28 Nov 2023
Helen Maguire at hospital


28 November 2023






Liberal Democrats in Epsom, Ewell, Ashtead, and Leatherhead have accused the Government of allowing our health services to crumble after Wednesday’s Autumn Statement failed to provide additional funding for local health services.


Before the Autumn Statement, the party had been calling for the Chancellor to invest in a robust NHS rescue plan as ever-growing treatment backlogs have stalled the economy, damaging both growth and quality of life. 


These measures would have included reversing Conservative cuts to vital public health services in Epsom & Ewell and delivering 8,000 more GPs across the country so creating 65 million more appointments every year.


Additionally, the Autumn statement said nothing about the failure to deliver the promised new Sutton emergency care hospital which is designed to serve the Epsom & Ewell constituency and relieve huge pressures at crumbling Epsom and St Helier hospitals.


It comes as the Liberal Democrats have warned that treatment backlogs are damaging economic growth. A poll1 commissioned by the party showed that one in seven people had taken a significant length of time off work while waiting for treatment on the NHS (see notes to editors).


Apart from ignoring the crisis in our health service, the Chancellor proposed tax changes that fail to get a grip on the problem after years of unfair tax hikes that Epsom & Ewell Conservative MP Chris Grayling has consistently voted in favour of. 


Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Epsom & Ewell Helen Maguire said,


“I know of an 86-year-old woman with sudden onset of severe chronic abdominal pain and vomiting who presented at Epsom A&E and then had to be transferred to St Helier for an operation – a process which took 30 hours in total. This is not how we expect a wealthy country such as Britain to treat our citizens when they need urgent care.


“The Conservatives are so out of touch with the country, that they cannot see the damage they have done to the NHS and the harm they have brought to our society - they simply do not care.


“The Autumn Statement was an opportunity to get people off NHS waiting lists and allow them to return to work so we can rescue our flatlining economy. “Instead, we got empty promises of new hospitals - like the proposed one at Sutton - that are not met, and NI cuts that are a drop in the ocean compared to the overall negative impact of Tory policies on people’s living standards.”


Notes to Editors: 

  1. Polling:

Polling methodology: Savanta interviewed 2,235 UK adults aged 18+ online between 10th and 13th November 2023. Data were weighted to be representative of the UK by age, sex, region and social grade. Full details here.


Which of the following have you experienced in the last year? Base: All respondents who are currently working (n=1,305)

Unable to go to work as waiting for GP appointment - 19%

Unable to go to work as waiting for emergency dental appointment - 12%

Took a lengthy period off work whilst waiting for NHS treatment or surgery - 15%

Don’t know - 4%

None of these - 60%

NET: Any - 36%


  1. Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency funding boost for the NHS and social care including:


  • Delivering 8,000 more GPs to create 65 million more appointments every year.
  • Urgently reforming NHS dentistry to end dental deserts and DIY dentistry.
  • Giving the NHS 200 new radiotherapy machines and training 3,400 extra cancer nurses.
  • Preparing for urgent pressures this winter to avoid a new crisis, with an immediate boost to NHS staffed hospital bed capacity and ambulance services.
  • Tackling the black hole in adult and children’s social care services and giving care workers a proper pay rise.
  • Reversing Conservative cuts to vital public health services in local communities, such as children's health services and drug and alcohol services.
  • Proper mental health support, by rolling out community walk-in centres for children and young people and providing every school with a qualified mental health practitioner.