Health & Social Care

Funding connected services for healthy communities

Scarborough Hospital was recently rated as 'requiring improvement' by the CQC. The report highlights a number of challenges faced, including several issues relating to staffing:

"Nursing and medical staffing did not always meeting (sic) planned staffing levels. There was a heavy reliance on bank and  agency nursing staff. There was a reliance on locum doctors to fill gaps in the medical rota." Concluding that "Service pressures and staffing issues were having a detrimental effect on staff morale and wellbeing."

In Whitby there is the continued uncertainty around the redevelopment of the hospital and what services will ultimately look like in the constituency's 2nd largest town. On top of this we have continued care home closures and very limited mental health provision.

Nationally the NHS is chronically underfunded by the Conservative Government, who refuse to commit the resources necessary to ensure the long term future of our most vital and cherished institution. 

In my personal view, this tactic is an ideological ploy to intentionally under fund services until breaking point. At which moment the Tories will proclaim that the only way to save the NHS will be to invite the private sector in. This must never happen and I will oppose any policy that leads down this path.

Sustained under funding, coupled with rising demand, disjointed social care provision and an overstretched ambulance service has created a 'perfect storm' of conditions which has put the NHS on a cliff edge. I believe the only reason it has not yet fallen off the edge, is the unwavering loyalty and commitment of the front line staff, working above and beyond the call of duty to deliver care under hugely difficult conditions.

My primary focus would be on delivering our manifesto promise to commit an extra 30bn for health and 8bn for social care over the next Parliament, including immediate removal of the public sector pay freeze. We must work towards a fully integrated Health & Social Care system, tackling the issue of 'bed blocking' and providing dignity for the elderly.

Personally I feel very strongly about the need to invest in mental health services, especially for the young people of our region, considering 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. If we do not address the crisis in mental health now, we are damaging individual's lives and storing up social and economic problems for the future. I am fully committed to securing parity of esteem between mental and physical health.