Lib Dems Poor Grasp of How NHS Works

This is a long read but if you care about truth and NHS provision you might find it enlightening.
NB: I am a member of the Practice Patient Participation Group but I am a critical friend not a cheerleader for Pocklington Group Practice. I also believe in accuracy, balance, full disclosure and transparency.
The latest LIB Dem local newsletter declares ‘NHS Crisis Hits Pock’ and that we have the third highest GP waiting times in England.
This comes in the run up to next year’s elections for ward Cllrs and prospective candidates are keen to get your attention.
It turns out that the headline is untrue. A Lib Dem spokesperson has confirmed the claim is based on NHS data from December 2021 which showed that the East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group was the third worst in the country for GP waiting times. The inconvenient truth is that Pocklington Group Practice is not and never has been part of the East Yorkshire CCG. It is part of the Vale of York CCG.
Clinical Commissioning Groups were replaced by Integrated Care Systems in July 2022.
Anyone who reads the newsletter would be forgiven for thinking that a vote for a Lib Dem candidate will lead to local NHS improvements. It will not. Local ward Cllrs have no say in how the NHS is run or how local services are delivered. They are just having a pop at national government and the Conservative controlled East Yorkshire Council, but they have no suggestions about how they would improve things if they could. Which they cannot.
The Lib Dems have taken a few Council seats from the Conservatives recently. It is interesting to study how they did this.
In Bridlington for instance, they campaigned to save and improve Bridlington hospital. A laudable ambition. However, local Ward Councillors have no power when it comes to services provided by Westminster. They can set budgets for roads, social care, and bin emptying but they have no say in how health services are run.
It looks as if they are now weaponizing the NHS here in Pocklington. Lib Dem Gareth Shephard claims Pocklington group Practice is among the worst hit by Government neglect.
Here at the Bugle, we prefer hard unambiguous facts, which is why I have included some hard current data at the end of this post.
Some facts from the Pocklington Group Practice.
  • Between 1 Nov 2020 and 31 Oct 2021, the surgery dealt with 82,286 patient contacts either face to face, on the telephone or home/care home visits. Of this figure 36,257 were face to face consultations and 43,633 were telephone.
  • Between 1 Nov 2021 and 31 Oct 2022 there were 109,500 patient contacts an, increase of 33%, of which 64,644 were face to face consultations and 41,251 were telephone. Face-to-face contacts make up 59% of patient interactions.
  • In the last 4 weeks the duty team of GPs have dealt with 2,161 on the day urgent calls
  • Over 8,000 flu/covid vaccines have been given since mid-September
The surgery says that whilst there may be a wait for routine GP appointments it is not the only route to accessing the service and any patient who is poorly and rings in for an urgent appointment is supported and if necessary, seen on the same day.
For the second time this week, I advise that you consider any claims made by aspiring local ward councillors with a degree of scepticism.
Like everyone of us Lib Dem ward council candidates can campaign but at the end of they do not have the power to implement polices relating to the NHS. That’s what MP’s do. In theory.
To pretend they do is disingenuous.
To summarise:
  • Pocklington Group Practice is not one of the worst hit by Government neglect.
  • The Pocklington surgery does not have the third worst waiting times in the country.
  • The Pocklington surgery is not included in the East Riding CCG figures.
  • In July Pocklington surgery was ranked 1380 out of 6,418 GP practices in England.
  • Ward Councillors have no say in the running of the NHS.
  • If you set out to shame someone or an organisation make sure your facts are right.

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