The NHS is one of the Labour Party’s greatest achievements, which is why I am incredibly worried about the current state of our National Health Service after years of mismanagement and under investment by the Conservative Government. We are seeing the effects of this locally, with our Hospital Trust in special measures and GP practices across the city closing down, putting more pressure on those that remain open. That is why I recently voted to scrap the incredibly damaging 1% pay cap on public workers so that the real terms cuts to their wages can be reversed.
I have applied consistent pressure on the Government, especially over its failure to intervene in the shambles of Coperforma’s treatment of Patient transport. Following on from this, late last year I wrote to Jeremy Hunt in light of the unprecedented pressures our local health services are facing and asked him to take action – he refused to do so, as have other Health Ministers when I have challenged them on it in the Commons. Sadly the Government has failed to grasp the scale of the problem, instead criticising GPs and Doctors themselves, rather than providing the additional funds that so many Cabinet Ministers promised when they were campaigning for the Leave side in the EU Referendum.
I meet regularly with local Health Service chiefs and raise with them my concerns over the impact these overstretched services are having on residents across the City. I will continue to keep a very close eye on how our local services cope and will continue to make the case for the additional investment and support that our excellent frontline staff are crying out for.
I am incredibly worried about the state of our NHS and intend to remain a critical voice in holding the government’s poor management for our magnificent health service to account.