Southampton residents have expressed their concern about falling standards in the NHS.
At listening events facilitated by Alan Whitehead MP, people voiced their worries about how privatisation of services will affect their availability and quality.
Although people who attended the events were very appreciative of the NHS and its hardworking staff, many said that they worried for the future of the institution, which is facing a squeezed budget, staff shortages and a costly reorganisation.
Speaking after the events, Alan said:
“At all the listening events, people I spoke to praised NHS staff and acknowledged that they were giving the best care they could in increasingly challenging circumstances. However, people are extremely concerned about NHS privatisation and it is clear that its effects are already being felt by Sotonians.
At all the events I attended, residents told me about their struggles to get a GP appointment in the city. In some cases, this meant that people were having to go to A&E for issues that could have easily been dealt with at GPs’ surgeries. Many were really worried about the pressure that this is putting on the entire system and highlighted the long hours and low pay that junior doctors and nurses were enduring as a result. Other residents were anxious about the lack of cohesion between health and social care; some people gave examples of the frustrating experiences they had trying to organise care for themselves and their relatives.
It is apparent that the NHS is under immense strain and requires urgent investment, something which has been lacking for the past five years, to secure the future of this cherished institution for years to come.”