Sal Brinton and Rebecca Hanson meet health workers in Copeland

Party President Sal Brinton has been to Copeland to campaign with our by-election candidate Rebecca Hanson. They met with local health workers to hear about their concerns.

From the News and Star:

Mrs Hanson said that the meeting – held at Keswick’s Quaker Meeting House – also allowed the health leaders to truthfully express their own opinions on the situation in Copeland.

They don’t get heard on any of this because they’re suffocated with people from elsewhere trying to impose structural change on them that won’t work and won’t make any sense in any way,” she added. “I’d created sessions specifically because I know this spirit and I know it could emerge and it was just lovely to see.

“They were going into some really technical detail about the kind of schemes they’re trying to get approval for that would improve and lead to better training for multi-skilled consultants.

She knew some of the people and bodies that they’re working with, so she was able to make a connection and will be talking to those people, including Norman Lamb.”

Mrs Hanson said that health leaders also voiced their concerns about proposals put forward by the Success Regime, which include an overhaul of maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

“You had them almost in tears about the horrors of the cuts that are likely to happen and what the implications of those are,” she added.

Baroness Brinton said: “Some of the new NHS practice being developed by health leaders in West Cumbria is inspirational.

“But, the changes to services proposed by the Success Regime and the sustainability and transformation plans sell west Cumbria short, leaving local residents with huge journey times that will put patient safety at risk.

“It is clear that Rebecca is the voice Copeland needs to help protect health services in this area. She knows the issues inside out and is passionate about ensuring that this area gets the health services it needs and deserves.”

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  • The truth of the matter is that no amount of tea and sympathy will sort out the NHS crisis. It needs money – and if this means putting up taxes (which it does) – then Tim and the Party need to be honest, bold and say so.

    The latest nonsense of the sweet heart deal in Surrey is so revealing of Tory attitudes. The financial starvation of local government social work departments clogs up the system. There is no dodging the demographics of this and the party needs to say so.

  • David – Tim has said several times recently that we should put a penny on income tax to pay for the NHS. Simple policy statement and he has said it more than once. I doubt if that will be enough to make up the shortfall but it will help substantially. It is a key LibDem headline policy alongside the housing crisis but obviously not getting much coverage while Brexit nonsense is ongoing. On the government’s own figures (Autumn statement) Brexit will reduce tax take by huge amounts due to less economic activity, including the City folk going elsewhere (they generate 11% of tax receipts according to one report i have seen). This will reduce the government’s ability to raise taxes to pay for the NHS. So, far from giving another £350m a week to the NHS the NHS will be worse funded than ever under this hard Brexit government. Some people who voted for Brexit were saying “things cant get any worse”. Oh yet it will, and the worse off will be the ones hardest hit.

  • A penny is a simple slogan – I understand that……. but it’s only a token figure. Better to research the correct shortfall and put it to the electorate as an honest rather than a token policy.

    Be interesting to know how much PFI takes out of the system – and Lansley’s ‘clinical commissioning’ system. Any idea on what Virgin’s profits are from the NHS ?

  • Peter Watson 8th Feb '17 - 10:53pm

    @Rob Renold “Tim has said several times recently that we should put a penny on income tax to pay for the NHS. … It is a key LibDem headline policy”
    Is that really Lib Dem policy?
    A few years ago some Lib Dems were wheeling out references to Laffer curves to explain why 45% was the right rate for the highest tax band, so presumably an extra penny for the highest earners is not on the cards. And Lib Dems raised the tax threshold to take the lowest paid out of income tax payment so no penny for them. So will Lib Dems be squeezing the middle?
    But in 2015 the Lib Dem manifesto told us, “We do not think low and middle income earners should bear the burden of tax rises: our plans do not require any increase in the headline rates of Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT or Corporation Tax. In fact, our plans enable us to continue to cut taxes for people on low and middle incomes by raising the tax-free Personal Allowance.” and “Having a balanced approach on tax and spending enables us to: Invest, over the Parliament, extra money for the NHS, essential to protect our health service.”
    I like the sound of the newer left-leaning policy but I can’t really work out what Lib Dems currently stand for, in Health and most other areas. Have policy positions in Coalition, including the top-down/bottom-up reform of the NHS, been abandoned or embraced? Does the 2015 election result invalidate the manifesto, in which case where do I find the details?

  • Simon Freeman 9th Feb '17 - 6:58am

    I agree with 1p in the pound on Income Tax to increase NHS spending. However I do think the Lib Dems need to publish a potted version of a manifesto with say 5 or 6 big ideas. Pledge cards in public places would be a good idea. and a full page advert in national newspapers. I voted Lib Dem in the Brightside and Hillsborough by-election last year. The candidate seemed decent, but the leaflets had nothing about policy on them, just slogans and pictures. More content needed.

  • Leekliberal 9th Feb '17 - 10:55am

    Suggest viewing this clip on last nights C4 news where the Labour candidate in Copeland is proving elusive. It deserves wider circulation on U tube and other social media.

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