We are pleased to hear that funding for Swale CCG is to increase after pushing a motion on Swale Council in September about this issue.
When the Swale Labour Group argued for Swale Council to lobby for additional funding to address the shortfall faced by Swale CCG so that health inequalities might be better addressed in Sittingbourne & Sheppey, the local Tory MP did support our stance, but Tories in the Council chamber stood up one by one to talk the motion down.
All but one Conservative voted down the Labour motion, arguing the money simply wasn’t there to be had. Ken Pugh, the Cabinet member for Health, was opposed to the Labour motion so it is peculiar for him to state a position today that is rather different from that which he stated at full council in September.
Guy Nicholson, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate says: ‘This news shows that the Labour Party were right to push this issue, lending political support to the work of the Swale CCG. We will continue to provide that political support to get the fair funding that the Swale CCG needs to address health inequality across the constituency, as this settlement is still not enough. Difficulty seeing GPs when patients want to, and the difficult situation at Medway Maritime Hospital will remain a significant issue for the people of Sittingbourne and Sheppey.’
Mike Haywood, the Leader of the Labour Group on Swale Council says: ‘Whilst we still regret that Swale Tories did not lend their support to our motion in September calling for the Council to lobby for fairer health funding, we do welcome this news as our research shows there is significant health inequality in Sittingbourne & Sheppey. However, A&E is under strain in Medway and Canterbury, and Faversham are facing the prospect of losing their Minor Injuries Unit, with Outpatients under threat too. The Labour Group on Swale will therefore continue to campaign to preserve and improve local health services.’