On Monday, Labour leader Ed Miliband came to Hastings on Monday to tour the Conquest Hospital with Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen. They spent time visiting A&E, had a roundtable discussion with healthcare professionals and visited patients on the wards.
Although staff at the Conquest Hospital continue to show their dedication and examples of excellence in dementia care as well as their pioneering care in the community team – it was clear from the meeting with staff and with recent reports from patients that the Coalition’s cuts to nurses, doctors, social care services and mental health have had dire consequences on health care in Hastings & Rye.
Waiting times have shot up for GPs, A&E is often full to capacity and social care cuts have led to severe delays in people getting the care they need outside of hospital and we are sadly seeing the return to the ‘bed-blocking’ days that we endured, the last time the Conservatives were left in charge of our NHS.
Sarah Owen said,
“It was really good meeting nurses, doctors and patients today. The Government’s mismanagement of the NHS has meant that social care cuts, dementia, waiting times, treatment for mental health and staff shortages all came up as issues, but we also heard examples of good practice from our fantastic local NHS team.
“The personal highlight for me, was meeting Health Care Assistants. It was the job I used to do at the Conquest Hospital and I am proud of it, but I don’t think they get nearly enough recognition so I was extra keen for Ed to hear from them.
“We’ll not only improve health care in Hastings & Rye but secure the future for our NHS as it should be; free at the point of care, when we need it most.”
After speaking to Mr Miliband at the bedside, patient Dawn Hellewell said,
“I enjoyed speaking to Ed Miliband and Sarah Owen today. The next Prime Minister needs to give extra help to hospitals. We need more nurses, more midwives and doctors.”
Labour’s NHS plans will:
– put in £2.5bn extra to fund 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 docs, 5,000 carers, 3,000 midwives,
– bring social care in-line with the NHS
– change the NHS constitution to give people a right to therapy as well as treatment, which will make a big difference for how we treat mental health in the future.