Grantham Journal letter: Blame A&E crisis on Government

Protest march through Grantham against night-time closure of town's A&E department.
Protest march through Grantham against night-time closure of town's A&E department.
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Following the excellent demonstration against the downgrading of A&E services on Saturday, it was disheartening to hear Nick Boles argue that this is a ‘non-political event’.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Despite the chronic incompetence of ULHT the whole shambles can be really laid at this Government’s door.

Nick Boles cannot escape the fact that his Government made a series of political decisions to prolong austerity in the public sector and to demand cuts in NHS budget of 22 billion pounds by 2020.

The effect of this is NHS Trusts up and down the country effectively having to cut staff which then results in cuts to services.

Grantham is not alone; a trust in Staffordshire have made the disgraceful decision not to offer A&E services to under 18s and in Leeds there are proposals to close the equivalent of five wards.

Nick and his Government will claim to be investing more in the NHS then ever before.

But the reality, according to the charity Health Foundation, is that the cuts to the overall health budget mean that UK health spending fell from 7.3 per cent of GDP to just 6.7 per cent this year. This puts the UK significantly below comparable countries like Germany, France, and the United States.

It suits Nick and his party to try and present the downgrading of Grantham’s A&E services as a ‘little local difficulty’.

In fact, the terrible reality is that Grantham Hospital is a victim of a savage ideology that prioritises austerity above the health needs of the community.

Rob Shorrock

Chair of Grantham Labour Party