© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.
© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

So, is it time to now re-open Kidderminster A&E?
Labour’s Stephen Brown considers this question:

Wyre Forest Labour believe Worcestershire’s NHS boss’s admission (Worcestershire hospital chief Matthew Hopkins says Worcester A&E can’t cope) is a damning indictment of 10 years of Tory Government, and their political decision to press ahead with austerity that’s lead to massive cuts, a failure to keep pace with rising demand, and which has seen our NHS and A&E wallow in crisis. Austerity was never born of any an economic necessity and was a political choice, even exTory Chancellor George Osborne now admits that much at least.

Tory Austerity has only seen us lose vital services whilst the top 1% doubled their wealth. Meanwhile, the rest of us have seen our wages stagnate at a level not known since Napoleonic times.

Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Labour’s Press Officer, is scathing in his criticism “For our local NHS boss to say this is surely a damning indictment of 10 years of Tory Government and their foolhardy policies of austerity. In that time, we have seen NHS investment at its lowest rate ever, crisis after crisis in our NHS, and A&E waiting times skyrocket with ambulances stacked up and people stuck in corridors. We recently had a 5 year long reconfiguration of our local Acute NHS in response to that. It has clearly failed, boss after boss has come and gone. What’s more, the Kidderminster Hospital Alliance came and went as the non Tories on it couldn’t in the end work with the Tories knowing what damage their national policies were doing to our NHS. Not forgetting the pointless political posturing of local Tory MPs that has achieved nothing of merit.

In all that time, Redditch Hospital lost important A&E and maternity services, and the total focus was an ‘eggs in one basket’ approach with Worcester. The policy has failed.

I truly believe that the time has come to look at the re-opening of Kidderminster A&E and investing in our local NHS Acute services. To many this may seem controversial as Labour got blamed for its closure. However, Wyre Forest Labour Party always opposed this closure and fought passionately against Government Ministers to try and keep it open. The local Party was sadly and infuriatingly ignored by the then Blair Government and paid the price in elections because they are forever unfairly tarnished with this bad brush. I didn’t live in Wyre Forest at that time, but I can tell you this still smarts among local party members, and they’ve never been happy about it. They paid the price, but times have now changed and this was nearly 20 years ago.

I believe the time has now come to right this historic wrong. It would be great to see a campaign to restore it. After all, we’ve had 2 MPs since and neither of them have gotten close to putting this travesty right despite even Dr Taylor trying. We must once again pick up that torch Dr Taylor lit and I believe Wyre Forest Labour should be the vehicle for that and will be speaking to colleagues about it.”

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