South Gloucestershire’s Labour councillors have rounded on the district’s ruling Conservatives for ‘using the NHS as a political football’ at a Council meeting tonight. Instead of building cross-party consensus to lobby local NHS managers, the Tories preferred to push through a gratuitous historic attack on Labour instead.
Labour had been keen to back a proposal to express disappointment at the ongoing delays on improving rehabilitation, reablement and recovery services at Thornbury and Frenchay, but the Conservatives put a deliberate block on consensus by adding cheap party political points.
The Labour councillors’ Deputy Leader, Councillor Ian Boulton, says:
“I invited the Conservatives to drop the party political point scoring from their motion and concentrate on strengthening the message to the NHS now.
They refused, which proves that they are using the NHS as a political football and are not interested in building council-wide pressure on the local NHS.”
Councillor Ian Scott, who leads for Labour on health matters, adds:
“It beggars belief that the Tories dare criticise Labour’s record on community health facilities in South Gloucestershire. When Labour left office in 2010 we had a needs-based plan for reconfiguring health provision across our district with a string of intermediate facilities to complement the acute hospitals.
Under the Conservative government those plans lie in tatters and our local health services are creaking with the underinvestment. It is a shameful record.”