Redcar MP Anna Turley questioned Health Minister David Mowat today on the strain NHS cuts are putting on health services in Teesside.
NHS organisations in each area of the country have been asked by the Government to work together to produce ‘Sustainability and Transformation’ plans (STP) for health services facing rising demand and funding cuts. The Teesside area, which includes NHS services stretching from South Durham to Whitby, faces a deficit of £281 million by 2020.
Anna challenged the minister on the impact this funding pressure is having on already stretched services.
Speaking in the House of Commons, she said:
“The reality on the ground in areas like Redcar and Teesside is that we are actually facing a deficit of £281 million by 2020. How can he reassure my constituents who are already finding it hard to get an appointment with a GP, that already scarce services won’t become even more so?”
In his reply, Mr Mowat reaffirmed the Government’s pledge of 5000 more GPs by 2020 and said that some of those new staff would be on Teesside.
Speaking afterwards, Anna added:
“Despite the hard work of NHS staff, our health service on Teesside is already struggling to cope with rising demand, rising costs, and longer waiting lists. The huge funding shortfall facing local services and the government’s STPs risk leaving local health services even more stretched. Our NHS must receive the resources it needs to function properly or services will suffer.”