Senior councillors call on Secretary of State to act on "broken" national health and care system

Four senior councillors, including Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council and Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for Health and Care, have written on behalf of residents to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to make him aware of the strain that local health and care services are under and to call for his urgent attention in addressing the national problems that underpin it.

Senior councillors call on Secretary of State to act on "broken" national health and care system

Rt Hon Sajid Javid

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

House of Commons



Dear Secretary of State

We are writing on behalf of people across Telford and Wrekin to alert you to the health and care crisis we are experiencing and to ask for your urgent attention to address it.

Across the borough, NHS primary, secondary and urgent care and local authority social care services are under extreme pressure. With winter looming we have serious concerns that many people’s lives will be lost unless the government recognises the issues and acts.

Services here are stretched to breaking point. Our hospitals are full and there are unacceptable delays in health care causing emotional and physical harm to people in our communities.

The reasons for this are complex and not unique to Telford and Wrekin but, as a responsible local authority who have a commitment to care for and protect our communities, it is our duty to make you aware of the long-lasting impacts being felt by our residents and those who are desperate to support them.

Across the system, whether in the ambulance service, GP services, hospitals or within home care, those working on the front line are doing their very best to give the best possible care but the national system is ‘broken’ and failing them. 

The pressure on primary care and the resulting difficulties that our residents are facing around access to GP appointments together with insufficient community health care sees an increasing number of people seeking support from emergency services.  West Midlands Ambulance Service are ‘on their knees’ with waits of up to six hours for those experiencing life-threatening incidents such as heart attack or stroke.

When arriving at Accident & Emergency, many patients have faced trolley waits of more than 12 hours. 

Add this to an increasing number of COVID patients and a backlog of elective care caused by the pandemic at a time when recruitment and retention in health and care is a major issue and we are in a perfect storm.

The investment into the NHS announced in the recent budget is welcome. However, we are yet to understand what proportion of this money is available locally and whether it will be enough to make a difference in the areas that need it most.  

Investment and support is needed in all parts of the system - in local care, GP services, social care and not just acute care.

As we head into winter and the pressure on services intensifies we need swift and decisive action to save lives. Our hospital and social care teams are working flat out to take action to deal with the surge in demand but we fear that won’t be enough.

It is essential that investment is made to address staff shortages in clinical and administrative teams in our hospitals and GP surgeries and to increase the number of adult social care workers working alongside them so that the timeliness and quality of care is improved. 

It is also vital that health care becomes more readily available in our communities so that people can access the right level of care, close to home, when they need it in order to reduce pressure on our hospital.

Urgent action is needed to put an end to stories like Colin’s, whose father waited for 12 hours in agony for an ambulance to be admitted to hospital only to be cut off from his family who could not reach him because no-one at the ward was available to answer their calls.

We stand alongside our NHS colleagues, ready to play our part and offer our support but we need the government to recognise the severity of the problems and take supportive action now.

Yours Sincerely

Councillor Shaun Davies

Leader, Telford &Wrekin Council

Councillor Andy Burford

Cabinet Member for Health and Care

Councillor Kelly Middleton

Chair of Telford and Wrekin Health and Wellbeing Board

Councillor Derek White

Chair of Telford & Wrekin Council Health Scrutiny Committee


Lucy Allan MP

Mark Pritchard MP

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