Before Christmas, we saw the real cuts to local spending which Clegg and Cameron’s Con Dem Government are making; and in particular the devastating effect this will have on northern cities like Sheffield.
These cuts will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the health of Sheffielders- from the loss of jobs for individuals to the high youth unemployment, which we will see across the city.
Nick Clegg predicted that the NHS would not be safe in the hands of the Tories.
He was right. As well as cuts to the council’s budget, much of which goes to maintain good health, we are now seeing our local health services having to make spending cuts too. This will inevitably affect the amount of people treated and the standard of care we receive.
At the same time, the Con Dem Government are changing the way these services are commissioned, bringing years of turmoil and upheaval for the health service at a time when we will be experiencing increasing health problems and rising inequalities across the city.
Many will remember the 1980s and the effects that unemployment and a stagnation of funding to local health services had on communities. We do not want a return to this.
Many GPs in the City will have dealt with problems emerging from the 80s and I would therefore hope the new GP commissioners will work actively with the council, not only to maintain high standards of direct health care, but to also address and prevent the effects this period of austerity will have if left unchecked.