Stephen Brown, Labour’s media spokesperson said “The Tories have been slowly dismantling, privatising and starving the NHS of vital funds. This is their way of getting rid of it to fulfil their ultimate aim of total privatisation. A vote for the Tories on June 8th could help make this nightmare scenario a reality, there is more at stake in this election than Brexit. We believe they would sell it to the highest bidder in their desperation for a post-Brexit trade deal with the USA if they’re allowed to get away with it. Tory actions over the EU and USA TTIP negotiations demonstrated this. It was only Labour along with 25 Eurosceptic Tory rebels that stopped TTIP being able to hand parts of our NHS over to big business in the USA. To the best of our knowledge Theresa May was not one of these rebels and neither was our current Tory MP Mark Garnier”.
Labour’s view is that the Tories latest attempt to dismantle the NHS is called ‘STP’ – so called Sustainability and Transformation Programme. The NHS is short of £22billion and the Tories claim that this programme will somehow plug the gap. It won’t because there is no extra money and contrary to Tory claims that this is a doctor and community lead programme – it is not. It is all being done behind closed doors. Services will close and so will hospitals and A&E departments. In common language this is a cover for more NHS cuts. So let’s call it what it is, “NHS cuts”. Cuts that further the Tory privatisation agenda on the NHS.
Labour’s Parliamentary candidate Matt Lamb said “Labour will put an end to this Tory approach on the NHS. We will suspend all Tory A&E and Hospital closures. We will have a proper review of local services driven by need and not by cuts. Our NHS is the envy of the world, we are proud of it and so are our communities, and Labour will keep it intact and invest in it”.
Labour’s view is that Doctors, nurses, clinicians, local hospitals and managers in the NHS, along with local communities should make decisions on what services are required based on what is needed, and not on what services to end, close, or move miles away because of a lack of money. Locally, Kidderminster has already lost Hospital wards like Harvington and Wyre Forest residents have to travel further for treatment. This has to stop and Labour believes we deserve our services back.
Matt Lamb added “Labour last week announced a pay rise for nurses and a return to student nurse bursaries. This will help resolve the recruitment and retention problem in the NHS to keep our services working for local people. We also want tougher rules on staffing levels to improve patient safety too. If elected I will play my part in making that happen”.
Stephen Brown summed up by saying “The Labour Party in Wyre Forest is passionate about our NHS and I along with my colleagues here have fought hard locally to protect services and have campaigned against NHS cuts for years. NHS cuts that our current Tory MP Mark Garnier has voted through in Parliament and prefers instead to blame on poor NHS management. The NHS crisis is one made in Westminster by the Tories, and only a Labour Government with Matt Lamb elected to Westminster can end this crisis”.