“Proper local health services” needed as figures show surge in patients per GP in Oldham

“Proper local health services” needed as figures show surge in patients per GP in Oldham

Borough news, health and social care
Oldham Liberal Democrats have called for a return to proper local health services, after new figures revealed an 18% fall in the number of GPs in Oldham while patient numbers rise. The analysis shows that there are now an eye-watering 2,774 patients for every GP in Oldham. This is up by 28% since 2016. Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “At the last election, the Conservative party promised to recruit more GPs. However, today’s figures show there are now fewer fully qualified GPs in Oldham compared to 2016. The number of GPs has fallen in Oldham, but the number of patients has soared.” Figures show that there are over 600 more patients across Oldham but 21 fewer doctors to treat them. Councillor Sykes said, “We need a…
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Nearly 1,000 Northern Care Alliance patients left waiting more than two months to start cancer treatment

Nearly 1,000 Northern Care Alliance patients left waiting more than two months to start cancer treatment

Borough news, health and social care
New figures reveal that more than half of all cancer patients in Oldham are having to wait more than two months for vital treatments. New research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that 913 people were stuck waiting for more than two months before receiving treatment with Northern Care Alliance (NCA), the NHS Trust that covers Oldham. The shocking figures mean that, in 2022, 52% of patients had to wait more than two months for treatment to start. Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “Northern Care Alliance has not hit the target of 85% of patients receiving a first treatment for cancer within 62 days of an urgent GP referral since 2020. These figures are absolutely horrifying.” Nationally, more than 66,000 patients were forced to wait…
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Councillor Sykes backs Church of England calls for ‘universal’ social care

Borough news, Campaigns, health and social care, Parliamentary news
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has supported a recent intervention by England’s most senior church leaders, who have called for social care to become a ‘universal entitlement’, on par with the NHS. Councillor Sykes said, “If we were building the NHS from scratch today, it would be obvious to everyone that we need a national health and social care service. We have an ageing population and we’re living with increasingly complex physical and mental health needs in our old age. Everyone deserves access to great healthcare and dignity in old age. Universal social care is the step we need to take now, to make sure that our health service is fit for the future.” The Archbishops of Canterbury and York called for a ‘national covenant’ with a…
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Budget proposals set out for fair futures in a safe, clean, and green Oldham Borough

Borough news, environment, fairer council, health and social care, road safety
New funding for ’20 is Plenty’ streets  New parks and recreational spaces fund  More cash to tackle roads, footways, and public footpath More action on enviro crimes (litter, fly-tipping, dog fouling) New children’s social care residential home Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Opposition Group have set out their alternative budget proposals ahead of a crucial Council vote on 1 March, where councillors will agree to spending plans.  Prior to that Council meeting the proposals go to scrutiny on Tuesday 7 February. Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Shadow Executive Member for Finance and Low Carbon, councillor Chris Gloster said: “The Liberal Democrats’ priority is to make Oldham Borough a safer, cleaner and greener place to be for all of us, but especially for the next generation. “In the future, Oldham must be able…
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Greater Manchester leaders must ‘think inside the box’ for new-born babies

Borough news, health and social care
Liberal Democrat Leader and Shaw representative councillor Howard Sykes MBE has called on Greater Manchester leaders to adopt a new support strategy for new-born babies across the city region. The ‘baby box’ was trialled in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Trust in 2018 but councillor Sykes says it should be put into place across the whole of Greater Manchester. Councillor Sykes said, “The early years are so crucial and new parents feel the stress of trying to provide the best possible start for their children. We know that child poverty is on the rise in Britain, and it’s made worse by the cost-of-living crisis.” Across England, one in every three babies are born into poverty. However, in Oldham, rates of infant poverty are even higher - closer to four in ten…
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Renewed calls for scrutiny of Northern Care Alliance after “appalling” discharge figures and 12-hour A&E waits

Renewed calls for scrutiny of Northern Care Alliance after “appalling” discharge figures and 12-hour A&E waits

health and social care
Oldham Council’s Liberal Democrat opposition have renewed their calls for greater scrutiny of the Northern Care Alliance (NCA), which runs NHS services in the Borough, after it emerged that only 4% of those who were fit enough to be discharged were actually leaving hospital in early January. Liberal Democrat Leader and Shaw representative, councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “The added pressure these appalling discharge figures are placing on our health service is coming at a time when our A&E services are failing. Nearly 800 people waited more than 12 hours in hospital waiting rooms in December. People can’t get an appointment with a GP. It’s a terrifying time for a lot of people.” At a council meeting in December, councillor Sykes called for a ‘joint scrutiny panel’ to be created…
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Liberal Democrats call for free school meals for all primary school children

Borough news, health and social care
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has called for free school meals to be extended to all children aged 11 and under. Currently the policy is only in place for children aged up to seven, but child poverty is on the rise in Oldham and Liberal Democrat councillors are calling for all primary school children to be offered a warm meal at lunchtime. Councillor Sykes said: “Free school meals are a lifeline for so many families in Oldham. For some children, this might be the only warm meal they get in a day; and we know that a nutritious lunch helps children focus in the classroom. The problem is that too few children are getting this opportunity and in Oldham, where a disproportionate number of our children are…
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New bins are rubbish for disabled users

Borough news, fairer council, health and social care
The Council has left the town centre filled with new bins which cannot be used by wheelchair-bound residents, after it failed to carry out any Equality Impact Assessment for their purchase. After Crompton Councillor Louie Hamblett met with the head of the council’s environmental services team to demonstrate the issues, two of the old bins have been reinstated, but Councillor Hamblett has written to Council Leader Amanda Chadderton to ask why no assessment was carried out, and to ask what the Council plans to do about the rest of the bins. Lewis and Shona Farnworth with Councillor Lewis Hamblett at one of the bins At the site meeting, Councillor Hamblett asked local resident Shona Farnworth – who has multiple disabilities – to demonstrate the impossibility of using the bin from…
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Frustration as Conservatives block disabled access for Greenfield Station

Frustration as Conservatives block disabled access for Greenfield Station

Borough news, health and social care
An amendment to the forthcoming Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which would have delivered disabled access for Greenfield Station, and others like it, has been voted down in the House of Commons, with not a single Conservative MP supporting it. The only train station in the whole of Oldham Borough, the station has no step-free access to the Huddersfield-bound platform, making it inaccessible for anyone in a wheelchair, with a pram or with mobility issues. Local Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani said: “It’s all very well making the right noises, but when it comes to putting their money where their mouth is, the Conservatives don’t deliver. “The Government keep passing the buck – whether it’s saying it will be part of the line upgrade, or Access for All, or whatever policy this…
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Department of Health slammed for ‘dodgy’ dental figures

Department of Health slammed for ‘dodgy’ dental figures

Borough news, health and social care
Liberal Democrats in Oldham have slammed the government for issuing a claim that the number of NHS dentists grew by 500 last year. Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has hit out at statement from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), reported by the Oldham Times on September 21st. The Government spokesperson claimed: ”The number of dentists practising in the NHS increased by over 500 last year.” young woman doing dental checkup. Copy space The statement, which reportedly came via a DHSC representative, appeared to contradict official data released by the department earlier this year, which revealed that the number of NHS dentists had fallen by more than 900 across England. Councillor Howard Sykes MBE said: “NHS dentistry is in crisis. Less than four in ten…
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