Category Archives: Campaigning

Pledge 3 – Standing up for our NHS and social care services

I’ve made five key pledges  for Newcastle North ahead of the General Election on 8th June, the third of which is that I will continue to stand up for our NHS and social care services. You can read more about this below.

Pledge 3 – Standing up for our NHS and social care services

The founding of our National Health Service is Labour’s proudest achievement in Government.

But, speak to anyone who works on the frontline in our NHS today, and they’ll confirm that it’s at breaking point after seven years of Tory Government.  And patients know this too because waiting times are up: for surgery, for treatment at A&E, an ambulance, mental health support, or to see a GP; whilst services and medicines are being rationed across England.

Meanwhile, hardworking NHS staff are increasingly being asked to do more with fewer resources, and that’s not fair – or safe – for them or their patients. And, in the sixth largest economy in the world, we now have nurses turning to foodbanks after years of NHS pay freezes.

And the pressures on our health service are being exacerbated after seven years of punitive Tory cuts to social care that have left the system in crisis, and far too many older and vulnerable people left without the vital care and support they need – or receiving 15-minute care visits from overworked and underpaid homecare staff.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and Labour is committed to investing in our NHS and social care system to give patients the modern, well-resourced services our country needs in the 21st century.

That means an NHS that guarantees treatment within 18 weeks to take one million people off NHS waiting lists. An NHS that guarantees people will be seen at A&E within 4 hours. An NHS that delivers the Cancer Strategy for England, helping 2.5million people living with cancer. An NHS which invests in children’s health with the ambition of making our children the healthiest in the world.

Supporting North East Ambulance Service staff

It also means an NHS which properly resources ambulance services – a critical issue for the North East, which has the lowest funded ambulance service of anywhere in the country.  An NHS that ring-fences mental health budgets to ensure funding reaches the frontline, and invests in early intervention for children and young people affected by mental health issues. And an NHS in which staff are properly valued for the vital work they do.

Importantly, Labour will address the immediate funding crisis facing social care services after Tory cuts have seen £4.6billion lost from social care budgets since 2010 despite rising demand, whilst laying the foundations for a new National Care Service for England to properly integrate health and social care.

Marching for our NHS in Newcastle

And these are all issues I’ve worked hard on over the last seven years as Newcastle North’s MP: fighting for properly funded NHS and social care services that prioritise frontline patient care; vigorously opposing costly and unnecessary reorganisations and encroaching privatisation; and campaigning for NHS and social care staff to be properly recognised for the vital work they do.

Campaigning against community pharmacy cuts

And I’ve worked closely with countless local and national charities to campaign for better treatment and support for people in Newcastle North, including for those affected by stroke, multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, sight and hearing loss, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, dementia, spinal and brain injury, mental health conditions, and those who need to access palliative care – to take just some examples – as well as fighting against the Conservatives’ damaging cuts to local community pharmacies.

Because I know from my postbag that the future of our NHS and social care services is one of the single biggest priorities for people across Newcastle North – and you have my word that it will always remain one of my top priorities if re-elected as your local MP.

Speaking to residents across Newcastle North

The Newcastle North Labour team and I are working hard to speak with as many people as possible across the entire constituency during this campaign – which I have done since I was first elected to Parliament back in 2010.

Since the last campaign update, I’ve been out with my team speaking with – and listening to – local residents in Newbiggin Hall, Lemington, Westerhope’s Hillheads Estate, Hazlerigg, Newburn, the Halls Estate in Gosforth, Fawdon, West Denton, South Gosforth, Chapel Park, Dinnington, Chapel House, Red House Farm, Brunton Park, the Great Park, North Kenton and Walbottle.


Pledge 1 – Always putting Newcastle North first

I’ve made five key pledges  for Newcastle North ahead of the General Election on 8th June, and at the top of my list is that I will always put the people of Newcastle North first. You can read more about this below:

Pledge 1 – Always putting the people of Newcastle North first

Newcastle North is my home.  It’s where I was born, where I grew up and where I’m now raising my own young family – and I’ve had the absolute privilege of representing our area in Parliament over the last seven years.

Since first being elected in 2010, I’ve worked hard to be an open, accessible, responsive and pro-active MP. That’s because my number one priority has always been getting out and about to listen to people, businesses and community organisations across the whole of Newcastle North: to effectively represent their concerns both locally and nationally – and to support those who have needed my help, in any way I can.

Over that time, I’ve been contacted by around 15,000 local people seeking my assistance to resolve a problem, or who have wanted to raise concerns with me about local or national policies.

I hope that I have provided a first class service to Newcastle North’s residents and organisations as their voice and champion in Parliament – whether to the local school pupils whose concerns I’ve taken to the Prime Minister; to the many hundreds of local residents for whom I’ve helped get a bad decision overturned; to the Newcastle North businesses I’ve supported to grow and create good new jobs; to the thousands of local women I’ve fought for after their State Pension age was unfairly raised; or to the many local community groups I’ve been actively involved with over the last seven years…to give just some examples.

I’ve also worked hard to stand up for the people of Newcastle North, fighting to protect our community against deep Tory cuts – campaigning for an end to the unfair and disproportionate budget cuts imposed on Newcastle City Council; Northumbria Police, local schools, and the unacceptable pressure on our local NHS over the last seven years.

And I never fail to seize an opportunity to shout up about what a great place Newcastle North is to live, work, visit and do business – and about what local people and organisations think could be done to make it better.

I believe Newcastle North needs a strong, locally-rooted MP who is fiercely proud of our area – and with a proven track record of being prepared to stand up for what is right for local people, as I’ve done since 2010.

You have my word that this will never change, and that I will always put the people of Newcastle North first.