Speaking in the debate on the Queen’s speech this Monday, Emma explained that funding cuts to social care were increasing pressure on A&E in hospitals like South Tyneside Hospital, as more people were admitted for conditions that could have been avoided with proper care. She pointed out that the hospital had been forced to cancel operations last year because of the pressure on A&E.
Emma also warned about the wasteful impact of the Government’s Health and Social Care Act 2012, which introduced competition into the NHS and has led to millions of pounds being wasted on legal disputes that could otherwise have been spent on patient care. The Act, which was opposed by patients, health professionals and Labour MPs, is estimated to have cost as much as £3 billion.
As a result the NHS is facing a funding crisis, with the number of NHS Trusts in financial difficulty almost doubling from 21 to 40 in the last year. The Queen’s speech did not include plans to deal with the growing funding crisis.
But as Emma pointed out in her speech, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has announced that Labour would reverse the wasteful effects of the 2012 Act, and stop the privatisation of our NHS.
You can read Emma’s speech in full by clicking here.
Speaking after the debate, Emma said:
“The NHS is a national treasure, and one of the most efficient health systems in the world. We need a government that will protect the NHS, but under the Coalition we are seeing a growing funding crisis and increasing pressure on staff and services.
“The Government should have used the Queen’s speech to clean up the mess they made with their pointless and wasteful re-organisation of the NHS in 2012, but the speech did not even mention the NHS.”