Hundreds of shoppers signed a petition calling on the Government to spend more on the NHS as Arundel and South Downs Labour Party members joined a national day of action with protests in Hassocks and Storrington .
Many of those supporting the action spoke of the effect of cuts on their own lives and their worries for the future of services.
“We had a huge level of support for our call for more funding for the NHS with people telling us how cutbacks nationally and locally were seriously affecting them.” said our Chair Caroline Fife, after she led the campaign in Storrington.
“One lady in her 80s was left without support to bathe her husband who has a serious condition and a Doctor told us how a local care home was set to close with the loss of 70 much needed beds. The real cost of cutbacks on social care and mismanagement of the NHS impacts people and needs to be recognized and reversed.”
The support for more funding was equally positive in Hassocks.
“Shoppers were pleased to see people standing up for the NHS and wanted to send a message to the government to sort out the current funding crisis.” Linda Taylor, Secretary of Arundel and South Downs Labour Party.
Earlier this week Labour revealed that the amount spend on Adult social care last year (2015/16) was £167.3m compared to £203.5m in 2010/11 – with budget cuts in 5 out of 6 years amounting to £48.5m – even greater in real terms. *
At the same time the growth in the elderly population in West Sussex has pushed up costs of social care to new highs and this was putting increased pressure on the NHS.
West Sussex County Council’s draft budget for 2016/17 expresses serious concern about its inability to keep up with the rate of growth in the ageing population. It forecasts costs for elderly social care will rise by a further £21m over the next 4 years contributing to the £124m council funding gap.