Autumn Statement allowing South Cambs’ health service to crumble

24 Nov 2023
Pippa Heylings talking to a member of NHS medical staff outside Addenbrookes Hospital

Pippa Heylings, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire has accused the Government of being ‘content with local health services crumbling’ after Wednesday’s Autumn Statement failed to provide additional funding for local health services.

Before the Autumn Statement, the Liberal Democrats had been calling for the Chancellor to invest in a robust NHS rescue plan as ever-growing treatment backlogs have stalled the economy, damaging both growth and quality of life.

These measures would have included reversing Conservative cuts of 30% to vital public health services in South Cambridgeshire and delivering 8,000 more GPs across the country to create 65 million more appointments every year. A Liberal Democrat Survey in South Cambridgeshire found that, though residents are grateful for the fantastic care they receive from GPs, 60% of respondents said they find it “difficult” or “very difficult” to get a GP appointment.

It comes as the Liberal Democrats have warned that treatment backlogs are damaging economic growth after a poll commissioned by the party showed that one in seven people had taken a significant length of time off work whilst waiting for treatment on the NHS.

Apart from ignoring the crisis in our health service, the Chancellor proposed tax changes that will not ‘touch the sides’ after years of unfair tax hikes that local Conservative MP Anthony Browne has consistently voted in favour of.

This Conservative Government seems completely content to sit back and allow South Cambridgehire’s local health services to crumble.

Pippa Heylings, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire

They are either so out of touch they cannot see how many people are struggling to access healthcare, or they simply do not care.

The Autumn Statement was an opportunity to get people off NHS waiting lists and allow them to return to work so we can rescue our flatlining economy. 

Instead we got empty promises, stale nonsense and a tax cut that’s not even a drop in the ocean compared to what people have already paid.

Pippa Heylings also expressed huge disappointment at the failure of the autumn statement to address the health of the rivers and chalk streams in South Cambridgeshire, as well as the failure to grasp the enormity of the water supply crisis and the funding needed to progress regional water infrastructure solutions. 

The £2 million funding announced to help the water supply crisis in South Cambridgeshire is paltry and shows a complete failure to grasp the urgency and enormity of the situation, especially whilst central government continue to push for hundreds of thousands of homes above and beyond the ambitious emerging Greater Cambridge Local Development Plan.