IT was fascinating to read the letter from Stephen Hammond MP and Minister of State for Health telling us of his commitment to the NHS in Yorkshire (The Yorkshire Post, January 12). He happily name-dropped Jimmy’s and LGI in Leeds, and Sheffield, York and Hull, as he celebrated the new NHS plan and the commitment to additional funding to tackle problems around social care and mental health.
It all felt a bit too good to be true. Hammond has no association with Yorkshire whatsoever that I could find. And he forgot to acknowledge his Government’s stunning underfunding of the NHS since 2015 (average real term increase of one per cent per annum when it needed four per cent to stand still). Then the almost complete silence of the plan on social care, the hopelessly inadequate focus on mental health care and the plan’s welcome admission that the dreadful Lansley reforms of 2012 and the Tory obsession with marketisation and commissioning have done immeasurable damage to health services in Yorkshire and the rest of the UK.
His sudden enthusiasm for the NHS in Yorkshire is touching, but not altogether convincing. Tories still can’t be trusted with the NHS.