Grantham Journal column: ‘Labour will improve health and social care,’ says Charmaine Morgan

Labour councillor Charmaine Morgan.
Labour councillor Charmaine Morgan.
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Following a trip to Nottingham where local Labour Party members took part in a forum with Andy Burnham MP (Labour’s shadow spokesman for health) to review how to improve health and social care, Labour’s 10-year plan for health has now been launched.

Despite promises made by David Cameron that there would be no cuts to frontline services or big re-organisations in the NHS, we now have fewer nurses and GPs, 1.25 million people wait longer than four hours to be treated in A&E, one in four people have to wait more than a week to see a GP, or cannot see a GP at all, and, 300,000 fewer older people are receiving social care than in 2009/10.

The current Government introduced the Health & Social Care Act 2012 which removed responsibility for our NHS from the secretary of state. It also introduced competition laws that put private patient rights above those of NHS patients, encouraged hospitals to offer private services and introduced a tendering process that has created unnecessary competition, more bureaucracy and management.

Andy Burnham argues that our NHS needs stability and security. Labour will restore democratic accountability for the NHS.

Labour will also invest in 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 3,000 more midwives and start to build new NHS care homes.

GPs’ appointments within 48 hours, or emergency appointments if needed will be guaranteed. Labour will introduce integrated health and social care services tailored at a local level, invest in mental health care, remove the bedroom tax affecting family carers and aim to make cancer survival rates for the people of our country the best in the EU. The full report is available online http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/uploads/editor/files/Labour_Ten_Year_NHS_Plan.pdf

As a result of concerns by the public at the deterioration of our NHS services, 38 Degrees are organising a series of protests nationally. They have an online petition calling for all candidates standing for Parliament nationally to defend our NHS and oppose privatisation. Local Labour members have voted to support the 38 Degrees campaign.

The 38 Degrees petition is available on: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-nhs-petitions.

Details of further action to take place on February 28 locally will be provided shortly.

In the meanwhile it’s good to see that the Conservatives in SKDC have finally accepted the idea put forward three years ago by the Labour Group that a community fund should be provided to support our very important local volunteers and the work they do.