York hospitals crisis prompts call for probe as……..

 …….Liberal Democrats publish plan to invest an extra £8 billion a year in NHS

LibDems NHS graphic Jan 2015

Media reports are suggesting that unprecedented numbers of people have visiting A & E departments at the York and Scarborough hospitals over the last 3 weeks, leading to unacceptable delays in treatment.

The hospital has not published any figures for patient numbers and waiting times recently and the Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for “Health” has offered no comment.

Responsibility for scrutinising the performance of the health service in York now also rests with the York Council but again no statements have been issued and no special meetings scheduled.

Some are claiming that “bed blocking” – discharges from hospitals delayed through lack of spaces in nursing homes – is partly responsible for the crisis.

The hospital management are right to ask people not to misuse A & E services when other options may address their issues.

But more facts  about relative demand levels, together with the publication of up to date performance statistics, would help residents understand the problem rather more than they do now.

The latest Care Quality performance monitoring stats can be downloaded by clicking here (December 2014)

Liberal Democrats to increase NHS funding by £8bn by 2020

NHS funding will increased by at least £8bn per year in real terms by 2020.

The Liberal Democrats are the first party to present a plan to meet the financial needs of the NHS as set out by Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England in his Five Year Forward View.

key_nhs.jpg

To achieve this boost in funding by 2020/21, Liberal Democrats will do three things:

 1) We will baseline into the budget of the NHS, the additional £2bn that Liberal Democrats secured in the Autumn Statement for 2015/16.

2) In addition to this funding we will invest a further £1bn in real terms in 2016/17, as we set out at our Autumn Conference. This will be paid for by capping pensions tax relief for the richest pensioners (saving 500m), aligning divend tax with income tax for those earning more than £150,000 (saving £400m) and scrapping the Conservative shares for rights scheme (saving £100m).

3) Once we have finished the job of tackling the deficit in 2017/18, we will increase health spending in line with growth in the economy.

As well as increasing NHS funding, the Liberal Democrats will also commission a non-partisan fundamental review of NHS and social care finances in 2015 before the next spending review, in order to assess the pressures on NHS budgets.

We will focus extra funding on two key priorities that will help reduce cost pressures in other areas to help NHS funding remain sustainable. These priorities are:

1) Mental health. We want to end the discrimination against mental health and have pledged £500m extra a year to support this from 2015/16 onwards.

2) Prevention. Keeping people healthier for longer and supporting people to stay as healthy as possible and to receive care closer to home.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party to set out a credible road map for how we will safeguard the NHS over the next parliament.

Neither Labour or the Tories have a credible response to the funding challenges that the NHS faces.

Labour have pledged £2.5bn only to be fully introduced by the third year of the next parliament and have not committed to any additional real term increases beyond that, while the Conservatives have made no specific real terms funding commitments.

Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to increasing NHS funding by £8bn in real terms by 2020

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