Category Archives: General

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.

Registering to vote

I want everyone who’s eligible to vote at this General Election to be able to do so.

That means getting your name on the electoral register by 11.59pm on 22nd May if you want to have your say on 8th June.

You can register to vote online via this website: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

If you will be away on 8th June, or would just like to vote by post rather than at the polling station, the deadline for applying for a postal vote is 5pm on 23rd May.

Please contact Newcastle City Council’s electoral services department to check whether you are registered – or if you would like to apply for a postal vote – via [email protected] or 0191 278 7878.

 

Keep the Ban

I am proud to sign the #KeepTheBanPledge, reaffirming my opposition to any attempts to repeal, or weaken, Labour’s hunting ban.

I believe there is no place for animal cruelty in 21st century Britain – and that’s why I’ve extensively lobbied Ministers on a wide range of animal welfare issues over the last seven years as Newcastle North’s MP.

As well as continuing to oppose fox hunting, I’ve repeatedly called on the Government to end the use of wild animals in circuses; to stop the badger cull; to properly prosecute those involved in wildlife crime; to do something to address the way in which puppies and kittens are bred and sold in (and into) the UK; to introduce a complete ban on ivory sales in this country; and to increase the maximum prison sentence for those convicted of the most serious animal cruelty offences – to take just some examples.

And I know from my postbag that animal welfare is a huge concern for many people across Newcastle North too, and I remain committed to campaigning on these issues on their behalf.