Since the Tory-led Coalition came to power in 2010 our NHS has not been safe in the government’s hands.
I know from talking to my constituents that it is not uncommon to wait over seven days to get an appointment with a GP, I also frequently hear concerns surrounding under staffed hospitals and huge waiting lists for hospital appointments.
Hospitals in my area are really struggling, they are understaffed and overworked. This is unsurprising seeing as Yorkshire has lost 1,110 nurses since 2010.
Under the Tories many people, especially the elderly, are ending up at our already swamped A&E departments, waiting for hours on end for issues better dealt with by a GP or better still, within their own homes. It is atrocious and cannot go on.
We heard that last week Ed Miliband spent two nights in an NHS hospital. He sat on the wards, spoke to staff and patients and observed how day to day hospital life is run.
That is because Labour wants to understand the problems facing the NHS from the inside, directly from the staff themselves.
Something needs to be done to save our NHS.
A labour government would guarantee an appointment with your GP within 48 hours, or, if you need to be seen urgently, the maximum waiting time would be 24 hours, not 7 days like it is under the Tories.
It is not just GPs, hospitals and A&E departments that are suffering, the services which provide so much care to us and our families are suffering too. Take carers for instance, many of whom are not even paid the minimum wage and are expected to spend only 15 minutes with each person.
This Tory ‘clock watch care’ is appalling; it leaves barely enough time for a carer to get in the house, take off their coat and put the kettle on before they have to leave. It is not the type of care we want for our loved ones.
Therefore, on top of the GP promise Labour has also announced a care charter. This care charter would put an end to 15 minute visits, it would also introduce a Licence to Practice to keep an eye on care managers and introduce proper training for new care staff. Labour would also scrap exploitative zero hours contracts and make sure carers are paid at least the minimum wage.
The NHS is one of Labour’s greatest achievements; it should be based around care and quality, not competition and privatisation. Labour will put real care back at the heart of our NHS.