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I recently visited the Royal Bolton Hospital to meet with the Chair and Chief Executive. I’ve often expressed my concerns about the NHS in my blog and this was a good opportunity to discuss the situation facing our local services.

We’ve seen cuts to social care, ambulances, pharmacies and community facilities like our NHS walk-in centre. Practically every service is struggling with staff shortages and patients are struggling to get a GP appointment. Our NHS is clearly under pressure at every level and this often cascades down to A&E, where we see huge waiting times.

I want to make it clear that I do not place the blame for these failings with the NHS itself. Everyone is working to the best of their ability to keep services running at the highest possible standard.

It is also unfair to blame patients. More and more we are seeing services trying to reduce demand by diverting patients elsewhere. This is creating an atmosphere where people feel they are being blamed for seeking the treatment they need. We have to look at why demand is not being met, not make people feel guilty for asking for help.

Responsibility for the issues we are seeing has to lie with the Government. Funding for the NHS has been inadequate, failing to meet the changing needs of our society. It is wrong of the Prime Minister to simply say waiting times are up because demand is high, but offer no resources to meet that demand now or in the future.

Cuts to Local Councils have added even more pressure. Social care and NHS services should work hand in hand, but £4.6bn has been cut from social care since 2010. Care services are working at full capacity and as a result we see “bed blocking”. I have asked the Chair and Chief Executive to look at innovative ways to address this issue because it is unfair to both the patients needing care and the patients waiting for medical treatment.

The National Health Service will always be one of my priorities. I will continue my work locally to protect local NHS services from the cuts agenda. In Parliament, Labour is calling for the Chancellor to develop a new funding settlement for our NHS at the Budget in March.

Visiting the Royal Bolton Hospital

I recently visited the Royal Bolton Hospital to meet with the Chair and Chief Executive. I’ve often expressed my concerns about the NHS in my blog and this was a...

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The GP Out Of Hours service is there to help with medical issues when your GP practice is closed. Patients contact the service and receive a consultation with a GP on the phone. If necessary, when the situation is not urgent enough to require a trip to A&E, you will receive a face to face appointment.

 

Bolton’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants to remove this service from Waters Meeting Health Centre in Astley Bridge and locate it at the Royal Bolton Hospital in Farnworth. Given the impact this may have on members of our community I feel it is important that the public is widely consulted on this decision and their views taken into consideration.

 

This suggestion is worrying. The journey to Farnworth is a long one, particularly for those who don’t have a car or can’t afford an unexpected taxi ride. For those who do drive there would be the added cost of parking at the Hospital. People should be able to access NHS services in their own community. Much like the decision to close our NHS Walk-in Centre, I believe this is a decision driven by Government cuts rather than what is best for patients.

 

The CCG is holding an “engagement exercise” which will run until the end of February. You can complete an online survey about the proposals at http://www.boltonccg.nhs.uk/patient-zone/public-engagement/current-engagements-and-consultations

 

Several local residents have told me they feel the survey is too restrictive and does not allow them to express their opinions on this matter. If you would like to share any thoughts with me I am happy to make representations to the CCG on your behalf.

 

You can email me at: david.crausby.mp@parliament.uk

Phone me on: 01204 391909

Or write to me at: 140 Chorley Old Road, Bolton, BL1 3AT.

 

Any comments I receive I will share with the Chief Officer of the CCG. Please share this blog if you can to involve more local residents in this process.

Bolton’s GP Out Of Hours Service

  The GP Out Of Hours service is there to help with medical issues when your GP practice is closed. Patients contact the service and receive a consultation with a...

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I have written several times about the importance of public engagement with the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. If you have not yet responded to the consultation, please click here for details on how to do so. You have until Monday 16th January to make any submissions.

While I have no formal role in the process I have been making representations on behalf of local residents to both the Leader of Bolton Council and the acting Mayor of Greater Manchester.

I have also responded to the consultation myself. I am very concerned by plans to develop large portions of our green belt land, the type of housing that is proposed, the lack of a clear plan for infrastructure and public services, and the poor level of public engagement in this process.

You can read my full response to the consultation by clicking here.

My response to the Spatial Framework

I have written several times about the importance of public engagement with the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. If you have not yet responded to the consultation, please click here for...

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