the crisis – but more, that we take this issue to the door of the government and demand a resolution.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Gerrish continued: “Thurrock’s Director of Public Health uses the term “crisis” about our care system. The British Red Cross even use the word “humanitarian crisis” and have gone further to say that their aid is vital in helping to resolve the issue. It seems everyone other than the Tories is calling this a crisis.
“Basildon Hospital has been on Black Alert for a significant proportion of the last year. There have been “significant” cancellations of planned operations and people are this week being asked to avoid A&E unless their condition is literally ‘life threatening’. They are also under enormous budget pressure and finished 2015/16 with a £26.9m deficit.”
Councillor Gerrish continued, “At the end of last year, Conservative Councillor David Finch, Leader of Essex Council called directly on the Chancellor to recognise the crisis in Adult Social care, saying the Social Care Levy ‘does little to address what is a national issue which is now at crisis point’. We are calling on Thurrock Tories to stand up for Thurrock residents in the same way. So far, the silence is deafening.”
Thurrock Labour have been speaking about the NHS as part of the Labour Party’s Care for the NHS campaign. It calls for proper funding for Britain’s struggling NHS and Social Care systems which have been starved of cash over the last six years.