NHS privatisation challenge; a challenge for David Amess

Created in 1948 by the then Attlee-led Labour Government, the NHS is one of our greatest achievements and our most important institution. But it is under threat from a Conservative-led government which puts privatisation before patient care.

We need action to save our NHS. This is why I am backing Labour MP Clive Efford’s Bill which would scrap David Cameron’s new market framework for the NHS and ensure NHS patients will always be put first.

The NHS has never been more vulnerable than under the present government. The Conservatives wasted £3 billion on an unnecessary and damaging top-down reorganisation. The new rules allow hospitals to earn up to 49 per cent of their income from private patients, which risks pushing NHS patients to the back of the queue. And their new competition rules force doctors to open up services to competition from the private sector.

Labour will ensure that the NHS once again puts patients before profits. We will invest the millions of pounds saved from scrapping competition red tape in ensuring people can get a GP appointment within 48 hours, or on the same day if they need it.

I have no hesitation in backing this bill as it will make sure patients in Southend West are put first once again. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for our current MP. That’s why I’m challenging David Amess to back the Bill and vote for it in Parliament on 21st November.

Patients in Southend West are relying on him to do the right thing by backing this Bill so that we can put an end to market forces being put at the heart of the NHS. David Amess is fond of saying how he always puts his constituents first; its time he backed this up with action by voting for this Bill on 21st November.

The Conservatives have not just destabilised our health service; they are holding it back from meeting the challenges of the 21st century as well. We need to pass this new Bill so we can end the creep towards NHS privatisation, bureaucracy and red-tape, and instead put patients back at the heart of the NHS . Labour will rescue the NHS with our £2.5 billion Time to Care package which will fund new staff including 20,000 more nurses – investment the Conservatives will not match

Labour’s NHS needs you

NHSNHS doctors and nurses are always there for us – but now, under relentless Tory and Lib Dem attack, the health service the Labour Party created needs us to defend it.


Only a Labour Government will cherish the NHS

I want a fairer and more equal society, and I see the Labour Party as the best vehicle to achieve this. To quote from Clause IV (as it stands today): “The Labour Party … believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we can alone“. It concludes thus: “ … where we can live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

The party of equality and social justice believes in a publicly funded National Health Service, free at the point of need with equal access for all, irrespective of their wealth. This stands in contradistinction to the Tories who are set on a course of privatisation of the NHS. We can probably still boast of having the fairest healthcare in the world, but many of the gains we saw under a Labour government have not been continued today. The NHS is not a picture of robust health with improving outcomes for those who use it.

I want to see better, faster, fairer, treatment – not top-down re-organisation whose primary effect is longer waiting times.

The choice facing the country next May is whether Britain’s NHS goes forward or back. Put simply, the NHS is not safe in Tory hands.; under David Cameron it’s getting harder to see a GP and waiting lists are going up.

UKIP are also intent on dismantling the NHS, and a vote for the Lib Dems would only help David Cameron sneak back in to Number 10. The NHS was created by Labour, and only Labour Governments properly fund it.

Nothing you have is more valuable than your heath. If you value the NHS then vote for it.

Labour Candidate Julian Ware-Lane supports Labour’s one-week cancer test guarantee

julian portrait_01Cllr Julian Ware-Lane, Labour Candidate for Southend West, is backing Labour’s new pledge for a one-week cancer test guarantee.

The next Labour government will ensure that NHS patients in England will wait no longer than one week for cancer tests and results by 2020. Early diagnosis is a critical tool in the fight against cancer and this pledge could make a huge difference to those at risk from the disease.

The cancer test guarantee will be made possible by £750 million of new investment over five years, raised through a new levy on tobacco firms which make huge profits from their products which cause so much ill-health.

Julian also welcomes Ed Miliband’s wish that our health service have the best cancer survival rates in Europe, which could save up to 10,000 lives a year. The number of people waiting too long to get cancer tests are going up in Essex. In August this year, 63 patients waited longer than six weeks for cancer tests compared to 34 in the same month last year.

Julian said: “Many people I have spoken to in Southend West are concerned about David Cameron’s plans for the National Health Service. An expensive top-down reorganisation is not what is wanted at the moment, and the privatisation agenda sits ill with many. The Tories haven’t just destabilised our health service; they’re holding it back from meeting the challenges of the modern world as well. Only Labour can be trusted to protect and improve the NHS.”

“I am backing Labour’s pledge to guarantee that NHS patients in England will wait no longer than one week for cancer tests and results by 2020. Early diagnosis means treatment is more likely to be successful so this is an essential pledge if we’re going to lead the fight against cancer and save more lives in our area.”

We need an NHS that meets the challenges of the modern world. We need a modern health and care service that offers the best cancer survival rate in Europe. Only Labour can be trusted to protect the NHS and with the Time to Care Fund and the one-week cancer test guarantee, we’ll ensure we have a health service fit for the 21st century.

Southend-on-Sea: 55,000 residents fall within the 30% most deprived areas of the country

The Southend-on-Sea Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment includes some very interesting data about the borough. I have previously reported on some of these numbers, but I think the data worth revisiting. The data rather presents a less than glowing picture of the borough.

The wards with the greatest percentage of over 65s:

1, Belfairs
2, Thorpe
3, Eastwood Park
4, Southchurch

Westborough has the lowest percentage of over 65s. Westborough has the highest percentage of under 19s, followed by West Shoebury, St Luke’s, and Victoria.

In the 2011 census, 87% of the population described themselves as White: English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish / British. This compares to 79.8% for the whole of England. The level of diversity is increasing. Just over 10% come from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities; a significant increase from the 2001 census. Victoria and Milton Wards have the highest proportion of BAME communities. 125 languages are spoken, with Polish, Bengali, Czech, Chinese, Shona and Tagalog/Filipino being the most common.

Southend-on-Sea is one of Essex’s most deprived areas: 55,000 residents fall within the 30% most deprived areas of the country and 16,000 fall within the 10& most deprived areas. The wards with the highest levels of deprivation are located within the East Locality with Kursaal, Victoria and Milton being ranked the highest on the IMD (2010). 1 in 4 children live in poverty compared with 1 in 5 across England.

This picture of deprivation, together with pockets of affluence, result in significant differences in both life expectancy and disability free years within Southend-on-Sea. Disablity-free life expectancy at birth is 13 years lower for men, and 11 years lower for women, living in Victoria & Kursaal wards compared with those in West Leigh.

Life expectancy is a measure of how long a person, born into an area, would be expected to live by reference to current observed rates of mortality. The gap in life expectancy, between the best and worst, helps to illustrate how inequalities affect the population differently. In Southend-on-Sea, the gap between the most deprived and least deprived areas is: Women 8.8 years, Men 9.1 years.

Starting from the most deprived to the least deprived, the wards in Southend-on-Sea are thus arranged: Kursaal, Victoria, Milton, Southchurch, Shoeburyness, St Luke’s, West Shoebury, Blenheim Park, Westborough, Prittlewell, St Laurence, Chalkwell, Belfairs, Leigh, Thorpe, Eastwood Park, West Leigh.

(IMD – Index of Multiple Deprivation)

Southend A&E 4 hour performance

There was a chart circulated at yesterday’s Place Scrutiny that I thought could have been simpler and easier to assimilate. So, here is my version:

Apr – Jun 2014 Jul – Sep 2014 Year to date
Basildon & Thurrock 95.95 94.68 95.34
Southend 94.14 96.46 95.28
Essex 93.45 93.10 93.28
Colchester 94.78 91.16 93.01
Mid Essex 91.20 92.23 91.70
Princess Alexandra 90.91 90.27 90.62

All figures are percentages and show how many were dealt with within the four hour target. This is not about being initially seen (triaged) but the length of time from entry into A&E to leaving.

Southend does not come out too badly as compared to other Essex hospitals, although any missed target is not good.

The target is 95%. The numbers in bold red are where the target was missed.

Southend Councillor warns Labour Conference of dangers of NHS privatisation

A Southend Labour councillor, Cheryl Nevin, recently warned the Labour Party Conference in Manchester of the dangers of expanding the private sector within the NHS. In a prepared speech, she said “Recent CQC reports have shown Taxpayers are picking up the compensation bills for complications within private healthcare botched operations, often occurring at a much higher rate than in the NHS” and cited several examples where patients were left with permanent damage.

Cheryl told a reporter “David Cameron said that the NHS was safe in his hands, but 50% of NHS trusts are now projected to be in the red by March 2015, 7,000 nursing positions have been axed across the NHS, whilst our local Hospital at Southend struggles to find the nurses it requires to provide adequate care in the Accident & Emergency Department.” Cheryl said ” 70% of all new tenders are now going into private hands, at a time when CQC have highlighted the costs already being imposed on the taxpayer in a new report.”

She added, “The latest world bank figures show the UK spends 9% of GDP on health in comparison to the USA who spend 18% yet we get similar patient outcomes. If your partner has ever had a baby, if your child has visited A&E, if your elderly mother has ever had a long term medical condition then you have benefited from NHS services. Now is the time to stop further Privatisation of the NHS, to have a proper debate about what health actually costs.”


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