The proposal to build an incinerator and plastics recycling plant on the Stourport Road in Kidderminster will be considered by Worcestershire County Council (W.C.C.) planning committee on on 28th September, meeting begins at 10am and is webcast. Physical attendance at the meeting by the general public is possible but numbers will be limited. Contact the Clerk to the committee if you wish to attend.
It is better for people and for the NHS if we keep people healthy in the first place, rather than just waiting until people develop illnesses and come for treatment. 40 per cent of NHS spending is on diseases that are preventable, so we need to do more to support people to lead more active and healthy lives and to help to improve the mental health and wellbeing. This is everybody's business - in our communities, places of work and education; the NHS, social care and public health can't do it alone.
Our understanding of what causes physical and mental ill health is evolving all of the time. It is clear there are strong links between illness and both environmental and social factors. We know that poor housing, unsafe streets, poor air quality, unhealthy diets and financial uncertainty can create the conditions for people to become both physically and mentally unwell.
Health and social care services are in a state of crisis. After years of underinvestment our hospitals are crumbling and there is now a staggering £6.5 billion backlog of repairs, meaning that many of our hospitals are not fit for purpose and lack money even to repair leaky roofs and replace windows. The workforce feels undervalued and services are struggling to retain staff. Local authorities have been starved of resources and are using up their reserves to try and cope with the demand for social care. More than a million people are unable to get the care they need. Too often, people are left stranded in hospital after they finish their treatment and no longer need to be there because the follow-up care and support they need to go home is not available in the community.
Liberal Democrats are the only party with a long-term plan for health and care services: Labour and Conservatives make short-term promises but have no long-term vision for ensuring the sustainability of these services. We know that any party seeking to lead the country at this election should be prepared to take bold action to safeguard health and social care. This isn't about doing the easiest thing, it is about doing what is right and what is essential.
Physical and mental health should be treated equally in the NHS. In government, we fought tirelessly to bring this about and are proud of the strides forward that we made by legislating to give mental and physical health equality under the law. But we know that not enough resources reach front line mental health services and that in the fight for parity of esteem, there is still a very long way to go to achieve real equality for mental health. Our plan prioritises early intervention to prevent people from experiencing a mental health crisis and to minimise the number and duration of in-patient stays. This means ensuring all young people can access support quickly.
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