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Ealing and Northfield

Situation hyperbolical. Less cheap shots please. Labour’s Rupa Huq knows better than this

Today the Labour candidate for Ealing Central and Acton, Rupa Huq, has produced a typically sided piece for the ealingtoday.gov.uk website which I guess will be reprinted verbatim by the online version of the Gazette at least.

SaHF FAQHer party’s misrepresentation of the changes to the local health system, known as Shaping a Healthier Future, are debunked by the NHS itself here.

Labour refuses to acknowledge that the closures we have had locally under the Shaping a Healthier Future programme are not as extensive as they make out and would have happened anyway under a Labour government, being as they are merely the delayed local roll out of Labour’s own £20 billion Nicholson Challenge programme kicked off by Andy Burnham in 2009.

On the whole Rupa Huq seems like a nice lady so it was very disappointing to see her use the death of a child to weaponise the NHS as an issue yet again. She might have troubled to look up the name of baby Muhammad Hashir Naveed who died when his parents erroneously took him to a closed A&E facility at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield. It really wasn’t very classy.

NHS White Paper 1944As a Conservative and a huge fan of the NHS I was also disappointed that an academic can tell such a one-sided story of the foundation of the NHS.

Huq said:

Labour founded the NHS in 1948 to Tory opposition then and only Labour can rebuild and protect the health service now by taking the strain off our hospitals by funding an integrated care system, where residents can see their GPs before they find themselves in hospital and by reversing the break up and sell off the NHS.

So voters need to remember all this as they cast their vote on 7th May and support Labour as the only party who created the NHS and who will stand up for it because if the Tories sneak back into power with their plans for more cuts and closures it’s no exaggeration to say that there is a serious risk that there won’t be an NHS in this country anymore in the sense envisaged by its founding father Nye Bevan and that would be no less than situation critical.

The NHS was the product of a long running debate through much of the first 40 years of the 20th century. During the war the consensus emerged that there should be a comprehensive health service free at the point of use. This consensus was crystallised in the 1944 NHS white paper produced under Conservative Minister of Health Henry Willink. The Conservatives went into the 1945 election offering this in their manifesto:

The health services of the country will be made available to all citizens. Everyone will contribute to the cost, and no one will be denied the attention, the treatment or the appliances he requires because he cannot afford them.

We propose to create a comprehensive health service covering the whole range of medical treatment from the general practitioner to the specialist, and from the hospital to convalescence and rehabilitation; and to introduce legislation for this purpose in the new Parliament.

Yes, the Conservatives did vote against Bevan’s bill because it ignored the white paper which envisaged local authorities being in control and opted instead for the massively centralised NHS controlled by central government that we have being trying to get away from ever since. I am sure that Rupa Huq has enough book learning to know she is making cheap points on the foundation of the NHS and its more recent finances.

The NHS has been safe in Coalition hands for the last five years and will thrive under a Conservative government for the next five.

3 replies on “Situation hyperbolical. Less cheap shots please. Labour’s Rupa Huq knows better than this”

Phil

There have been too many lies it would seem. SaHF has lost all credibility.

I want a very simple statement which just says this.

We recognise that the significant rise both actual and forecast for the next thirty years means that we shall maintain a full A&E service at Ealing Hospital for many years to come. Some of those services will be raised to equal some specialist and world renowned standards, available only at our top hospitals.

Signed off by Tory and Labour Secretaries of State, the new CEO of NWNHS, the CCG and NHS England.

George,

No-one will give it you because it would be a mis-allocation of resources. It is quite simple. At whatever level of funding for the NHS choices have to be made and poor ones mean people will die needlessly.

What do you mean “full A&E service”?

In our part of London all major trauma (ie the kind of injuries that tear you apart) go to St Mary’s and have done for years. The paramedics stabilize you and drive you past all the other A&Es that can’t save and drive you to St Mary’s. This has been happening for years now and means you are much more likely to survive as St Mary’s has specialist facilities and a full rota of trauma consultants.

Cardiac and stroke care have similarly been centralised with concomitant improvements in outcomes.

The use of primary angioplasty is vastly improving heart attack outcomes and can only really be achieved by rolling out fewer specialist centres as it requires specialist equipment and staff. See here: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/press-releases/nearly-half-heart-attack-patients-treated-primary-angioplasty

Read about stroke here: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g4757

So what do you mean?

Phil

Now while I don’t understand the Labour party’s approach to the NHS, or on quite a few policies, and while I don’t know if all those ex public servants or research assistants who are aspiring politicians understand financial management, I do believe you have got some explaining to do.

When you decide to build and include an A&E then you have committed yourself to a budget. That’s what I am asking for and a statement along the lines suggested is how not I, but we shall be convinced. I think you say Hunt will keep the Ealing A&E. What does that mean in English? It sounds so incredibly fork tongued. We are fed up with politicians being wishy washy on communication skills. So kindly please stop faffing.

Your other point, possibly limited to being “torn apart” or a heart attack/stroke, is one I cannot answer in a way you seem to suggest. I am not a medic. Thank you anyway for the links.

Either I have seen or I know from conversation at the hospital the consultants and doctors are opposed to Ealing A&E closure. I have to trust them more that they know more about local needs. It’s not my fault that politicians have lost the trust of our people.

Close the A&Es, or sneak in reductions in their range of services, and in time the need for local hospitals will shrink. The range and depth of local medical skills will wither.

Boris says population will increase by 1M in about (only) 30 years. West London is a culprit. Are we to close down hospitals or reduce services in the short term to leave our children having to travel further afield as they get older? Are we to relax planning so land is given to housing but nowhere left to build new hospitals? Are we to have hospitals which are difficult to get to? Are we to continue having a London Ambulance service which is reported as really struggling nowadays? Are we to increase death by seeing ambulances struggle through increasing traffic jams? Are we to have remote hospitals with no bus routes and no provision for new buses? Are we to be governed by people in administrative bodies (CCGs and the NHSNWL BOARD) who will not engage with the public and can’t plan something as simple as transport needs or plan a closure of an A&E dept before the revised one at Northwick was ready? Are we to reduce the growth of knowledge that comes from the leading edge specialisms in eg St Mary’s from entering local A&Es to satisfy a dry accountant, now happily for the community, retired? Why can we not recognise that we want knowledge spread into more hospitals, rather than keep it wrapped up in a couple of places inaccessible to Ealing denizens? Have we noticed that A&E waiting times are longer at Ealing, Northwick and W Mid, and how many more days might elapse before they are in special measures like in East London? Why do we see those waiting times are much worse than other A&Es where targets are also being missed? How will we provide services if there is a terrorist attack in several places or a disaster or epidemic requiring very specialist medical attention but which makes remaining specialist hospitals inaccessible or oversubscribed? How long do we have to wait before Councils can provide beds to release beds in hospitals? Or is that another unmanageable planning issue impeded by funding reductions? Are we to be blinded by the astonishing brilliance of some medical advances in a very small number of locations – resulting in closures elsewhere?
Is it easier to kill people in poverty nearer to Southall than those who live closer to Chelsea?
Can we think further than the day after tomorrow?

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