Green Party co-leader, local councillor and MP candidate Carla Denyer has condemned the government for failing to tackle the most serious winter crisis ever experienced by the NHS, with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine saying between 300 and 500 people are dying each week due to delays in urgent and emergency care .
Denyer, who is standing in the Bristol West constituency at the next General Election, said:
“The Tories are allowing the NHS to disintegrate before our eyes. After twelve years of Conservative underinvestment, real cuts to funding and the loss of thousands of beds, our hospitals are in meltdown.
“Last week South Western Ambulance Service declared a ‘critical incident’ and this Tuesday NHS trusts in Bristol urged people to only call 999 or go to A&E if it is a life-threatening emergency . It is being reported that the NHS is now under the same pressure as it was at the start of the pandemic .
“It is sadly no surprise when you consider that our country has some of the least equipped hospitals in Western Europe – the UK has 2.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Meanwhile in Germany it’s 7.8 – over three times as many .”
“Add into the mix the devastating cuts to adult social care, which has meant thousands of beds are being occupied by patients ready to discharge but who don’t have a care placement to go to.”
The Green Party has also called on the government to end the ongoing pay dispute with the Royal College of Nurses, and many of Bristol’s Green Party councillors visited picket lines in December to show their support for the healthcare workers  .
“Nurses are struggling with the cost of living due to the real terms pay cut being imposed by the Tory government.
“Visiting the nurses’ picket line recently , I heard so many stories of nurses working in dangerously understaffed hospitals. Nurses are rightly standing up for fair pay for themselves, but also, crucially, for a safe NHS. The government must agree to negotiate with them.
“Nurses are told that they don’t deserve a pay rise while the government is happy to spend billions on a failed track and trace system, dodgy PPE contracts or tax cuts for the most wealthy. This is outrageous.”
“The current situation in the NHS is putting lives at risk and pushing hard-working staff to breaking point. This is a political choice. The Government needs to face up to a crisis of their own making and provide the funding needed for proper patient treatment and care and decent pay and conditions for staff.”