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Weekly update - 13 January

I was appalled this week to see the Government bringing forward their anti-strike Bill.

It is the Government’s failed approach which has led to the worst strikes in decades. At every stage they’ve sought to collapse talks and thrown in last minute spanners. And now with this new Bill, they’ve gone from clapping nurses to sacking them.


These are shoddy plans that the Transport Secretary admits won’t work and the Education Secretary doesn't want to apply to teachers. Rishi Sunak is playing politics with yet another sticking plaster, distracting from the real issues - the Conservative’s economic mess and the NHS staffing crisis.

But you simply can’t legislate your way out of 13 years of failure.

Labour will strongly oppose proposals that restrict the right to strike - and we’ll repeal. In power, we’ll end the Tories’ strikes chaos with a new partnership of cooperation between trade unions, employers and Government - meaning issues are resolved before strikes happen.

 

Calling for a long-term strategy to fix our NHS

This week I joined with Labour colleagues to demand the Government put in place a long-term strategy to fix the NHS.

We must see an end to delayed hospital discharges, provide the NHS with the necessary staff to treat every patient in good time, and reform primary and community care to reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment.

Public satisfaction with the NHS is currently at a 25 year low of 36 per cent. This is in comparison to the end of Labour’s time in office, when it was at a high of 70 per cent.

After 13 years of Conservative mismanagement, the NHS is in crisis. Nurses are striking for the first time in their 100-year history, people are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment or an operation when they need one and, in an emergency, there’s no guarantee an ambulance will arrive. Simply put, the longer the Conservatives are in power, the longer patients will wait, often in pain and distress.

However, we can’t build a healthy economy without a healthy society. That is why I’m proud that your next Labour government will not just rely on sticking plasters, but grasp the root cause of the crisis in the NHS. This will be done by ensuring more doctors, more nurses, shorter waiting times, better care. That’s the difference a Labour government will make.

A Labour Government will:

  • Double the number of medical school places.

  • 10,000 extra nurses and midwives trained every year.

  • Twice the number of district nurses.

  • 5,000 more health visitors.

That's what your next Labour government will deliver. We'll end the Tory crisis and make the NHS fit for the future.

 

Concerning 'DIY dentistry' taking place in Birmingham

For a number of years now I have been highlighting the growing crisis facing NHS dental care in England faces. Practices are facing an exodus of dentists from the sector and patients are struggling to get seen on time, if they can be seen at all.

Government spend on general dental practices in England has been cut by over a third over the past decade, with the number of NHS dental practices in England falling by more than 1,200 in the five years prior to the pandemic

It is estimated around four million people cannot access NHS dental care and 90 percent of NHS practices are not accepting new adult patients.

With NHS services left hanging by a thread, I’ve had residents tell me how they have been forced into ‘DIY dentistry’ or face having to seek help elsewhere in the health service such as through emergency departments and hospital treatment.

Practices and patients are still waiting to hear when the government will reform NHS contracts and introduce a proper workforce strategy so that practices can take on new patients, reduce waiting lists, and stop the exodus from the profession.

I wrote to the health secretary to ask him just that.

 

Calling all volunteers to support with my reading programme

Do you have any spare time to volunteer as part of my reading programme for schools? This is a valuable project to support literacy development in schools and will see volunteers sitting with students to support them with reading.

Sessions are every Friday morning between 08:35 – 09:00. Volunteers will need to either already have, or be willing to undertake, a DBS check. If you can spare some time, I would appreciate any support that you can offer.

If you are interested in the programme, please contact me on 0121 392 8426 or email preet.gill.mp@parliament.uk


Best wishes,





Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton

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