Figures indicate that NHS Trusts across the entire North East region will not see a single penny of the £250 million promised by the Prime Minister in August 2013 to ensure that NHS A&E Departments are prepared for winter.
And Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, has today heaped criticism on the Tory-led Coalition Government for again turning its back on the North East and its health problems by ignoring the region when dishing out extra cash.
Whilst the North gets nothing, Trusts across the Midlands and the East, will receive an additional £86 million in funding, while London and South East Trusts will see an extra £112 million.
Winter is historically a difficult time for the NHS, with A&E Departments across the country typically witnessing an increase in the number of patients. Combined with outbreaks of winter viruses that can impact service delivery, this increase in patient numbers can have catastrophic effects on waiting times and the ability to access services.
“These figures are a further example of the Tory-led Coalition being completely out of touch with the situation on the ground. People across not only the Stockton Borough, but the entire North East region, are witnessing their health service being damaged as the Government turns its back on the areas of greatest need.
“The region has already been hit hard by high unemployment and disproportionate cuts across the public sector. To deny such critical funding, when other areas are receiving many additional millions, is grossly unfair and risks putting lives in danger.
“To make matters worse, the news comes only days after a report revealed that some NHS Trusts within the North East are facing a staffing shortfall of as much as 26%. Before the election, David Cameron promised to protect the frontline of the NHS, yet this is just the latest in a series of failings that has seen thousands of doctors and nurses cut, waiting times increase, and the standard of care fall. It’s simply not good enough.”