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08.04.15

Coalition failed to keep NHS pledges, say senior doctors

More than 100 senior health professionals have stated that the coalition government will be remembered for delivering “broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation” for the NHS. 

In a joint letter to the Guardian, the signatories said: “In short, the Coalition has failed to keep its NHS pledges.” 

The consortium of health professionals say the 2012 Health and Social Care Act is leading to the “rapid” and “unwanted” expansion of commercial companies in the NHS. This is something that Labour has pledged to counter, if the party wins power in May. 

It has also been claimed that the squeeze on services is now hitting patients with 51 NHS walk-in centres closed or downgraded under the Coalition, and more than 60 ambulance stations having shut and more than 100 general practices at risk of closure. 

The signatories to the letter include Dr Clare Gerada, former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners; Prof John Ashton, retired director of public health; epidemiologist Prof Michael Coleman; Simon Capewell, professor of public health at the University of Liverpool; Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary care at Oxford; and Martin McKee, professor of European public health. 

The letter also criticises A&E waiting times and reductions to council health and social care spending, which it claims has resulted in more hospital admissions. 

“The NHS is withering away, and if things carry on as they are then in future people will be denied care they once had under the NHS and have to pay more for health services,” said the signatories. 

“As medical and public health professionals our primary concern is for all patients. We invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

Andrew Mountain   08/04/2015 at 16:22

Ok so the Coalition didn't deliver it's promises - what makes anybody think that any of the other parties will deliver their promises? None have delivered before and none are likely to do so in the future. The NHS needs to sort itself out in its infrastructure and management of funds and not rely on Government legislation and handouts.

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