Today I met with the team at Cadbury Heath Health centre. Cadbury Heath serves over 11,000 people, offering a high standard of care in a purpose built practice. But, like many GP services, they are under pressure in a climate of reduce resources, an ageing population, and as a result of cuts to preventative measures such as public health, social care and mental health support.
I spoke with them about a number of their concerns, and what they felt the NHS and GP surgeries needed. Here are 3 of their concerns, and what Labour pledges to do:
1. Recruitment. Many surgeries now have at least one GP vacancy, and as a result of staff shortages, waiting times increase. We also require more nurses, and have concerns that many may not choose to train after the removal of the NHS bursary for student nurses.
Labour pledges to ensure we recruit and retain global talent, we will scrap the NHS pay cap, and re-introduce bursaries and funding for health-related degrees
2. Ambulance waiting times, A&E waiting times and reduction in available beds. I have heard number of anecdotes now from personal experience, waiting for an ambulance for over 2 hours and then waiting for a bed. By properly resourcing the NHS, Labour will stop the routine breach of safe levels of bed occupancy, guarantee that patients can be seen in A&E within four hours, and reduce waiting lists to pre-2010 levels
3. The impact of the changes to disability living allowance on patients - patients who are often ill or with chronic conditions being told they are fit for work. This is despite the fact GPs' have concluded they are not. This means that many either are left without any money to support themselves, so suffer from other ailments, or regress due to the stress of fighting the decision.
Labour will end reassessments for those with Chronic conditions, increase ESA and increase carer's allowance.
The Tory government is not standing up for our NHS.
I pledge to defend our vital local GP services, fight for our NHS and bring investment into Kingswood, and get nearby services such as the minor injury clinic at Cossham hospital up and running.
I am proud of the NHS. You can find out more about Labour's pledges to protect the NHS here: http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/healthcare-for-all