Charlotte outside Buckland hospital
Charlotte outside Buckland hospital

Reports published today by the Care Quality Commission into the provision of acute care for the young people of our area make for disturbing reading. Most local families here with very sick children going to hospital will end up at in Ashford or Margate and these reports of staff shortages, damaged and dirty equipment[1], cross-infection risk[2] and a service that has been found to under report serious incidents[3]” are very concerning to me, both as a local politician and as a parent of two young children with another on the way.”

To me, the issue is absolutely political. The Tories have scrapped bursaries for nurses to train and now we are seeing falling amounts of young people opting to train for this vital career. Today’s CQC reports tell us that in our local hospitals “staffing levels [are] insufficient to meet the needs of children and young people”[5]and staffing levels are completely “stretched beyond a sustainable level.”[6]  The report makes it clear that when this inspection was done, the “services for children and young people [at QEQM and William Harvey] were not safe.”[7]

The current Tory MP for Dover, Mr Elphicke, has voted against plans to keep nursing bursaries. When we can’t properly and safely staff our local children’s wards, this was clearly a terrible mistake. Persistent government underfunding also contributes to the dire state of care in this area. Our hardworking NHS staff need a Labour government that will support them to care in the way they want and need to; things must change.

References as taken from the reports published 13 February 2019

[1] William Harvey Report Page 12

[2] QEQM Report  Page 10

[3] William Harvey Report Page 10 and 11

[5] QEQM Report. Page 2

[6] QEQM Report  Page 5

[7] QEQM Report  Page 2


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