A Report from Two Front Lines at the Royal Hospital

If this looks a bit peculiar my apologies. This is my first attempt to blog from my I-pad!

I am sending this from ward 8y at the Royal Hospital. I am just in for tests so no by-election in Church Ward.

I just want to say how great the staff have been here and indeed in the Health Service more generally. Saw my GP at 11.30. Was being seen to at the Royal at 13.00. Had been seen by two lovely doctors both called Sarah and at 16.00 was told I needed to spend the night here.

At 17.00 I was given a bed and at 17.15 the registrar saw me and old me how I will spend tomorrow morning (don’t ask!).

The building is old and tired just like me I suppose. I am pleased that the Government has committed the money to replace it. The people here are marvellous. Full of concern and professionalism with a great sense of humour even when sticking a syringe somewhere unmentionable! As the person who summated the NHS debate at the conference in March I have seen more of the NHS in the past 5 months than ever before what with my Mum dying and me now being poorly. I am determined to preserve the best traditions of this service and am now personally satisfied that the current Bill will do just that, PROVIDED we all work hard to implement it properly.

The second front is South Liverpool. From my 8th floor eyries I can see all of South Liverpool and much of the city centre. Will there be further disturbances tonight? Ihope not but if there is I have a ringside seat.

You may recall that about 2 months I blogged about the 1981 civil disturbances 30 years on. I have been reminded by the press today that I am now the only city councillor who was a councillor during those dreadful events.

This morning I put out a press release praising the comments and actions of Cllr Paul Grant, Labour’s deputy Leader in Livepool. He judged the situation and the necessary response just right.

My press release said 4 things:-

1. There were some excuses which lay behind what happened then although they were in no way an excuse for the wanton violence and destruction. This time there is no excuse. The Police make some mistakes in Liverpool – they are human just like the rest of us. But they are a fine force with strong community links and quality training. Our job is to back them.

2. The people conducting the mischief last night are criminals and thugs. We must not glorify them.

3. Politicians must work together to face these issues. I will remember that militants tried and succeeded in making political capital 30 years ago. Their behaviour caused more problems than the riots! I was pleased to support Labour this morning because they were doing and saying the right things.

4. As I argued two months ago we need to find new ways to put the problems right. Billions have been spent since the last disturbances all over the country but those areas still present the most intractable difficulties. I would guess that many of those who have been on the streets of Liverpool last night are the sons of those who were on the streets all those years ago. At any rate, the feeling that people are outside the conventions of society is now inter-generational.

That is why the CSR work on “families with complex needs” is so important.My second guess would be that most of the kids in the streets come from those 120,000 families. This is the major problem that we must all face. There are no easy answers but perhaps some easy questions!

So this note might be even more rambling than usual. Please forgive me there are reasons.

Now what’s that nurse doing coming towards me with a grin on her face and a glove on her hand?!

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About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. . Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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