Tonight on Mumsnet was a webchat with Nick Clegg. Mumsnet are the people who revealed to us the biscuits Gordon Brown likes to eat, and I suspect that was a better, more revealing discussion than tonight’s was with Mr Clegg. Questions were asked, few, if any, were answered. Guess what I asked about, was it what pushchair to buy, was it what hair styling products do you use? No, I asked about the maternity services and the funding and after an hour, and several message prods from me and another NHS employee we received a sort of answer –
“It’s difficult for me to know exactly what’s going on in your ward/hospital – as you know, it depends on what PCTs, hospital Trusts are deciding in each area. But I think it’s important to remember that we’ve explicitly excluded the NHS from the cuts falling elsewhere, ringfencing the NHS budget is really important for a public service which is not only crucial to every family in the country, but also the largest public sector employer in the country.”
Clever, clever answer. Basically what he’s saying is ” I don’t know what’s going on around the country within the NHS but what I can tell you is that if bad things are happening it’s nothing to do with the government, it’s all down to how your local providers are spending the money. We are not going to take any money away, obviously we are not going to give any more, even though we have promised people improvements to the services already on offer. As the monies for the maternity services were before, and got used elsewhere, the monies for the NHS in general will be ring-fenced.” I feel SO reassured. Not.