Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has said that the Labour Party would scrap car parking charges if they form the next Government.
Ashworth said in a statement:
“These car parking charges are a tax on the sick, their families and hard-working NHS staff. A Labour government will totally scrap parking charges, providing free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.”
Car parks at hospitals are mostly already free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but a spokesperson for NHS Providers said in a statement:
“All charges by trusts for parking cover the day-to-day running of car parking at the hospital, with any surplus reinvested back into wider services for patients or improving these facilities.”
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has said in a statement that the decision to prorogue Parliament would allow for a new ambitious new programme in the next session.
Johnson said in a statement:
“We must focus on crucial public priorities – helping the NHS, fighting violent crime, investing in infrastructure and science and cutting the cost of living. We have made an important start – funding for 20,000 extra police officers and new investment in our NHS – but to deliver on the public’s priorities we require a new session and a Queen’s Speech.
I believe it is vital that Parliament is sitting both before and after European Council and if, as I hope, a deal with the EU is forthcoming, Parliament will then have the opportunity to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill required for ratification ahead of 31 October.”
Boris Johnson, one of the two remaining candidates in the Conservative Party leadership contest, has said that he believes that the NHS needs both more money and also reform.
Speaking at a private Conservative Party event he said:
“The NHS needs more money but where you are absolutely right is that it needs reform.”
He added that the service was “not getting the kind of support and indeed the kind of changes and management that it needs”.
Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, said:
“These comments are alarming but unsurprising given the hard right agenda Johnson has been putting forward. His tax plans will benefit the richest, he’s the biggest defender of the bankers who crashed the economy, and he’s been buddying up with Trump to sell off our NHS to US corporations. His comments to Tory party members about his plans for the NHS need to be clarified immediately.”
Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has warned the Government following the release of NHS statistics which showed worsening figures in Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.
Ashworth said in a statement:
“Today’s figures reveal an NHS under continued, intense pressure with dismal consequences for patients. We are heading into winter on the back of the worst October on record for A&E and 12 hour waits for hospital admission from the summer onwards being around twice as high as 2017.
What’s more, with over 550,000 patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment, often in pain and distress, ministers cannot continue ducking their responsibilities towards bringing constitutional waiting time standards back under control.
There wasn’t a penny extra for hospitals this winter in the Budget, yet ministers are quickly ratcheting up uncosted promises from the NHS budget over the next five years.
Patients waiting longer and longer in pain for treatment want action now and will expect the Secretary of State to outline a plan to reduce waiting lists and ensure the four hour target is met.”
Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has called on the Government to do more to eliminate same sex wards to meet promises which it had previously made. Figures released showed that there were 969 breaches of the rules in September, more than double the 2015 figure.
Ashworth said in a statement:
“In 2012 Jeremy Hunt said mixed sex wards had been “virtually eliminated”. The fact that mixed sex wards are now at their highest level for six years reveals a bigger picture of overcrowded and overstretched hospitals as a result of Tory underfunding and mismanagement.
Yet again we see patients cruelly let down by Theresa May. Ministers simply cannot carry on burying their heads in the sand about the scale of the problems facing the NHS. In the Budget, Theresa May must match Labour’s pledge to deliver an extra £6 billion for our NHS across the next financial year to ensure the best possible quality of care is sustained for years to come”.
The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to provide tax breaks to employers who are able to show that they have improved mental health provision in the workplace.
Norman Lamb, the Shadow Health Secretary, said at the party’s conference today:
“We need to make a fundamental shift of focus to prevention. We now know that children who suffer trauma or neglect in early years have a higher risk of poor health, low educational attainment, worklessness and often fall into the criminal justice system”.
“As part of my work chairing a Commission on mental health in the West Midlands, I’ve proposed a ‘Wellbeing Premium’ – a temporary discount on your business rates if you take tangible steps to improve wellbeing at work. The evidence is there of what works”.
Jan Ditheridge, the Chief Executive of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, has caused controversy after turning down a £2,500 charitable donation. Ditheridge rejected the money as charity volunteers had dressed up as nursing staff, but the Trust has admitted that it has accepted the money for over twenty years.
A group of volunteers from the League of Friends of Ludlow Hospital had dressed as nurses in a bid to raise money for an ECG machine to benefit patients. Ditheridge said that the hospital would return the money as:
“The presentation of men dressed as female nurses in a highly-sexualised and demeaning way is wrong, very outdated and insulting to the profession”.
In a letter to the League of Friends she added:
“I was clear last year when we met, that Shropshire Community NHS Trust didn’t condone this activity and wanted no part in it”.
Peter Corfield, the chairman of the League of Friends, said:
“We have not had one single complaint about this event from members of the public. The bed push has over the years raised a substantial amount of money and the lads who do it are great supporters of the hospital”.
The Government has tonight won a vote in the House of Commons after an amendment was tabled by the Labour Party to end the cap on public sector pay increases. There had been confusion during the day over whether the Conservative Party would u-turn, but Downing Street confirmed that there had been no change in policy.
The Conservative Party, with the support of all DUP MPs, won the vote in the House of Commons by 323 votes to 309. During the debate some Conservative MPs, as well as former Ministers, argued that the cap should be reviewed.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said during the debate in the Commons:
“People will recognise that in the very difficult period that we have just had, it would not have been possible to increase the number of doctors by nearly 12,000 and the number of nurses in our wards by nearly 13,000 if we had not taken difficult decisions on pay. What I can say is that we will not make our decision on public sector pay until the pay review body has reported. We will listen to what it says, and to what people in this House have said, before making a final decision”.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, said in a statement:
“You can’t have safety and security on the cheap. It is plain to see that seven years of cuts to our emergency services has made us less safe; it’s time to make a change. Our emergency service workers make us proud at the worst of times for our country, such as the Grenfell Tower Fire and the recent terrorist attacks, and deserve the pay rise they have been denied for seven years. Conservative cuts have failed. Labour has a different approach, which values those who look after us and will transform Britain for the many not the few”.
Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, said in a statement:
“The government must listen to the overwhelming tide of public opinion and give our police, firefighters and nurses a pay rise. But Labour must be honest and admit we won’t be able to pay for strong public services by crashing the economy through an extreme Brexit. Labour MPs who want to protect funding for our police, schools and hospitals should back amendments calling for Britain to stay in the single market. This is a unique chance to force Theresa May to rethink her extreme approach to Brexit, Labour must not be on the wrong side of history”.
Andrew Lansley, who served as the Conservative Party’s Health Secretary from 2010 until 2012, has said that the Government must honour the promise from the Leave Campaign of more money for the NHS.
The Leave campaign promised that £18 billion a year could be spent on NHS if the UK voted to leave the EU. The Government has since not yet confirmed how much extra funding will be made available to the NHS following the vote to leave.
Speaking at the NHS Providers annual lecture the former Health Secretary said:
“For political reasons, both campaigns told the public that whatever was going to happen in the future, there would be more money for the NHS. So the public have a right to expect it. They have a right to expect a Brexit bonus for the NHS. It frankly should be no less than £5bn a year”.
“We need to face the hard truth that the NHS needs more money – a lot more money – not just to stop it lurching from crisis to crisis but so that it can meet the needs and the challenges it will face in the years ahead”.
He is expected to add:
“If the only way to fund a health service that meets the needs of everyone is to raise taxes, Liberal Democrats will raise taxes”.