Councillors clash at politically-charged NHS debate as figures show Gloucestershire Trust deficit has almost quadrupled to £42m

HEALTH care services in Gloucestershire are under extreme and sustained pressure, deficits in the county’s NHS Trust have quadrupled and more must be done to resolve the issue.

That is the message that came from Shire Hall yesterday after the Liberal Democrats and Labour councillors on Gloucestershire County Council voted through a motion calling on the government to take greater action tackling the NHS crisis.

The politically charged meeting – the last before May’s election – saw passionate speeches from either side of the chamber on the ongoing work of NHS staff, funding issues and threats to local services in Stroud and beyond.

Councillors from the ruling Conservative group who spoke strongly against the motion accused its opposition of “scaremongering” about cuts and possible closures, but when it came to the recorded vote every single one abstained.

While recognising the incredible work of staff across the NHS are doing daily under huge pressure, Lib Dem and Labour councillors who proposed the motion said doctors and nurses were being let down by the Conservative government due to underfunding.

The motion said the NHS was going through “biggest crisis in its history”, and that this was translating for Gloucestershire residents in ambulance response times and waiting times for A&E and GP appointments.

Read more at: Strout News & Journal (23rd March 20167)