[Editor: Michele Martin of SOSH was invited to respond to a letter received yesterday from Damien Moore MP. To ensure a fair right of reply, Southport Liberal Democrats and Southport Labour were also invited to respond. You can read the Liberal Democrat response HERE. Labour’s response is HERE.]
Southport Hospital has been short-staffed for many years, just like the rest of the NHS.
This has nothing to do with us ordinary citizens in Save Ormskirk & Southport Hospitals raising awareness of this situation.
It’s the result of deliberate Government policy to run down the NHS then usher in American style private healthcare.
It was the Tory government that abolished the nurse’s bursary resulting in a 23% drop in nursing applications.
After The Kings Fund warned that the NHS staffing shortfall of 100,000 would reach 250,000 by 2030 unless government policy was changed.
The government responded by changing the tax laws to force doctors into early retirement or face a financial tax penalty.
The BMJ reported in January this year that those new tax laws had resulted in a trebling of doctors taking early retirement since 2008.
We went into the pandemic with 100,000 vacancies so you’d think the government would have looked after the precious few NHS staff we still have.
Through the 1st lockdown, NHS staff were under unbelievable pressure trying to save lives.
Yet the government sent them to work without adequate PPE resulting in the death of at least 230 staff from Covid including a nurse at Southport Hospital.
While NHS staff were soldiering on, Mr Moore’s government colleagues were bypassing professional PPE suppliers and spaffing public money on their chums in companies with no experience of PPE.
Like the £108 million that went to PestFix a pest control company with net assets of £18,000.
And spending £37 billion on a useless Test & Trace system described by the public accounts committee as the “Unimaginable cost of Test & Trace” which “cannot point to a measurable difference to the progress of the pandemic”.
That £37 billion could have paid for 962,000 nurse years or 444,000 doctor years or 240 new Liverpool Royal hospitals.
Instead, much of it went to Serco who 6 months before were fined £23million by the serious fraud office for charging for tracking dead prisoners.
And now, after 2 waves of Covid half of our ICU staff are suffering from PTSD and there’s over 5 million on waiting lists for treatment, what does the government do?
The same ministers who joined us clapping the NHS on our doorsteps every week?
Do they invest in the NHS to help them meet these challenges?
No, they give the NHS nothing.
Not a penny more.
And as for the staff who risked their own lives to save ours, they award them a measly 1% pay rise which after inflation is really a pay cut.
And because they don’t fund the pay rise it’s expected to come out of existing budgets.
Where is Southport Hospital with its huge financial deficit, expected to find any extra money for a pay rise for its staff when it’s struggling to deliver the services it has.
When it’s asking St Helens to help with 12 “fragile services”.
And what is Southport’s MP’s reaction to the unremitting removal of services from Southport hospital as it’s board members try their best to squeeze service quarts from pint sized budgets?
Mr Moore votes to pass a Bill that means no body is responsible for commissioning hospital care.
So who will?
He supports a Bill that will enable private corporations to decide how health budgets are spent with every incentive (like the removal of competitive tendering) to carry on the awarding of contracts to cronies for sub standard equipment that we saw during the PPE crisis last year.
The last thing the NHS staff need now is a reorganisation.
So Mr Moore’s crocodile tears about the difficulty of recruiting staff for our hospital is like his concern for parents of children who fall sick in the middle of the night and have to find their way to Alder Hey because Southport’s lost its children’s A&E, nothing but spin & PR.
I will believe he takes Southport Hospital’s recruitment crisis seriously when he votes against the Health & Care act this autumn.
Save Ormskirk & Southport Hospital
100,000 NHS vacancies
Removal of nurses bursary reduced applications for nursing by 23%
Drs early retirement has trebled
Public accounts report on Test & Trace
Serco fined £23 million by serious fraud office in November 2019
Half of ICU staff have PTSD
At least 230 NHS staff died from Covid
What does £1billion actually pay for
New Health & Care Bill 2021