We have been asking local Parliamentary candidates for their responses to five key questions about the NHS both here and nationally.
Hollie Devanney is standing for Labour in the Haltemprice and Howden Constituency.
1. What is your view of the current state of the finances in the NHS and what would be your plans for the next five years, funding wise?
I am very proud and inspired by our party manifesto and we have placed the NHS at the top of our political agenda. If I am elected as an MP I will vote and campaign in favour of a NHS which is based on world class quality care, compassion and universal for all on the basis of need and free at the point of use. Alongside this, I will campaign towards reversing the damage done to mental health services and social care under this Tory government, to work towards an National Health Service that provides for needs of the modern day.
Unfortunately, Under the Tories, the NHS and social care have been pushed into a state of emergency, with soaring waiting lists and hospitals in financial crisis. 1.8 million people had to wait longer than the 4 hours in A&E last year. Waiting lists have soared to 3.9 million in England. The number of patients waiting over 12 hours on a trolley in A&E has tripled in two years. Reckless closes to vital local services such as MIU’s and an enormous cut of £4.6 billion to social care have put NHS services under the biggest strain in its history. The refusal to provide extra funding, in real terms by the Tory government is beyond a doubt, set to decimate the NHS.
Where the Tories have failed to deliver, Labour will:
· Give the NHS an an extra £37 billion over the course of the next Parliament, including £10 billion of capital funding to make sure that NHS buildings and IT systems are fit for the modern day.
• Take one million people off the waiting list by the end of the Parliament, by guaranteeing access to treatment within 18 weeks.
• Guarantee patients can be seen in A&E within four hours.
• Create a new £500 million winter pressures fund to help ensure patients never have to experience a winter crisis like the one of recent months.
• Deliver the Cancer Strategy for England in full by 2020, helping 2.5 million people living with cancer.
Our NHS needs a Labour government that will stand up for the many, not the few.
2) Can you tell us if you would support companies from the EU being given access to running NHS services in return for concessions in the BREXIT negotiations? 3) What are your opinions on having private providers running NHS services? Would you vote to extend this?
If I am elected as MP, I would vote in parliament and campaign against the privatisation of the NHS in any form. The Labour Party has promised to reverse the privatisation of our NHS and repeal the Health and Social Care Act that has failed by any measure and placed profit over quality patient care.
NHS as negotiation in Brexit
I strongly oppose our NHS being used as a bargaining tool in Brexit negotiations. As far as the fate of the NHS, the education system and public services are concerned, Brexit is Theresa May’s great distraction.
On a similar note, I believe that our NHS should NOT be offered up in sacrifice to obtain trade deals with the US so that US tycoons can make a profit. The NHS should always remain in public ownership, with quality care, compassion and equality at its core.
3) What problems with the NHS have you identified as specific to our local area?.
The Holderness and Beverley constituency has recently faced the closure of vital MIU services. This means that people in rural areas are now faced with driving up to an hour to the nearest A&E. This also places more pressure on the ambulance service who are already suffering from the funding cuts. I am certain that my constituency, Haltemprice and Howden will face similar cuts to services in the very near future. Ultimately, this will costs lives.
I would also like to mention here what an amazing service MIUs provide. Recently, my daughter tore a ligament in her ankle and we could rely upon the proximity of Goole MIU as a pose to visiting Hull Infirmary A&E. This meant my daughter was treated and home within 2 hours and we did not add more pressure to the extraordinarily busy accident and emergency department at Hull Infirmary.
On another note, local surgeries have a crisis recruiting GPs. This is causing a shortage in care and a cut in GP surgery opening hours. As an MP, I would assess the issues concerning the recruitment process and actively work towards a solution alongside the local NHS.
4) What are your opinions on creating a National Care Service and how it should funded?
I believe that funding the NHS should be a priority on the political agenda. The NHS is at breaking point and without an increase in funding, I am worried that it will cease to exist and healthcare will be determined by wealth and privilege. With this in mind, I fully support the Labour Party’s promise that as our proudest achievement, providing universal healthcare for all on the basis of need, free at the point of use, is at the forefront of our agenda. The NHS under a Labour government would NOT be a postcode lottery and as promised in our manifesto, ‘Labour will commit to over £30 billion in extra funding over the next Parliament through increasing income tax for the highest 5 per cent of earners and by increasing tax on private medical insurance, and we will free up resources by halving the fees paid to management consultants.
Labour will boost capital funding for the NHS, to ensure that patients are cared for in buildings and using equipment that are fit for the 21st century. And we will introduce a new Office for Budget Responsibility for Health to oversee health spending and scrutinise how it is spent.
Labour will halt and review the NHS ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’, which are looking at closing health services across England, and ask local people to participate in the redrawing of plans with a focus on patient need rather than available finances. We will create a new quality, safety and excellence regulator – to be called ‘NHS Excellence’