NHS 65th Birthday

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05 Jul 2013

The NHS was founded 65 years ago today by a Government that recognised the need for a health service in Britain that was available to everyone.

The NHS remains an incredible institution to this day and is rightfully one of Britain’s proudest achievements; however the NHS today is suffering from an A&E crisis.

Rather than focussing on the frontline, the Prime Minister is spending £3 billion of taxpayers' money on an unnecessary, unwanted top-down reorganisation of the NHS that nobody voted for and that he promised wouldn't happen. We’ve also lost 4,000 nurses, seen ambulance queues double and now A&E waiting times are at a nine-year high. He’s broken his promise on the NHS and it is patients that are paying the price.

In our area, staffing shortages have left Rotherham Hospital overstretched, with experts warning that services across the country could fail by the winter if urgent action isn’t taken. The Yorkshire region has already lost 1,110 nurses since 2010 and these cuts are making it harder to maintain the services that local people rely on.

Instead of supporting our NHS staff, the Prime Minister keeps blaming GPs, nurses and everyone else, while refusing to take responsibility for the crisis his Government created. It simply isn’t fair to blame frontline NHS staff who work so hard when we need it most. It’s the Prime Minister who is breaking his promises, while NHS staff have to bear the burden for his failure.

Many local residents have told me they are worried about the future of the NHS. It needs protecting so that future generations are able to benefit from our incredible health service.

We also need a genuinely integrated NHS and social care system, bringing together physical health, mental health and social care into a single service to meet all of our care needs.

The 65th birthday of the NHS is an opportunity to celebrate, but if we’re going to commemorate future milestones then we need to make sure our NHS is strengthened and protected.