Southport Hospital faces budget black hole


Photo.jpgSouthport’s Labour candidate, Formby’s Labour MP and South Ribble’s Labour candidate have all raised concerns about the financial difficulties at Southport and Formby Hospital.


This follows a letter sent by the Trust Chief Executive Jonathan Parry to staff, which says that the trust will make a loss of £900,000 this year. The letter tells staff that cost savings must be made including slowing down recruitment. The letter says that the loss is caused partly by increasing patient demand.


But Sefton Central, Labour MP, Bill Esterson claims that the real reasons for the financial problems at Southport are decisions taken by the government.


Bill Esterson said, “The government has cut social services. It has failed to make sure that there enough GPs. It has closed walk in centres. And it has closed the NHS Direct phone service. All of these cuts have put pressure on hospitals, including at Southport and Formby. The Trust management are doing what they can to cope and are trying to deal with a very difficult financial situation. But the increase in demand is a direct result of cuts in social services which mean that more patients, especially elderly patients are going to A&E as there is nowhere else for them to go. We are short of GPs and many GP surgeries like those Freshfield and Hightown are relying on locums. The hospital also has to use locums and agency staff, which cost more than full time staff. And the hospital has spent extra trying to hit targets for waiting times at A&E and elsewhere. The top down re-organisation of the NHS by the Tories and Lib Dems has wasted money that should have been spent on patient care. And the shortage of staff in social care, means there is no one to help patients to go home when they are ready, so they stay longer in hospital than necessary, at great cost to the hospital. The financial problems at Southport and Formby Hospital are typical of what has happened under this government and the direct result of the Tory and Lib Dem approach to our NHS. Labour would invest in a Time to Care Fund to recruit the nurses and doctors and midwives we need. The current government has put pressure on the management and on the hard working staff at Southport and Formby Hospital who do an outstanding job as I discovered when I was a patient there only last year. The staff are doing all they can but they and patients are being let down by the government.”


Veronica Bennett, Labour’s candidate for South Ribble constituency which includes Banks, Tarleton and Hesketh Bank, said, “The financial black hole the hospital faces, outlined in this leaked document, is a symptom of a crisis running right through our NHS. Hospitals are under growing pressure from all sides: increasing demand; staffing shortages; and budget cuts to health and social care services. We need to be training up the staff we need, but cuts to nursing posts mean an increasing reliance on expensive agency staff. We need to be investing in an NHS with time to care for patients, but David Cameron is inflicting year-on-year real terms cuts across the board. Our NHS staff are under enormous pressure and this document shows just how much the hospital is struggling. The British public never gave David Cameron and Nick Clegg permission to inflict real terms cuts to our NHS, and to privatise health services. Only a Labour government will get our NHS back on track”


Liz Savage, Labour’s candidate for Southport, said, “Hospitals across the country are increasingly finding it difficult to recruit staff and the use of agency staff is having an adverse effect on hospital budgets.  Meanwhile the government have reduced training places for hospital staff.  We’ve already seen that their failure to recruit radiologists has led to the closure of Breast Care Services for new patients at Southport.  Now we are seeing that more and more strain is being put on the services and it’s not just down to more demand but failure of government policies”


Copies of pages of the letter can be viewed here and here.

Labour’s Liz Savage makes positive pledge on Southport Regeneration

facebook_1422904953515.jpgLabour’s Liz Savage today reveals the first of her key personal commitments in the run up to the General Election.


Liz says “I want to get the best deal for our town. Southport residents on the doorstep tell me time and time again that they want their elected representatives to work together for the good of the town. I will ensure that Regeneration of our Town is the priority for me, as your Labour MP. Everyone in Southport wants to see this town flourish and I am convinced that working together we can do this.

As Southport’s MP I would work positively with the leader and cabinet of Sefton Council, pushing for regeneration of the Town Centre whilst ensuring that the heritage of Southport is retained.  I have already started work on this -; for example I’ve met Sefton Council’s leader and discussed with him how Lord Street’s Conservation Area status can be used to encourage shop owners (many of whom are out of town investment companies) to renovate the canopies above their shops. I have met with our MEP Theresa Griffin to discuss how European funding can help.

 In my view Southport currently has a leadership vacuum; I would change that and as your MP I would bring together local residents,  councillors, MEP’s, the Business Improvement District team, the Local Enterprise Partnership and many other stakeholders to work together and cooperate towards a single goal of regenerating Southport. With determination, teamwork and leadership we can make this happen.”

Liz added “I will act as a champion of Southport, highlighting the positives that our fantastic town has to offer and encouraging people across the country to come to major Southport events.”

Liz is pictured discussing the decline of coastal towns with Gordon Marsden MP for Blackpool South and Labour’s shadow transport minister.

Liz Savage urges Southport MP to vote against controversial fracking legislation

drilling.jpgThis Monday (26th January) sees parliament vote on the controversial Infrastructure Bill that would allow unlimited fracking to take place under private property including houses and allow “any substance” to be left behind. Southport Labour’s parliamentary candidate Liz Savage is urging the town’s Lib Dem MP to vote against the measure, not least because around 85% of Southport is within an area licensed by the government for fracking.

Southport Labour has obtained a copy of a letter (click here to read the letter) from the town’s MP to one of his constituents which downplays the risks and compares the effects of fracking to tube trains under his central London flat. Liz stated “Fracking is of great concern to many Southport people and this letter appears to place John Pugh firmly in the camp of those who believe fracking should go ahead. If he votes in favour of the Infrastructure Bill he’s voting to allow this unproven process to take place under the majority of Southport. I think the jury is out on fracking and we need to know a lot more before we allow it to happen under residential areas. In his letter, which the recipient described as patronising, he likens fracking to tube trains which frankly misses the point as well as being a ridiculous comparison.”

“I hope local residents will  sign our online petition asking Southport’s MP to vote against the Infrastructure Bill.

Coalition Government is letting Southport children down


In 2010, David Cameron made a promise to parents that he would deliver smaller class sizes in smaller schools. 


In reality the number of infants in large classes over 30 has soared by 200 per cent since the last election, affecting up to nearly 100,000 young children and there are now five times the number of primary schools with over 800 pupils.

This is coupled with the fact that Sure Start Centres have been closing at a dramatic rate over the past four years.  In April 2010 there were 3632 but this had fallen to 2816 by Nov 2014.  Sure Start Centres not only benefit children with early education and confidence in social settings but they can be a lifeline to parents who may have given up work to look after their children and now find themselves isolated as their circle of friends are working.


Southport Labour’s General Election candidate Liz Savage stated “As a teacher I know the effect that large class sizes have on children’s education and on the workload of teachers. The Lib Dems and Tories are failing our children and adding to the stress of teachers.

The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan has a complacent attitude and doesn’t think this matters. It does!  Staff morale and class sizes affect the prospects of our young people.  It is clear that another five years of Tories with or without the Lib Dems will lead to more children being forced into large classes and further damage to standards.”

Liz Savage Supports the IFAW Campaign to End Wildlife Crime


Southport Labour Party’s Candidate Liz Savage has shown her commitment to protecting animals by pledging her support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) campaign to end wildlife poaching.

At the Labour Party Conference, Liz is pictured with a speech bubble to highlight the issue and send a clear message that she wants the UK to continue to take the lead in the international community to stamp out wildlife crime.

The illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated £11.6 billion per year. It ranks fourth on the list of the most lucrative global illegal activities behind narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking.

Criminals are attracted to wildlife trafficking for the huge profits and low penalties. Disturbingly, the proceeds are used to fund well-armed rebel and militia groups who are willing to slaughter threatened species and kill people to obtain elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn and other wildlife parts.

 Liz said: “An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory. I am supporting the IFAW in their campaign against this because I want to ensure that elephants don’t become extinct and just a picture on the internet or in a book of an animal that used to be”

IFAW’s work to combat wildlife crime includes providing training and equipment to anti-poaching ranger units, training customs officials to identify and seize wildlife contraband, collaborating with law enforcement authorities to arrest and prosecute black market traders and working to reduce demand for these products throughout the world, particularly in China.

IFAW’s UK Campaigns Manager, Tania McCrea-Steele, said: “The impact of poaching and the illegal trade on wildlife is very grave and we are witnessing entire populations of iconic species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos being brought to the brink of extinction. We thank Liz Savage for showing her commitment to stamping out wildlife crime.”

For more information on the IFAW campaign please contact:

Amanda Gent on +44 (0)20 7587 6725, mobile +44 (0)7860 755876 or email or Clare Sterling on +44 (0)20 7587 6708, mobile +44 (0)7917 507717 or email