Winter illnesses and the shortage of NHS funding have been putting local services under intense pressure.
Bed occupancy rates reached 95% early in the year, in spite of the Heart of England Trust adding extra beds for the winter. The recommended safe limit is 85%.
The Trust, which runs Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope Hospitals, had 25 ambulance delays that exceeded an hour and 153 delays that were between 30 minutes and an hour.
The Solihull Observer quoted 'health bosses' saying the NHS in the Solihull area is "under sustained pressure". On January 5th, the Trust didn't know how many operations and appointments would be delayed. They still won't say.
Both Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, and Theresa May apologised for such NHS delays. This was after consistently claiming for months that the service was well funded, and ready for winter.
Charles Robinson, the Lib Dem candidate in the Blythe by-election on March 1st, says that the NHS and Social Care services need more money. The public support this - with a recent survey saying a big majority of the public want the NHS to be better funded.
Liberal Democrat Healthcare Policy
Our Healthcare Policy key points.
1. Give the NHS £6bn more per year.
2. Target this money at social care, care in the community, mental and public health, reducing the burden on hospitals and GPs, by treating people in the right place.
3. Long term creation of a health and care tax, following consultation, to replace the income tax revenue - to create a single dedicated budget for both services.
4. Because the challenges facing the NHS are so great, comprehensively review the long term sustainability of health and social care finances and workforce, including the practicalities of further integration. (Reviewed by a cross party convention, involving patients, the public and health professionals).
5. Introduce an independent budget monitoring body to report every 3 years on how much money the system requires to operate safely. It would forecast how much is needed to meet future demand and support the introduction of new treatments.