Today I spoke in a parliamentary debate on a topic extremely important to my constituents – NHS funding. Today’s opposition day debate was organised by Labour and gave MPs the chance to grill the government on their record.
After wasting £3 billion on a reckless, unwanted top-down reorganisation of the NHS, the government has announced further spending reductions which, according to the Office of Budget Responsibility, would reduce state spending to levels as low as the 1930s – before the NHS even existed.
Labour’s motion in today’s debate called on the government to reconsider plans in the Autumn Statement to cut spending even further and set out Labour’s plan to invest an extra £2.5 billion in the NHS to fund 20,000 new nurses and 8,000 GPs.
I took the opportunity to speak about Islington’s experience of managing tough economic circumstances without cutting back on vital services like social care. I spoke about the positive example shown by Whittington Health, which partners a local hospital with the council to provide health and social care in the community.
It is a model that I hope will guide the next Labour government’s approach to health and social care: bringing people together, focussing on the whole of a person’s needs and giving the health service the time to care for people properly.
During the debate Labour’s shadow minister, Liz Kendall MP, praised “the excellent joined-up care provided by the Whittington hospital, which I was privileged to visit, and the excellent work of Islington council, which is still funding social care for people with moderate needs and ensuring all its home care staff are paid the London living wage, including for travel costs”.
You can read the transcript of the full debate here: