Council’s call to ‘Give our NHS more funding’

MP Jeremy Hunt.

Wakefield Council is calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to sack the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Councillors last week voted in favour of a motion calling for Jeremy Hunt to lose his job, after an emotional discussion about the country’s NHS.

The authority is also calling for “adequate” funding for the health service and an end to its “chronic neglect”.

The motion, set out by Coun Steve Tulley, said the NHS was under “severe pressure” due to “continued under-funding and neglect by the Conservative government, along with the worst winter crisis on record”, putting strain on staff.

It said locally there was a 6.4 per cent increase in A&E attendance in December compared to the previous year and noted that the average bed occupancy at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, was 96.55 per cent from November 27 to January 7.

Coun Tulley said: “I would ask this council today to call on the Prime Minister first of all to get shut of an inept, useless Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and start looking at funding.”

The discussion that followed saw several councillors share their own experiences of the NHS, as well as those of friends and family members. In the public gallery, signs saying ‘save our NHS’ and ‘save our A&E’ were displayed..

Coun Pat Garbutt said: “The government need to act now. Our citizens deserve the very best care and the staff deserve to be supported in the vital work they do.”

Coun Nadeem Ahmed, leader of the Wakefield Conservatives, said he could agree with “98 per cent of the motion” but said sacking Mr Hunt would not solve any issues. He said: “The government has pledged more money but I don’t think it is enough. There’s a wider question to ask about the way the NHS is funded and what we need to do to move it forward.”

The motion said the council recognised hospital trusts are doing “everything possible” to best care for patients and commended staff for their hard work. Five Conservative councillors voted against the motion and there were two abstentions. The remaining present members voted in favour.

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