At least they could be honest. It’s so irritating when the Tories seek to pull the wool over our eyes. Over the weekend the Red Cross stated that the, “British health care services was facing an humanitarian crisis.” Those are words used for war-torn countries. At 8.10am this morning on BBC Radio 4 Jeremy Hunt outlined how he wanted to overhaul the mental health system. Where will the funding come from? Thin air, he’s expecting existing services to cover the cost and carry the burden. This, whilst extolling the greatness of the British health system.
Let’s take a look at the real picture. World Bank figures for health expenditure as a percentage of GDP puts the UK as 14th in the European Union (EU), on average between 1995 and 2014, way below the EU average. The UK is well, well down in its expenditure compared to many countries in the world.
What Hunt is arguing for now is trying to get more for less. In the Sustainability & Transformation Plan for Cornwall, it’s clear the driver is to cut costs and not to improve our health, social care or mental health services. Deep down in the plan on Page 79 of Full Draft Outline Business Case the plan reveals the £264 million cut being proposed. We’re given until Friday 20 January to comment in the consultation in the online survey. Or get to one of the consultation meetings in Cornwall – for us:
Monday, 16 January 3:00 - 4:30pm: National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
Wednesday, 18 January 3:00 - 4:30pm: Truro Health and Wellbeing Centre
This in the light of many GP’s giving up the ghost because of the pressure of steadily increasing workload according to The King’s Fund. The King’s Fund also reports, “The lack of available beds is leading to high numbers of out-of-area placements for [mental health] inpatients. Out-of-area placements are costly, have a detrimental impact on the experience of patients and are associated with an increased risk of suicide.” Cutting costs and leaving the care of the elderly to the market place leads to abuse in Cornwall Care Homes according to Panorama, Nursing Homes Undercover.
According to Statistics Times the UK was the fifth largest economy in the world in 2016. The Tories should wake up to the fact that the UK is dragging well behind on the world stage and respond by fully funding our health & social care services, not cut them.