Cllr Wendy Cooksey and Cllr David Sheppard will present a motion at the Council Meeting being held today of Rotherham Council on the NHS crisis. The motion states:
“This Council recognises that our NHS is struggling to cope. Earlier this year the Red Cross described the situation as a ‘humanitarian crisis’ and more than twenty hospitals in England declared ‘black alert’ as they faced unprecedented pressure on their services.
At present here in Rotherham 12% of patients in the area are waiting more than four hours to be seen in A&E thereby exceeding the official target of 5%. Moreover, there is a £571m funding gap for the NHS locally.
The government plans to deal with waiting times and deficits, such as the one in our area, by setting up 44 Footprint Areas across the UK including one for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to prepare its Sustainability and Transformation Plan which will:-
1. Contribute to cuts of at least £2.5bn nationally this year, and £22bn within the next five years, to wipe out the NHS’s so-called financial deficit.
2. Achieve this by implementing ‘new models of care’ that are set out in NHS England’s 5-Year Forward View (2014).
3. By NHS England’s own admission, thus provide an “enormous opportunity” to the private sector.
We welcome the focus in the STP on prevention, mental health and primary and community care. We recognise the important proposals set out in Rotherham’s Health and Adult Social Care Plan to ensure that health and social care work more closely together to better support people who need these services. However, the government’s promise of investment in these areas is just not credible when the plans set to deliver such huge cuts in public spending.
Drastic underfunding and privatisation go hand in hand. Whilst the internal market of the NHS wastes at least £4.5bn a year, cuts and crisis in turn pave the way for more of our NHS to be privatised.
In view of the limitations NHS bodies have to oppose these cuts, as opposition could risk losing access to the £8bn NHS Transformation Fund, we recognise that as a local authority we are in a strong position to make clear our opposition to the proposed cuts to expenditure.
We therefore resolve to:-
· Continue to work alongside Rotherham CCG and Foundation Trust in order to deliver the joined up services that local residents deserve, in line with our Health and Adult Social Care Plan.
· Continue to support the work of the Health select Commission in holding local decision makers to account and support our local health services.
· Increase awareness of the STP amongst the Rotherham public.
· Call for more openness and transparency from the government and the NHS about STPs so that local residents can assess the true impact of government policy.
· Reserve the option of not signing the STP in the future.
Proposer:- Councillor Cooksey Seconder:- Councillor Sheppard.”