I have campaigned for years for more funding for the NHS to ensure we have a service that works and that frontline workers like nurses get decent pay. And I have continuously opposed the creeping privatisation we have seen over recent years.
NHS staff are absolutely brilliant, but they’ve suffered a pay freeze, underfunding and under-staffing, as have our care workers for far too long.
I agree with you that was wholly unacceptable. In the October budget, the government did not include any new funds for training, no plans for recruitment or staffing and no plans to reinstate the bursary.
I challenged the Government directly in Parliament on scrapping NHS Bursaries which resulted in Nursing degree applications falling every year since the bursary was dropped. This has contributed to the huge number of vacancies and the NHS is now short of at least 40,000 nurses.
The Health and Care Bill ignores the key and pressing issues affecting the NHS and its staff – particularly the impact of the pandemic on staff and patients, waiting lists for non-covid treatment, wider reform of adult social care, and workforce pressures. According to the Health Foundation NHS services have 100,000 vacancies overall, and adult social care is understaffed by a further 110,000.
So, I voted for the workforce amendment (number 34) to the Health and Care Bill, but sadly it was defeated by the Government.
I will continue to raise these issues in and out of Parliament.