Read Rupa Huq's open letter to Angie Bray
Dear Angie Bray MP,
As you know, concerns about the future of our vital local health services come up time after time in conversations with local residents. So I would urge you to support an important upcoming vote in the House of Commons on the future of our NHS.
I am concerned that your government rushed the 2011 Health and Social Care Act through parliament, opening up huge parts of the health service to ‘any willing provider’ in the private sector. NHS spending on private and other providers has now gone through the £10 billion barrier for the first time.
We’ve seen disarray among patients and staff. The trust running our hospitals in and around Ealing has the worst waiting times in the country. Figures also show that in Ealing one in five patients now have to wait at least seven days to see their GP.
While waiting times at Ealing Hospital A&E have increased by more than 10%, last minute cancellation of operations have been seen to rise by 120%.
At the same time it is a disgrace that the Government have lifted the cap on private sector treatment in NHS hospitals, when other patients are left waiting on trolleys for hours.
Patients left waiting on trolleys for in excess of four hours at Ealing Hospital A&E rose from 0 in the second quarter of 2013/14, to 95 in that of the following year.
Clive Efford’s Private Members’ Bill in the House of Commons on 21st November, is a direct opportunity to show if you support the Government’s agenda for further damaging privatisation, or support the founding principles of the NHS, where patients are put before profit.
Among other things, the Bill calls on the Government to stop the further privatisation of the NHS, restore the legal duty of the Secretary of State for Health to provide National Health Services and amend the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to remove controversial competition requirements.
The NHS is one of our country’s greatest achievements. Yet under David Cameron and Nick Clegg, local people are being denied the treatment they deserve. Labour rescued and rebuilt the NHS after a generation of Tory neglect. Now, we have to do it again.
The reason people love and trust the NHS is because, for all its faults, it is a service that is based on people not profits.
As we head to the 2015 General Election, local people in Ealing deserve to know which side of the argument you are on.