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Calls for more cash to help save Cornwall's community hospitals

Calls for more cash to help save Cornwall's community hospitals

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:09am 29th October 2018. (Updated at 1:02pm 29th October 2018)

There are calls for more cash for the NHS to help keep Cornwall's community hospitals open.

That is the plea from health campaigners ahead of the autumn Budget.

The Chancellor is getting set to lay out the tax and spending changes for the next 12 months.

Philip Hammond is expected to announce an extra £2bn a year for crisis services and mental health.

Special ambulances to treat people with conditions like depression, anxiety and PTSD are part of the new measures to ensure mental illnesses are treated as seriously as physical ones.

The vehicles look like normal cars and are designed to reduce stigma.

Specialist mental health support will also be available 24/7 in every A&E department in the country, Mr Hammond will promise.

And schools will get dedicated crisis teams supporting pupils with mild to moderate mental health illnesses.

The Save our NHS campaign in Cornwall is calling on the chancellor to pledge 20% more funding for the NHS by 2020.

It comes after several community hospitals across the Duchy have closed - and it isn't yet known if they will re-open.

"The anticipated Budget is expected to offer an extra £3.4 billion next year.

"Welcome as it sounds, it won't make up for the underfunding of recent years. 

"Sadly that's not even enough to pay off debt, meet the modest delayed pay settlements and maintain the service at the level it has declined to in recent years.

"Conservatives still want to cut £270 million out of Cornwall's NHS by 2020.

"While Parliament is understandably preoccupied with Brexit and putting right the substantial cuts in Universal Credit, it'd be wrong for politicians and the media to believe the Government's hyperbole that it has fixed the NHS's funding crisis."

Andrew George, Save Our NHS Cornwall

What else is set to be announced?

A further £60m has been earmarked for tree planting in England to "preserve the country's greenery".

Around £10m of that will go to growing new street and urban trees, with councils told to match the figure.

A further £50m will be used to buy carbon credits from landowners. These are permits that allow them to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions.

It is hoped they will produced 10 million new trees over the next 30 years.

But Labour warned that "relentless" cuts to local government have "decimated" parks and green spaces.

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said the "one-off pots of funding" did "nothing to reverse or stop the serious decline of parks and open spaces on this government's watch".

Other measures expected to be announced on Monday include cutting business rates for small shops, overhauling marriage laws and fixing pot holes and other road damage.

But the chancellor says that the pledge to end austerity could be threatened by a "no-deal" Brexit.

He said an emergency budget would have to be drawn up that took a "different approach to the future of Britain's economy".

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