At the AGM of Slough Lib Dems on 8 Nov, Matthew Taylor, Chair of Slough Lib Dems in 2023, introduced the guest speaker, Lord Allan who speaks on Health for the Lib Dems in the Lords. Matthew reports: “Lord Allan was highly critical of the Tory Government’s many failures in leading the health service, and explained how the Lib Dems would improve the health service.”
Lord Allan said that for a journey it was necessary to have a map, a vehicle and a driver. But for the current journey of the UK’s health services, while the Tories had drawn up some plans, “the vehicle is creaking and there isn’t a credible driver.”
He gave examples of failures in services such as mental health where the Tories had some plans, but have made no attempt to properly introduce them.
The Lib Dems, Lord Allan explained, recognise many problems with delays in receiving hospital care are linked to the Government’s failures to adequately fund or reform social care. Often elderly people who are fit to come out of hospital, end up having to stay in a hospital bed for longer because the social care system is so short of staff and other resources that it cannot provide care for all those who need it.
He said: “The Lib Dems commitment to providing extra investment in the social care sector will be better for those who need social care, and for those waiting for a hospital bed.”
Finally, in response to a question about the crisis in NHS dentistry, which was reported to be particularly severe in Slough, Lord Allan explained that the Tory failures over NHS dentistry highlighted how the Tories are failing the NHS.
He said: “The Tory crew are not up to driving the NHS and do not really have anything to offer. For NHS dentistry the Tory Government has repeatedly refused to reform the inadequate contracts that mean too many dentists no longer take on NHS patients because the system does not pay enough to adequately cover their costs. Astonishingly, there is money available, and there are trained dentists but under the current Government, as a result of the inadequate contracts, some of the money that would be available for dentistry is not being used.”
Lord Allan explained: “Currently all sorts of dental issues are being missed because too many people are not getting check-ups. A new report shows a horrifying increase in the number of deaths from mouth cancer in recent years. The Lib Dems are committed to making major reforms to the NHS dentistry contracts to attract more dentists back into the NHS, and use the resources that are already availble.”
Finally, Lord Allan said, “The Tory Government is failing in so many ways that the Lib Dems want the Conservatives to lose the next election at the national level. And the job of the Lib Dems is to win as many MPs as possible.”