NHS is ‘under strain but not in crisis’ – watch Somerset MP James Heappey speak in parliament
- Credit: Archant
Somerset’s NHS services are facing ‘real challenges’ and are under ‘considerable strain’ according to Wells MP James Heappey – who argues claims the NHS is facing a crisis are ‘not true’.
Mr Heappey spoke in parliament during a debate on NHS and social care funding this week, where he called for the Government to re-examine funding for rural areas.
He said: “There is no doubt our primary healthcare system is under considerable strain, as is our adult social care system.
“Our hospitals, too, face record demand. However, to call this a crisis is a disservice to those in the clinical commissioning group and our local hospital trust who have worked so hard to prepare for the incredible challenges they face this winter.
“To claim all is perfect right now is not true, but to claim there is a crisis is not true either.”
Weston General Hospital has faced 100 per cent occupancy at points this winter, while Taunton and Yeovil hospital have been at 81 and 82 per cent capacity respectively.
A lack of available social care has led to increased bed blocking, but the Government has given local authorities the flexibility to raise council tax to fund social care – but even significant rises will not provide enough additional cash to foot the ever-increasing bill.
You may also want to watch:
Mr Heappey said Somerset County Council and NHS organisations remain ‘very concerned’ and argued the county’s ageing population and rural standing puts even more strain on its services. Mr Heappey also said difficulty recruiting new GPs is a challenge for Somerset.
He called on the Government to re-examine its funding to make sure the financial gap between urban and rural areas does not widen.
- 1 Coronavirus cases in North Somerset at highest ever daily rate
- 2 Hundreds of children told to isolate after eight schools confirm coronavirus cases
- 3 Local Plan proposals for development in North Somerset
- 4 Cancer specialist offers tips on mental wellbeing during lockdown
- 5 Appeal after brick thrown through window in Weston
- 6 North Somerset could be placed in higher tier after national lockdown ends
- 7 County council chairman urged to resign over 'slip of the tongue' comment about gypsies
- 8 Weston General Hospital increases patient-to-nurse ratio due to rising coronavirus patient numbers
- 9 Football association charges club and players following investigation after abandoned match
- 10 175th anniversary of Weston Cricket Club book by Roger Webber to shortly be released