Mike Hill MP: Watching A&E expose made my blood boil

The national disgrace of Government mismanagement and eight years of damage done to our NHS through real terms underfunding hit home on Monday night when the national BBC news featured a 15-minute expose of a struggling A&E Department.

Thursday, 25th January 2018, 8:09 am
Updated Thursday, 25th January 2018, 1:15 pm
North Tees Hospital.

The images of people lined up on trolleys waiting for urgent care was bad enough, but what made me feel sick to my stomach was that the A&E featured was the one at North Tees Hospital.

Many of those desperately ill patients would have been from Hartlepool. It made my blood boil watching it; knowing that years ago we were conned into relinquishing our own A&E from Hartlepool Hospital and now our people are being rushed to one of the top performing units in England only to be left lying in corridors desperate for help.

If there was anything consoling from this absolute ‘horror show’ it was the staff. The nurses, doctors, paramedics and porters couldn’t have been more honest or caring in the film. But what really angered me was the plight of the A&E Doctors.

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They really are at breaking point; and that’s before we enter into discussions over the potential demise of the Stockton A&E under the Government’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership proposals headed up locally by Alan Foster OBE, the Chief Executive of the very same Trust featured on the news.

I’ve said several times in previous columns that our NHS is on the brink. So have many others; politicians, health experts and front line staff. The Government have done nothing. The only conclusion we can come to is they don’t give a damn.

THIS column was originally to be about the Pools and the amazing campaign to keep the club afloat. Before returning to the NHS I have to say I was proud to be amongst the 6,800 supporters who turned out on Saturday alongside Middlesbrough and other fans.

The result wasn’t good, but the atmosphere of hope and expectation was. I was confident that the potential new owner would have witnessed the roar of the crowd and felt and understood that pride themselves. So, it was really disappointing to hear this week that the take-over deal proposed by local businessman Chris Musgrave has hit the buffers.

I hope that deal can be rescued. The club really is as intrinsic to our town as the hospital at Holdsforth Road is.

UNASHAMEDLY back to the NHS. Nationally there are 40,000 vacancies nationwide and 560,000 people – like my Hartlepool constituents – still waiting on trolleys in A&E for over four hours across the UK. It is disgusting, inhuman and unacceptable and needs to stop, FULL STOP.

FINALLY, new data from End Child Poverty shows 34% of children are living in poverty in Hartlepool.

The figures for our town are utterly depressing but there are places in the UK where kids are even worse off. There are now constituencies where more than half of children are growing up in poverty.

Another Tory outrage, I’m afraid.