WATCH: Bobby calls out the Conservatives’ broken promises on the NHS

16 Mar 2024
Bobby Conference

Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Carshalton & Wallington, Bobby Dean, has called out the Conservative government for their abysmal record on the NHS in a debate at Liberal Democrat conference.

Speaking in a debate about the Conservatives’ broken promises on the NHS, Bobby brought to light the dire conditions in which doctors and patients are operating in at St Helier, and said it was time for the hospital “to get the new building it deserves”, after years of crippling underfunding by the Conservatives.

You can watch the speech from 2:58:10 below, or read it in full.

St Helier Hospital towers over my community. Its physical presence marks the landscape and its connection with the community runs deep. 

But it is in trouble. 

The building is older than the NHS itself. And its condition is appalling. 

It gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. It floods. Bits of the building are propped up with pieces of wood. Toilets break. Lifts break. 

And the intensive care unit is simply not fit for modern day clinical standards. 


It has been clear for decades that a new building is needed. But plan after plan has been put forward and failed. 

The Conservative Government’s latest plan is to shut down A&E and maternity services at St Helier and deliver them at a new site instead. 

We, the community and local health workers are against this plan because there is a better, more affordable and more just plan to deliver a new building on the existing site. 

Nevertheless, the Conservatives insisted that this was the way forward.

Now, five years on, nothing has happened and St Helier has been left to crumble. 

This project is failing because this Government has a total lack of understanding about how investment in public services provides returns to everyone. 

The stupid, short termism of pinching from the capital budget to plug holes in day to day spending is the perfect illustration of saving a penny today and costing us a pound tomorrow. 

The Government likes to talk a lot about efficiency and productivity.

But do they not realise how much time is lost to managing a poor and unsuitable estate?

Do they not see that a population that is less healthy, is less productive?

During the pandemic, there was much talk about the need to transition the NHS away from a model of so-called efficiency towards a model built on resilience. 

Flipping on its head the notion of waste and recognising spare capacity in the system can be a good thing - able to withstand moments of high pressure. Not only unusual ones like the pandemic but also the usual winter crisis that happens every single year.

What happened to that talk? Now this government can't even deliver the capacity of yesterday let alone tomorrow. 


It's time we brought an end to this short sighted strategy. It's time to invest in the NHS on a scale that gets it back on its feet. 

And it's time for St Helier to get the new building it deserves. 

Conference, I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are heading into this election with our health service at the top of the agenda. 

It is a liberal who laid the foundations to its existence in the last century and it will be liberals that fight for its existence in this. Conference, we are the party of the NHS and I urge you to back the motion. 

Put St Helier First petition

I back the campaign by Bobby Dean and the Lib Dems to Put St Helier First, save A&E and Maternity services and secure the funding our hospital needs.

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