The Government has put Fylde patients and staff in danger – so why isn’t Paul Maynard calling for Tory cuts to be cancelled?
New figures produced by the House of Commons Library reveal that Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s repair bill backlog for maintenance that has a ‘high’ or ‘significant’ risk is now £5,627,802, a shocking increase of £662,764 in just three years.
The NHS defines ‘high risk’ maintenance as work that is so pressing that it “must be addressed with urgent priority in order to prevent catastrophic failure”.
The backlog has increased in every region in England, but in the North West it has rocketed by 42%.
Last year, Labour revealed a dossier of serious incidents which occurred as a result of the maintenance backlog. These included patients being forced to sleep in coats because of freezing temperatures on a ward, leaks from a ceiling onto an operating table forcing patients to be re-routed to other theatres, and blocked drains causing sewage to seep into a clinical area.
Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, has this week called on Ministers to urgently provide funding in the forthcoming Budget to eradicate the mounting backlog which is putting patients and staff at risk.
During the General Election, Labour pledged an additional £10 billion of capital funding to ensure NHS buildings and IT systems were fit for purpose.
Chris Webb, Labour’s candidate in Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said:
“The Tories are betraying the NHS, they’re betraying Blackpool North and Cleveleys, and they’re betraying the country.
“Our doctors and nurses here in the Fylde work so hard to look after us and the people we love. But we’re all being let down by a Government in Westminster that won’t pay for the basic repairs that we need to keep patients and NHS staff safe. They’re putting us and the people who care for us in danger. It’s a disgrace.
“What’s really shocking, though, is that Paul Maynard still hasn’t called on Theresa May to cancel the cuts she’s got planned for the next four years.
“If you’re the MP for this area, but you don’t support its people and its public services, then you’ve fundamentally failed.”