Will Forster

Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking and Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Tories starve Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust of £910,381

by willforster on 30 September, 2019

The Lib Dems and I have slammed the Conservatives as “heartless” for starving the NHS of vital cash after revealing that the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust paid £910,381 in interest on outstanding debt over the last five years.

Former Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, warned taxpayers money is being spent “lining the Government’s coffers instead of training more doctors and nurses” was “an absolute slap in the face of all of us that rely on the NHS”.

The figures from the Department for Health and Social Care, uncovered by a Lib Dem Freedom of Information request, revealed over £600 million worth of interest on outstanding debt was paid by over NHS Trusts to the Department for Health and Social Care in the last five years.

According to calculations by the Lib Dems, that money could have paid for 22,000 Nurses, 13,850 Clinical Psychologists or 6,700 Consultants.

The same statistics also show that the NHS Trusts, which service a local area or specialised function to deliver aspects of healthcare, paid almost £63 million of interest on outstanding debt in 2013/2014.  In 2017/2018, it dramatically rose to over £205 million.

The revelation reinforces concerns from the National Audit Office which warns “the underlying financial health in some trusts is getting worse”, despite the Government’s commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to “reducing year-on-year the number of trusts and CCGs individually in deficit, so that all NHS organisations are in balance by 2023/24.”

While hard working doctors and nurses are being forced to work with insufficient resources, it is frankly heartless that the Tories have starved of Royal Surrey County Hospital of £910,381.  On top of that, the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust – which runs all our ambulances – had to pay £141,356 in the last two years.

If the Conservatives were actually giving our hospitals the funding they need then health trusts would not be forced to run a deficit in the first place.

People deserve better, and the Lib Dems demand better.  That is why the Lib Dems are committed to a transformational investment in public health with a modest penny on Income Tax.

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