Time for NHS to step up & provide state of the art facilities for Maghull & District

My media release to the Champion newspaper following yet another NHS letdown statement in the Aintree & Maghull edition of the paper dated 11th October 2017

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The former Lib Dem Leader of Sefton Council Tony Robertson, who now sits on Lydiate Parish Council, has stepped into the debate about a Health and Wellbeing Centre that is being proposed for the Town.

Tony says he is angry that after numerous failed attempts to upgrade local NHS facilities little if anything has changed at all. He sights the fact that when Meadows Leisure Centre was being planned it was designed to incorporate a GP practice which would have had on-site health, fitness and wellbeing facilities provided by the Leisure Centre. Sadly the NHS walked away from that opportunity and Maghull Library moved into the space the NHS could have had.

“But it does not end’ there says Tony “When Lydiate Village Centre was being planned the NHS was invited to become a partner with Lydiate Parish Council to deliver health services from the Centre. Again the NHS decided not to take up the opportunity.”

“And to put the tin lid on it the Champion has recently been asked to run an article saying that the Health and Wellbeing facility that looked like it may be coming to the Town is now only a vague possibility. This is deja vu for me because when I was given the green light a few years back from a senior Sefton Council Officer to the effect that the NHS were going to rebuild Maghull Health Centre and provide a Walk-In facility within the new building the NHS said ‘oh no we are not’ and they walked away. The Champion was asked to print a retraction back then!”

“Only recently I backed Independent Cllr. Matt Gannon in his attempt to get an NHS Walk-In facility back on track for Maghull. Matt was right to try to get this long promised but never delivered facility back in the mind of the NHS service commissioners.”

“I said at the time Sefton Council backed the opening of the Litherland Town Hall NHS Walk-In facility many years ago that I would support it on the basis that a similar facility was also subsequently provided for Sefton’s East Parishes (Maghull, Melling, Lydiate, Aintree Village & Sefton and Lunt Villages) – we are still waiting 10 years or more on!”

“Too many promises have been made, too many opportunities have been missed and my view is that those who plan for the location of NHS facilities in Sefton, be they the former Primary Care Trusts or the present Clinical Commissioning Groups, have let this part of the Borough down badly. It’s time to put that right rather than keep telling us that the answer is always NO!”

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My statement published by the newspaper in its edition of 7th November 2017.

NHS has looming crisis as winter approaches

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41559669

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

I suppose that this rather sad and worrying state of affairs is not really new news as we have all heard the warnings from doctors, nurses, NHS unions, health charities and various health watchdogs along these lines for quite a long time now.

As one of the richest counties in the world it shows how poor we are at running our own health service, or at least how poor the politicians are who run it for us.

But rest assured Boris is going to bring in £350m per week for the NHS via Brexit (the most infamous bus advert ever) so that’s going to be alright then – well it would be if it was not totally untrue like all the rest of the Brexit nonsense.

If the NHS does keel over this winter will Tory voters blame the Tories and Brexit; they should do.

JC – Hugely popular with his adoring fans BUT….

That Jeremy Corbyn has almost God-like status amongst his fans is undeniable. And why not he’s pledged to do many wondrous things that few people could argue with. He’s going to save the NHS with massive injections of cash. Save our railways with nationalisation and massive injections of cash. Save students with no more student loans/tuition fees (despite Labour previously bringing in such loans/tuition fees) and possibly paying off/refunding all the old/outstanding loans/tuition fees too. I could go on but I’m sure you get my and indeed JC’s drift.

Does he mean it? Will all his pledges come about if the electorate gives JC a majority at the next election? I’ve been asking such questions of folk I know who are involved in politics and their answers are illuminating.

Labour Party members/supporters (excepting the Momentum crowds and JC adorers of course) seem generally downbeat to me. And no, I’ve not been talking to those right wing Labour Party members who some refer to as Red Tories.

What Labour members who are sceptical of JC say is generally summed up like this:- We know he will not be able to deliver at least half of what he promises/pledges because there won’t be the money available to any incoming Labour Government to do it.

And of course this line is backed up by the present state of the economy following the the financial crash some 10 years ago and the many years of austerity we have suffered. Having said that JC is also going to kill off austerity of course!

Why only recently it’s been revealed that Brexit, which of course JC is hugely in favour of, will lead to the average household being around £4,000 per year worse off so government revenues will obviously fall, possibly dramatically too. What’s more leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, as JC wants, will in turn mean that to compete the UK will need to slash taxation (and things like the regulations that protect workers rights) so government revenues will be hit hard there too. The question being how will JC deliver his pledges with far, far less money being available to his government?

What I am saying is that Labour supporters, who are not wedded to Momentum, see a huge problem brewing for Labour in that it will fail spectacularly to deliver if it gains power at Westminster. Not my words but those of credible Labour people I have spoken to.

Wanting to do all the things that we all want doing in our society is very different to being able to deliver them and many Labour members know this.

And then you look at credible people outside of the Labour tent and the answers/comments are very similar to those skeptics within Labour’s tent. Look at this write up from Cllr. Ian Brodie-Browne:-

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/sefon-lab-councillor-decalre-year-zero.html

Whilst Iain’s blog posting is predicated on what has happened at Sefton Council meetings the thrust of it fits with what I have heard from within Labour’s tent. Indeed it’s not just me as Roy Connell told me only recently about a chance encounter he had with a senior Labour figure locally who had all sorts of worries about JC’s pledges.

I seriously want many of the things JC is pledging to be delivered – A better funded NHS, no more PFI deals to deliver public services, no more tuition fees etc. etc. But economic reality can’t be controlled to deliver enough money into the government’s purse to make wishes come true. Leaving the EU is not going to make things better economically, its going to make things worse! We will still be living in a global economy no matter how much we pretend to be little Englanders who are unaffected by world issues. Investment in the UK needs stable economics, yet we are heading directly for unstable waters due to Brexit and unrealistic spending pledges by the likes of JC.

He may be loved, he may be adored and believed (indeed he may passionately believe that all his pledges are deliverable himself) but that does not mean he can and will deliver when all the pointers say he can’t.

As Iain Brodie-Browne points out you can’t just say the new world begins today and everything that was done before it, even by Labour in government, is irrelevant history. It’s not irrelevant because it has put us where we are socially and economically. We might not like where we are, I for one certainly do not, but that does not mean we can change our situation by simply believing another better world is possible. Slamming on the brakes does not stop a massive oil tanker; our economy is like an oil tanker. No matter how much we wish and vote for massive social and economic change it will only happen slowly over many years. Stop the world we want to get off could be the slogan of Brexiters and indeed Momentum but what will actually happen if we pull the wrong leavers is that we stop economically and the rest of the world keeps spinning.

JC your world like Brexit is a seriously false and damaging fantasy and there are many in your party who know that.

NHS v DUP – it’s a no brainer to anyone outside Teresa May’s circle

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/sarah-wollaston-democratic-unionist-party-dup-tories-deal-prime-minister-austerity-a7842476.html

The Independent has the story on its web site – see link above

It seems there is a wing of the Tory Party, if only a small one, that still has some grip on reality. Makes you wonder though how MP’s like Sarah Woolaston can remain within a party that seems to lurch further towards fascism each day.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

General Election – Final thoughts

Teresa May is an appalling politician in my view. She comes across as harsh and uncaring. Her attack on pensioners is breathtaking via her Dementia Tax. And on the very Brexit issue she claimed to have called the election on she has clarified nothing whilst looking just like the very last person you would want to be negotiating with the EU for us.

Jeremy Corbyn is an old fashioned socialist from the 1970’s with a hankering for nationalisation. However, on the issue of poverty he is far from being robust. My view is that despite what looks like a left wing Labour Party they have all but abandoned the poor and those with nothing. Top that with backing Brexit and Labour are not really a progressive party at all.

Tim Farron is someone that I voted for in the party leadership election some time back. I do have my differences with him on issues such as Right to Die where I believe he has been fundamentally wrong. But on the wider picture he comes across as a true Liberal who is passionate about fighting for those with nothing. He’s condemned the Tories Dementia tax, he’s strong on environmental policy, he is a big backer of the NHS and of our personal freedoms which Teresa in particular wants to curtail.

Well you knew it anyway if you are a regular reader of this blog site – I’ll be voting for Tim’s party the Lib Dems.

Lydiate – An NHS back water with little in the way of public transport to get to major NHS facilities

There are no GP’s or dentists in Lydiate, the only dentist closed not so long ago. That in itself is unfortunate but if you look at the direct public transport links from Lydiate to the major local NHS facilities the picture is also poor.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident's petition in 2015 at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this Arriva route to Ormskirk. The battle was sadly lost.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident’s petition in 2015 at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this Arriva route to Ormskirk. The battle was sadly lost.

Lydiate (along with Aintree Village & Maghull) lost the 311 bus route in 2015 which linked it with Ormskirk and of course its hospital. Yes the 310 Liverpool – Ormskirk route just skims the eastern edge of Lydiate but its a long trek for most Lydiate residents to get to a bus stop for it on the A59.

Lydiate (together with Maghull, Melling and Aintree Village) has no direct public transport link to Litherland NHS Walk-In Centre, indeed it never has had such a link despite calls for one. I recall saying, when the Walk-In Centre first opened in the early 2000’s, that it could not reasonably be seen to serve the Eastern Parishes of Sefton Borough because of the lack of direct public transport links to it. Of course we were also fighting for a Walk-In Centre to be provided in Maghull at the time and even got to the stage of the NHS allocating money to rebuild Maghull Health Centre with provision for a Walk-In facility. But then out of the blue the NHS pulled the plug on the project for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained. I was of course pleased when Maghull Councillor Matt Gannon relaunched the campaign for a Walk-In Centre in Maghull in 2016. I also understand that Maghull Town Council will be including such an aim in its draft Neighbourhood Plan for the Town.

Lydiate’s link to Fazakerley Hospital has been via the 236 bus route in recent years. However, this route is no longer serving Lydiate as a consequence of Merseytravel confirming their Sefton Bus Review proposals recently. This is quite obviously a blow to Lydiate folks visiting friends and relatives by bus in that hospital.

Now the Sefton Bus Review proposals have been confirmed Lydiate’s only direct bus link with a major NHS facility will be via the 300 bus route to Southport and of course its hospital.

The last Chairman of Lydiate Parish Council, Dave Russell, tried every possible way possible to get an NHS facility within Lydiate Village Centre when planning for the new centre was at an early stage but the NHS managed to slip from his grasp there too.

Yes for me Lydiate is sadly an NHS back water both in terms of facilities in the community and with regard to direct public transport links to local hospitals and Walk-In Centres.

Stop Press – I had written this posting a while back but had not got around to finishing it of for publication. Then last night at Lydiate Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan meeting the very same issues came up and there seemed to be broad consensus that another attempt to gain NHS primary care facilities within Lydiate had to be made. Let’s hope such a plan will win the day this time around.