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Weekly update - 19 August

Today, Labour has written to the Prime Minister and both Tory leadership candidates demanding they bring back Parliament early on Monday 22 August in order to freeze energy bills now for the winter.

The demand comes ahead of the new energy price cap rise announcement next Friday (26 August) which is a crucial deadline for government action. I was proud to see Labour announcing our plan to freeze the cap on. However, if the Government were to adopt this plan to freeze the rise, it will need legislation in Parliament to be enacted.

A recall to freeze the energy price cap would mean MPs returning to Parliament two weeks earlier than planned, on Monday 22 August, to begin legislating before the Ofgem rise announcement.

With families already making impossible choices, I fear that the rise in the energy price cap may push households and businesses over the edge, as they make extremely difficult decisions ahead of a tough winter – including cutting back even more now to pre-empt soaring prices and even deciding whether to keep businesses open.

The Government has now just seven days left to make a difference and prevent thousands from being pushed to the brink.


Writing to Hospitals Trust Chief as 16,000 left waiting more than 4 hours for emergency care

Figures from the NHS this week have revealed that more than 16,000 people are routinely having to wait more than four hours for emergency care at A&Es at University Hospitals Birmingham. Shockingly, 749 people locally had to wait more than 12 hours to be admitted to accident and emergency and just 50% of patients were admitted to A&E were seen within 4 hours. This is against the NHS targets which say that 95% of patients should be admitted, transferred, or discharged in that time.

With these numbers getting worse and worse, I have written to Professor David Rosser, the Chief Executive, to ask what the Trust is doing to improve performance. Given growing waiting times don’t just stop at emergency medicine, I’m looking to work with the hospital to see that they receive the necessary support and assistance before it heads into the more challenging autumn and winter months.

Patients in University Hospitals Birmingham in need of medical attention are forced to wait far too long to be seen, left for hours often in serious pain.

Unacceptable waits mean people across Birmingham are falling through the cracks. It has recently been reported that the total number of additional A&E-linked deaths since waiting times rocketed nationwide could be as many as 12,000. At the same time as the Conservatives are putting up taxes on working people, they are lowering standards for patients. We’re paying more but waiting longer and it is putting patient lives at risk.

I’ve had many constituents reach out to me about their concerns with our NHS. One resident in particular told me how they were diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. They now have suspected ‘secondary’ colorectal cancer for which they should have been referred within a two-week appointment window, instead they were made to wait 11 weeks.

Government ministers don’t seem to be taking this crisis seriously and are missing in action. We have queues outside of A&E, rising backlogs and people unable to even get GP appointments. Our NHS is at a breaking point. We need a change in government to give us the fresh start.


A year on from the withdrawal from Afghanistan

A year on from the shambolic withdrawal from Kabul, the collapse of Afghanistan’s economy has left millions facing famine and a winter of desperation. The Conservatives should be negotiating the international deal to save lives yet, are nowhere to be seen. Yet just when the Conservatives should be negotiating the international deal needed to save lives and protect women’s rights, Boris Johnson and foreign secretary Liz Truss are preoccupied with shuffling the deckchairs in Downing Street.

In June, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy and I became the first British politicians to visit Afghanistan since the West’s withdrawal. The heart-breaking scenes I saw will stay with me forever. At a UN distribution centre, long lines of families queued for the solitary bag of wheat, a packet of beans and bottle of sunflower oil expected to get them through the next month on just one meal a day. In Kabul hospital, shell-shocked mothers sat beside their malnourished children in almost every bed, unsure if they’d survive the week but powerless to help. One mother implored me: “Please, Britain, do not forget us”.


Congratulations to all students receiving their results

This week students found out their A-level and BTEC results. Firstly, I would like to wish all students across Edgbaston a massive congratulations. Whatever your results are, it’s an incredible achievement to have got through these very disruptive few years.

You should be rightly proud of what you achieve, and I'm wishing you the very best of luck with what you decide to do next.

Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton

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