CLAIMS have been made the NHS is sinking like the Titanic and the Conservative group is ignoring the issues.
Coun Joe Baker spoke out during a debate on the pressure on hospitals amidst widespread media coverage of problems with A&E capacity.
But the Labour group was accused of ‘scaremongering’ at the Worcestershire County Council meeting, when it submitted a motion asking the leader to support a call by Andy Burnham, the Shadow Secretary of State of Health, for an urgent cross-party summit including representatives from councils, emergency services and NHS professionals.
The motion said: “Increasing numbers of very frail, elderly people are ending up in A&E departments and then becoming trapped in hospital because the care they need to be discharged is not available, due to loss of social care capacity.
“This comes on top of pressures arising from the fact that people are finding it harder to see a GP, and pressures within the NHS from the shortage of nurses and GPs.”
Proposer Coun Graham Vickery said more input was needed from the council’s social services teams to help discharge people from hospital who needed social rather than health care as soon as possible.
Coun Robin Lunn added: “The way the NHS is being forced to operate is creating a crisis that needs resolving. We should be creating an incentive to treat people outside of hospital where possible.”
But Coun Marcus Hart, responsible for health, said the motion was ‘absurdly reactionary’ and Labour councillors were making it a political situation.
And Coun Fran Oborski added: “This motion is actually scaremongering.
“If members of the public read it they are likely to get the indication the Trust is in danger of declaring a serious incident and closing A&E.
“I don’t think it’s fair to be attacking a group of people who are actually doing their best.”