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Current East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton seems very exercised by the activist from NHA protest party.

In his letter (Herald, November 6), Mr Loughton criticises comments made by the NHA candidate about the ongoing privatisation of the NHS in West Sussex. He also makes inaccurate and misleading statements about Labour’s excellent record in funding and running the NHS.

He should realise that residents and voters are not fooled by sophistry about Labour’s record on the NHS. Everyone knows that the last Labour Government massively increased the NHS budget over our 13 years of government.

What concerns Tim Loughton is less the NHS than the challenge he faces holding on to his seat in East Worthing and Shoreham. UKIP are eating into his majority and because he voted for the appalling Health and Social Care bill, described by his senior colleagues as their ‘biggest mistake in Government’, Mr Loughton knows he is party to the proposed privatisation of musculoskeletal services in West Sussex.

Earlier this month, I met with Dr Katie Armstrong, clinical chief officer of the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, to express my grave local concerns about the future of trauma and orthopedic services – and to challenge the way her organisation has gone about this unwanted and unneeded privatisation. Thanks to the Herald’s campaign and the thousands of people supporting our local NHS services, I believe the CCG is starting to waver in its resolve.

What representations will Mr Loughton make? He voted for NHS privatisation and he washed his hands of Southlands Hospital long ago. Many of the remaining services at Southlands would be at risk if the CCG presses on with the MSK contract.

We cannot let the CCG do this. Once the NHS is gone, it will be gone forever and we’ll be reduced to insurance-based health care which only serves the wealthy.

There is only one party which can save the NHS – The Labour Party. Mr Loughton’s Tory Party want to privatise it, UKIP wants to abolish it and the Lib Dems are all but irrelevant.

Tim Macpherson

Labour Party parliamentary candidate

East Worthing and Shoreham

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