Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester and Chandlers Ford, Paula Ferguson, along with Lynda Murphy, candidate for Eastleigh, have joined Edward Davey, Sarah Olney, Munira Wilson, Paul Kohler, Monica Harding, Sue Wixley and Mark Gitsham in writing to South Western Railway and the RMT to demand that they stop the planned strikes immediately.
1 in 7 patients arriving at A&E in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight waited longer than four hours before being seen in October 2019, according to damning figures published by NHS England.
The figure of 84.4% of patients attending A&E being treated and then admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours is well below the national target of 95%.
Paula Ferguson, Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester & Chandler’s Ford said:
“If you’re in agony, if you’re really worried - maybe you have a sick child in your arms - then four hours is an incredibly long time to wait. And we now know that many people aren’t even being seen within four hours.
“This isn’t the fault of A&E staff, who are doing their utmost with limited resources. This is down to this Conservative government consistently underfunding our NHS, year on year.
“There are already staff shortages in many departments. An extreme Brexit would make this worse by driving away the EU nurses and doctors the NHS desperately needs.
“The Liberal Democrats are determined to ensure the future of our NHS. We will invest an extra £35 billion through a penny on income tax and develop a national recruitment strategy to ensure we never again suffer shortages of nurses, doctors and other health professionals.”
Nationally, the 95% waiting target hasn’t been met since July 2015. Only 83.6% of patients arriving at A&E across England were treated or admitted in four hours in October, the worst-ever performance since a target was introduced in 2004.
Responding to the news that Nigel Farage's Brexit Party will not be standing a candidate in Winchester & Chandler’s Ford, Liberal Democrat candidate Paula Ferguson said:
"Nigel Farage's comments show he is running scared of the Liberal Democrats as the strongest Remain party in areas like Winchester. He knows that we are the only party at this election that can take seats from the Conservatives and stop Brexit, and he's worried we can win here.'
"Boris Johnson's Conservatives and the Brexit party are now one and the same. Both want to see an extreme Brexit that will damage our local economy, public services and limit opportunities for our children and our grandchildren.
"At the election on December 12th, voters in Winchester & Chandler's Ford have a historic opportunity to elect a Liberal Democrat MP, stop Brexit and build a brighter future for our country."
Winchester’s Liberal Democrat candidate Paula Ferguson is deeply concerned the government is leaving local families in “legal limbo” after official figures reveal that hundreds of EU nationals living in the city have not been offered permanent residency.
Local Lib Dems have welcomed the decision of the Green Party to stand aside Winchester & Chandler’s Ford at this election.
Local Lib Dem candidate Paula Ferguson said:
“I’d like to thank the Green Party for this brave decision and in particular applaud the local Green candidate, Andrew Wainwright, for his principled stand and for agreeing to step aside. Both the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats share the view that Brexit is a national crisis. This ground-breaking agreement, facilitated by the Unite to Remain campaign group, will ensure that more Remain supporting MPs are elected in December, and I am glad that Winchester & Chandler’s Ford is part of that.
“So many people in Winchester and Chandler’s Ford want to stop Brexit and remain in the EU. So that we can focus on the things that really matter to our communities – like funding our NHS and our schools properly, and tackling the climate emergency. Stopping Brexit is the immediate issue we must address but the Climate Emergency is the real existential threat. I am a green Liberal Democrat and the Liberal Democrats have a clear ambitious and realistic plan to cut most emissions by 2030 and to get to net zero by 2045.
The Liberal Democrats can win this seat. We’ve already won two elections this year, first the local elections and then the European Elections. We are the strongest party of Remain and the work done by Unite will ensure that voters can now rally behind the strongest Remain candidate."
The most vulnerable children and families are being hit hardest by funding cuts and by the poor implementation of legislation designed to help them. That’s the conclusion of a report this week from the Education Select Committee, which says schools are struggling to provide support for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
Paula Ferguson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford is calling on the Government to fund SEND provision properly. “I’ve worked with a lot of children with special educational needs and have seen first-hand how hard it can be for families to access the support their children need. Schools do their best, but they don’t have the staff and they are working with incredibly limited resources.’
Funding pressure for child and adolescent mental health services in Hampshire is threatening our most vulnerable children, warns Paula Ferguson, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate: A report by West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group highlights that long waiting lists in Child and Adolescent Mental Health provision in Hampshire have left services at “high risk”.
Swingeing cuts to local library budgets will lead to reduced opening hours and/or library closures, plus staff cuts, if plans by Hampshire County Council move forward. According to HCC’s Library Strategy to 2025, Hampshire Library Service needs to make a target saving £1.76m per year - 16% of its annual budget.
The Liberal Democrats have described the Tories as “heartless” for starving the NHS of vital cash after revealing Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust paid £1,204,587 in interest on outstanding debt over the last five years. Over five years, the sum - paid by the Trust to the Department for Health and Social Care - could have paid for eight nurses’ salaries, five clinical psychologists or two consultants.
Winchester’s elderly population is being put at risk, warns Liberal Democrat candidate Paula Ferguson as Conservatives propose 43.1m cuts in adult social care and public health, including a 13% reduction in falls prevention.
The proposals have been made by the Conservative County Councillors as part of their detailed Transformation to 2021 plans to slash the cost of Adult Social Care and Public Health provision in Hampshire.