Election 2019: Health matters for North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 April 2019

Ridofranz

With councils taking an increasingly large role with public health matters, the topic is a big one to consider at this election.

The parties seeking votes at North Somerset Council level have made their pledges.

Conservatives:

We are working with health to provide more GP services for a growing population, additional funding in budget for areas of need such as early years attainment.

A £3.2million new health and community hub is planned for the town centre, while additional millions have been spent on other primary health services in Weston.

However, we totally disagree with reduction in services at Weston General Hospital and are arguing the case with the CCG to keep a 24-hour service.

Organisation of more community walks and a dedicated Healthy Lifestyles Team.

North Somerset Council is also investing in the health of our planet by achieving recycling performance ranked in he top quartile for waste recycling and 'best council' for carbon reduction.

There is an increased budget for more litter and dog waste bins.

The Conservatives back firm action over climate change and have taken the first step towards North Somerset Council being carbon neutral by 2030.

Green Party:

We support the campaign to restore Weston A&E to a full 24/7 service, essential for a growing town.

We support closer links with Bristol hospitals, but it is important to retain good quality critical care at Weston.

Close co-operation between North Somerset Council and NHS is vital.

The Government must address the looming crisis in social care.

We would want to reverse the cuts to NHS preventative services like health visitors and school nurses as well as community NHS services for the frail and elderly.

Council cuts to children centre staffing, social work teams and the public health budget all contribute to the large health inequalities across the district. Support for family and informal carers must be restored as a matter of priority and the commissioning of care packages must be made sustainable by raising the pay and profile of the caring profession.

Labour:

Everyone has a right to help and support to stay physically and mentally healthy through social care and NHS services protected from the Tories' creeping privatisation.

Labour locally would safeguard your wellbeing by:

* Continuing to find ways to keep a 24-hour A&E unit at Weston General Hospital – and until then working with BRI so patients discharged at night can get home safely.

* Reducing GP visits and hospital admissions by encouraging such tried and tested initiatives as 'social prescribing' of activities like walking and gardening that link to social care.

* Promoting lifelong health and cutting social isolation by increasing funding for setting up — and providing ongoing support for – projects which bring people together in shared interests and activities.

* Working with voluntary groups to support carers, to help prevent them from becoming isolated and ensure they can access respite services and educational and social opportunities.

Liberal Democrats:

Liberal Democrats' priorities include fighting to protect our 24/7 accident and emergency care at Weston General Hospital and putting a stop to downgrades of our local health services.

We want people across North Somerset to have good quality and accessible healthcare and that means investment in Weston General Hospital, in our GP services and at North Somerset Community Hospital in Clevedon.

We also want to introduce free swimming in council pools for under-18s to support people with their health and fitness and we'd deliver a second pool for Weston and a new pool for Nailsea.

We recognise the importance of town and parish councils in improving sports and leisure opportunities in local parks and open spaces, so we would look to support them through more innovative partnership work.

It is time for the Town Hall to listen to local people. The Conservative majority has been in power for 12 years and it is time for change.

Portishead Independents:

Our NHS is undergoing changes which will put funding closer to the community with the emphasis on promoting wellness and preventing illness.

Research shows combating loneliness, providing access to green spaces, cycle paths, leisure and fitness activities can significantly improve people's health.

Portishead Independents will conduct a residents' healthcare survey, including waiting times for GP appointments and treatments and how often residents need to leave the town to get to medical facilities. We will use the data to represent residents of all ages and health status in the newly forming primary care networks.

Portishead Independents will work to identify the town's assets and resources which are crucial to maintain a physically and mentally healthy community.

We will lobby to develop and protect access to facilities, organisations, green spaces and social activities which are vital in improving wellbeing.

For a full list of candidates, including independents standing, click here.

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