Council and protestors say NHS plan would lead to ‘unsafe cuts’

Protestors from Weston-super-Mare’s Labour Party and Unison were at Weston Town Hall on Tuesday to speak out against cuts to NHS budgets ahead of a full council meeting.

The Government has called on healthcare bosses to draw up Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) to make the NHS sustainable for the next five years.

At Tuesday’s meeting councillors discussed the STP for North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, which will see £305million of cuts.

The plan says hospitals must reduce admissions by 30 per cent while community care is improved. NHS organisations will also collaborate more and people will get more advice to prevent illness.

Since the STP was released, Weston General Hospital’s accident and emergency department (A&E) has been earmarked for change which could see it run a scaled-back service at night, news which prompted Tuesday’s protests.

Liberal Democrat leader Mike Bell presented a motion to council, which says the plan lacks detail and would lead to ‘unsafe cuts’. It also says the Government must address the ‘social care crisis’. Cllr Bell added: “There’s a need for more health and social care services. More investment is required, more GPs, more staff, and better access to local services is needed instead of people having to be transferred to other hospitals.”

Read More at: The Weston Mercury (4th March 2017)