Campaigners fight for ‘underfunded’ NHS

The group of campaigners had a stall set up outside the Guildbourne Centre on Saturday (November 26)

The group of campaigners had a stall set up outside the Guildbourne Centre on Saturday (November 26)

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Members from Worthing West Labour Party gathered on Saturday (November 26) to voice their concerns over the future of the NHS.

The team joined thousands of campaigners across the country as part of the National Campaign Action Day, to ‘draw attention to the ‘funding crisis’ that ‘threatens the future of the health service’.

The team joined thousands of campaigners across the country as part of the National Campaign Action Day

The team joined thousands of campaigners across the country as part of the National Campaign Action Day

The group had a stall set up outside the Guildbourne Centre, at the end of South Street, from 10am to 2pm and handed out leaflets and spoke to members of the public.

“Our message was that the NHS has cared for us all in the past, and now we must care for it and its future,” said Jim Deen, chair of the Worthing West constituency Labour Party (CLP).

He added: “Demand for NHS services is increasing at an unprecedented rate, particularly in the Worthing area with its ageing population.

“The gap between the cost of meeting the expected demand in our local area and government funding will rise to over £162m by 2021/22.

Members handed out leaflets and spoke to members of the public

Members handed out leaflets and spoke to members of the public

“Already local NHS bosses are admitting that lack of funding is causing a gradual decline in the treatment provided across a number of key areas and the outcome for patients is gradually deteriorating.”

The chair added that Labour ‘argues the Tories have underfunded the NHS’, ‘failed on social care’ and ‘left the health service under-staffed’.

He said: “A&E departments are under more and more strain, GP appointments are harder and harder to come by and waiting lists are soaring. “According to the Autumn Statement the Government is going to allow the situation to get worse.”

Mr Deen, said by demonstrating in Worthing town centre, this has ‘showed that the Labour Party will not let the Tories destroy the NHS’ and has ‘let people know that Labour will always give the NHS the money it needs to provide the world-beating health service people expect’.

“Many people hoped Chancellor Philip Hammond would offer a lifeline for the NHS, but he barely mentioned the NHS and that was to repeat the promise of £10 billion of additional funding a year by the end of 2020-21,” Jim said.

He added: “But everyone involved in the NHS knows that cuts in social care have already eroded the value of this increase by more than half.

“Across the country, the number of elderly and vulnerable people trapped in hospital beds because there’s nowhere to move them to has rocketed to 6,450 in the latest available figures - the highest since records began.”

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