Letter: Time to properly fund the NHS and social care system

Paul Schofield shares an open letter to the Isle of Wight MP and calls for proper funding for the NHS and the wider social care system.

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We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.

Paul Schofield shares his open letter to Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Andrew Turner. Ed

Dear Mr Turner

On Wednesday I watched Theresa May answering questions in Parliament, on the lunchtime news (Watch on Parliament TV jump to 12.03).

I am extremely sorry to say that both my wife and I are singularly unimpressed at her total lack of response, lack of strategy, lack of acknowledgement, and apparent lack of care towards the problems which beset the NHS, and of course the Social Care system.

More funding is urgently required
It is clear, to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, that more funding is urgently required to both services, and we certainly do not wish to hear any more meaningless platitudes, it is obvious that action is needed, and it is needed fast.

I trust you will not regale us with stories of how “well?” the NHS has been funded, and how the problem is that the population is living longer.

Plenty of time to prepare
The increase in average life expectancy has been known to be coming for a long time, yet the response from the Government has been to inadequately prepare or fund for this, and, astonishingly, to severely cripple the ability of Councils to provide Social Services by repeatedly cutting Government funding to them, even though the link to NHS overloading is so very well known.

No acting in a civilised manner
I believe it was a Native American Indian who said that you can judge a civilisation by how it treats its sick and elderly people.

At the moment, this Country is certainly not treating many of them in a civilised manner.

Image: Trades Union Congress under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 12th January, 2017 10:21am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2eTP

Filed under: Government, Health, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Well written letter. What is the bet his reply comes back blaming previous goverments. I will be attending the March in London as im so incensed. Parts of the country have services privatised. It is part of the stratergy run it down until it fails. Then the bugle blows and the magic answer is to privatise everything.

    • Skippy, you’ve hit the nail on the head! Privatisation is the key to understanding what this government intends for the NHS. Starve the NHS of funding to run it down, then accuse NHS Trusts of mismanagement when they can’t make their books balance. Corporate lobbyists are working hard behind the scenes to persuade government ministers to act in their interests. They have already persuaded the European Commission to negotiate secret trade deals TTIP and CETA with North America that, if passed into law, would empower huge corporations to force governments to allow privatisation of our public services, especially the NHS. Even after Brexit, CETA would still apply to the UK for up to 20 years. Privatisation means corporations using public services as a business enterprise, to maximise profits for CEOs, top managers and shareholders alike. However, I am not just accusing the European Commission of cosying up to corporate lobbyists: UK governments have been doing the same for a long time, in secret talks.
      And, for after Brexit, there is government talk of negotiating our own trade agreements to benefit corporations, whilst exposing our citizens to higher costs and reduced and poorer services, as well as lower health and safety standards.

      But don’t despair! To the rescue come big crowd-funded online campaigning groups: 38 Degrees, SumOfUs, Avaaz, as well as many more familiar charities, each campaigning in their own specialist field, that are collectively standing up to this toxic corporate takeover of our democratic institutions. Join them if you want to save our public services and our fast-eroding democracy. The cost is whatever you can afford to give. Let’s fight to keep the democratic rights our forebears sacrificed so much to achieve!

  2. electrickery

    12.Jan.2017 1:06pm

    Excellent letter. If only a certain MP could be so forthright.
    Please let us know the response, Paul. We may want to use it come May’s elections…

  3. colinteller

    12.Jan.2017 1:59pm

    A meaningful, enforced, property tax on second houses would be a start, do you not think Mr Turner?

  4. islawight

    13.Jan.2017 9:58am

    Do you not think that the NHS should start charging?
    If you go out and get drunk, fall over and damage yourself, why should those of us that don’t pay for it?

    If you fall off a ladder and break your leg because you can’t be bothered to make sure your workspace is secure and safe, why should those of us that do pay for you?

    If you drink and drive and cause an accident, why should thodse of us that don’t pay for that?

    If you have a tendancy to violence, why should you not be charged to patch your victim up?

    If we were to make the stupid and irresponsible more accountable perhaps the NHS would be so stretched and there would be more money in the pot to treat those who need it most. Maybe if the drunk and disorderly had to pay they wouldn’t get so drunk and disorderly and the Police would have more time and resources. Maybe the town centres would be a more inviting place to go at night.

    We need to stop mopping up after the stupid and irresponsible, that would give the Police, Paramedics, and the NHS in general more time, money, and space to do what they do best.

    That’s the end of my rant for the day.

    • Suruk the Slayer

      13.Jan.2017 11:25am

      The problem with that plan is:

      Man falls off ladder and is taken to A&E. He’s fixed up and sent home.

      The NHS then gets a tip-off that he wasn’t using safe working practices and investigates (£££)

      They find him liable and ask him to pay. He refuses, they take him to court (£££££)

      He is found liable by the court. He appeals (££££££)

      The court of appeal find him not liable and tell the NHS to pay his expenses (£££££)

      He sues the NHS for damage (£££££££)

  5. You have to query Govt. spending priorities.

    Do we really need or can we afford atomic weapons which if used will destroy the world as we know it, does a country as small as ours need two enormous aircraft carriers, even China with its huge GDP and population only has one, and that was bought second hand off Ukraine.

    Surely it is time to go back to basics and use our NI contributions as a bona-fide insurance and savings plan to fund both the NHS and our pensions

    • Suruk the Slayer

      13.Jan.2017 11:27am

      With Putin as the POTUS (or, at least, pulling his strings), yes, we need the Nukes.

      • We need Nukes? Just like Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Poland do, just to name the non-nuclear states that actually border Russia.

        Nuclear weapons are huge waste of taxpayers funds that would be better spent on the NHS.

        They didn’t even deter Argentina from invading the Falklands, nor were they of any use regaining the islands.

        But I suppose it gets down to whether you would prioritise getting medical treatment for yourself, family, friends and any other ill person over causing such severe environmental damage that it will render winning a nuclear war a pyrrhic victory

  6. Surely nobody who has experienced the much greater efficiency of many European health systems can continue to support the broken, inefficient lumbering dinosaur that is the NHS. Anything free at point of contact will be abused; missed appointments, inappropriate self referral, etc.,etc. If you want a great health system get rid of this one.

  7. Entirely agree with Paul.

    I was particularly frustrated by Jeremy Hunt talking about how people are really satisfied with the service we get from the National Health Service – as if the credit for that was the government’s. In fact it is greatly to the credit of National Health Service staff that they keep on working and doing such a wonderful job, when they’re getting slagged off by some of the media, and when the government is making them work harder than ever and starving them of the extra funding they need as the baby boomer generation get old and need more care.

    And yes, in answer to some comments on here, we do need the National Health Service to be free of charge ‘at the point of use’, and not to judge whether people are ‘deserving’ of treatment. Yes some people put their own health and safety at risk by smoking, by drinking too much, by eating crap food, and so on and so on, but then where do we draw the line? When people need help they need help, and making them pay won’t help anybody. Refusing treatment would be barbaric. Okay so some people will abuse the system, but if we make people pay directly when they need help, rather than paying through taxation, then innocent people will suffer as well as the ‘undeserving’.

    In any case, from my experience (becoming extensive now that I’m a fulltime carer for my parents) it seems to me that the main cost to the health service is to help people with things that either can’t be avoided, such as inherited disease that people didn’t know they had or that their parents didn’t know they could have when they conceived, or things which could only be avoided by everybody having perfectly healthy lifestyles all their lives, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and dementia in old age. We know now that things like smoking, air pollution, a diet with too few greens, working night shifts, too much noise, stressful jobs, and many other things contribute to ill-health, but many people cannot avoid them, or didn’t even know at the time that they were harmful. My parents’ generation didn’t know that smoking was bad for them, or that eating loads of sugar could end up killing them. It’s too late for them to reverse some of the damage caused by past ignorance, and it’s not their fault.

    If people here want to blame somebody for other people’s suffering, then please don’t blame the victims, but think a bit more broadly and deeply. Campaign for government funding for electric car charging points, or for local councils so they can maintain cycle paths and footpaths, instead of funding for yet more polluting motorways and airport runways, for example. Campaign for the tax on cigarettes to be massively increased. Campaign for better working conditions for everybody. Campaign for price controls on rents, so that people don’t make themselves ill worrying about how they can keep a roof over their heads. There’s a few for starters. You can think of plenty more, I’m sure.

  8. Whilst I sympathise with the sentiment of your letter Paul, my difficulty is what constitutes ‘proper ‘ funding. The Blair government bunged millions of extra funding to the NHS with minimal effect on patient benefit. The government forces NHS trusts to hand over millions to local authorities to fund ‘social care’ but don’t recognise it. Jeremy hunt doesn’t even understand the difference between recurring and non recurring funding. It’s a behemoth and I do think there are things that could be done to help reduce the running costs…stop treating people who are not entitled to have free access, charge people for missed appointments, Stop consultants using NHS facilities and staff for their private work, cull At least 30% of the managers from both NHS trusts and CCGs have a very honest dialogue about what is sustainable. (The provision of all the services at ST Marys is not viable….but nobody want to lose them. I could go on….but just chucking more money at the NHS is NOT the answer until we can be sure that it will have the desired effect on patient benefit

  9. I also wrote to Turner on this issue, I asked him why he voted against more money for Social care and NHS services for the Island when they are in such a crisis. Haven’t had a reply yet and don’t expect one. Though he has replied about the Homelessness Bill one I sent through a Shelter campaign, which was actually sent after the email about social care and the NHS funding.

  10. Potentate

    31.Jan.2017 9:25pm

    Did anyone see the story today about the American dementia sufferer dumped by his family in Britain? I think it was widely covered and provides good evidence that the rest of the world thinks we are a soft touch when it comes to health and social care. It does make one wonder how often our health and social care service is being used by those who should not be using it.

    • Vix Lowthion

      1.Feb.2017 7:39am

      And the conclusion of the story is that UK authorities traced him, and sent him back to LA where he’s in the care of the local authorities there.

      So it provides evidence that we don’t accept patients being dumped on us, and we do return them to the care of those who should be responsible. It’s actually a story showing that we’re not a soft touch, isn’t it.

      • please tell me we also sent the US a bill for his care whilst he was with us….

        No? I thought not.

        Yes, we are a soft touch. It has to stop. We cannot provide for the whole world.

        Other countries manage to get their health billing systems in place and working, why can’t we?

        • Suruk the Slayer

          1.Feb.2017 11:09am

          Please climb back under whatever rock you crawled out from under.

          As I said earlier, not even the Daily Mail considered this a suitable story for a “health tourist” rant.

    • Suruk the Slayer

      1.Feb.2017 8:22am

      That is truly pathetic. Totally and utterly pathetic!

      Even the Daily Mail, which doesn’t miss an opportunity to play the “health tourist” card, doesn’t take that line about this story.

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