Southport Hospital-liz-bil
PIC: Southport Labour parliamentary candidate Liz Savage and MP Bill Esterson at Southport & Formby hospital

MP Bill Esterson says he has “no faith” in the government on NHS funding after previous investment promises were broken.

The MP for Sefton Central said a recent announcement to on new hospitals and equipment “ignored” the needs of his constituents.

The MP has campaigned for new health facilities in Maghull, Formby and a walk-in centre in Southport which would also serve his constituents.

The Shadow Business Minister said: “First it was 40 new hospitals being built, then it quickly became apparent that it was only six. And that’s after a backlog of £3 billion in repairs has grown under the Conservatives with no plans announced to address that backlog. It also follows promises of new buildings and facilities which have been repeatedly cancelled or delayed. Less than 3 per cent of promised capital investment has been delivered since 2017. Meanwhile nothing for Southport where a walk-in centre would take pressure off A&E. And nothing for the much needed health centres in Maghull and Formby either. Why should anyone believe the Conservatives when it comes to the NHS?

“The government announced £1.8bn for 20 projects over the summer but it turned out that some amounted to little more than re-development of wards and clinics in the community and a rehash of previous announcements.

“Capital budgets have been raided repeatedly in recent years to prop up day to day spending in the NHS. Less than £70 million of the promise £2.5 billion promised since 2017 has been delivered. I have no faith that this recent announcement will be any different, especially given the failure of the Conservative Health Minister to say how it would be paid for when he was repeatedly asked to do so on TV.

“Southport & Formby hospital needs a walk-in centre to offer extra capacity, especially for children who can’t be seen at A&E there. Maghull desperately needs a new health centre to offer more GP appointments and I want to see this built as soon as possible. Formby needs its new facilities too. Has the government even considered what is needed here in Sefton?”

Figures show that the repair bill in the NHS is £6bn, with high risk and significant repairs needing £3bn to put right. A total of 76 hospital trusts in England reported estates and infrastructure failures in 2018/19.

Mr Esterson said: “The crumbling state of our hospitals and health centres is putting patients and staff at risk. Why has it taken the Conservatives so long to start addressing this issue?”

There are 100,000 vacancies in the NHS, including 40,000 nurses and 10,000 doctors.

Mr Esterson said: “How will the government ensure that it has enough staff to provide the best and safest care to patients. This announcement has nothing to say about the shortages of staff and there is nothing about the massive cuts to social care in our councils under the Conservatives and Lib Dems, which puts huge pressure on our hospitals, because it is much more expensive to look after older and disabled people in hospital than at home? Is it perhaps that the Conservatives have no intention of keeping their promises and are just waiting to hand our NHS to President Trump’s US healthcare companies as part of his America First trade deal??”