Tuesday, 18 December 2007
An offer you can’t refuse!
As initial visitors to this site may recall I spent quite a bit of time in my early posts detailing the review of health services in my local area and the fact that the acute hospital where I work is currently under threat of downgrading as part of a ‘reconfiguration of services’ led by our Primary Care Trust (PCT).
At about the same time it was revealed that Patsy Hewitt and Hazel Blears had held meetings at No. 10 to pour over ‘heat maps’ to determine the political effect of the proposed reorganisations.
Interestingly the publication of the controversial proposals for the ‘reconfiguration’ of our local health services was held back until after the local elections last May. I wrote to the PCT at the time on several occasions to ask who had sanctioned this change and if there was a political dimension to the decision. Although I received responses they were pretty much along the lines of ‘sub-committee A’ needs to tie up with ‘sub-committee B’ to enable the proposals to be approved by ‘sub-committee C’
I naturally drew my own conclusions and subsequently posted that if the decisions were being made to serve a political expedient then what chance did our Hospital have of missing its opportunity to be downgraded as it is situated in a solidly Tory constituency.
It was therefore with a sigh of weary recognition that I read a piece in yesterdays Times by Nigel Hawkes that noted the total capital value of the new hospitals is £4.1 billion, of which £3.5 billion (85p in every £1) has gone to Labour constituencies.
The details showed that constituencies held by Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs have missed out on Labour’s hospital-building programme. Of 46 hospitals built by Labour since it came to power, 33 are in seats that are held by Labour MPs.
Yesterday the Government announced that it is to spend £50 million on community hospitals and supersurgeries. All but one of the ten schemes for new or refurbished community hospitals is in a Labour-held constituency.
Andrew Lansley, the Tory Health Shadow (in answer to whose Commons questions the information came to light) said: “Four in every five of Labour’s new hospitals have been built in the constituencies of their own MPs. Meanwhile, ministers are holding secret meetings with Labour Party officials to target up to 60 hospital cutbacks on the constituencies of Conservative and Lib Dem MPs”.
So the moral of the story?
Vote Labour. Go on, you know you want to. Well assuming that you want to see any of the money taken from you in tax spent on health services in your own local area. And if you don’t your existing hospital gets it!
Thank you ‘Don’ Gordon, where do I sign?