Over the last couple of weeks I've received hundreds of emails from people who live in Sheffield Heeley about the NHS and its future is one of the main issues that comes up when I'm out talking to people time and time again.
Over the last five years we've seen the Conservatives preside over wasteful reorganisations, cuts to frontline staff and the creeping privatisation of our NHS. And we know that the cuts they have planned, should they form a Government in May, will leave the NHS little short of broken.
In Sheffield over Christmas we saw the Red Cross brought in to help transport A&E patients because staff and resources are so over-stretched; that's simply unacceptable.
Labour rescued the NHS after years of Tory neglect before. We’ll do it again.
- Create a £2.5 billion a year NHS Time to Care Fund to support 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more home care workers and 3,000 more midwives – funded by a mansion tax on homes worth £2 million or more, by ensuring that tax avoiders play by the rules and by a levy on tobacco companies.
- Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, and the same day for those who need it.
- Guarantee a maximum one-week wait for cancer tests.
- Repeal David Cameron's NHS changes that put private profit before patients, so that NHS professionals can focus on your care, not competition law.
- Give patients and the public a say when changes to local services are proposed.
- Bring together physical health, mental health and social care into a single service to meet all of a person’s care needs.
- Ensure that the NHS is exempt from trade agreements such as TTIP.
And of course I am committed to ending the lottery we experience for those suffering with cancer in terms of access to radiotherapy and treatment. We all know someone who has suffered and died from cancer and I want to see more checks and screening to identify cancers sooner and allow treatment.
This is an ambitious agenda for our NHS but one that is both achievable and necessary. However, we can only achieve the type of NHS that you and I want if it remains in public hands. That's why I'll vote to repeal the Health and Social Care Act and do everything within my power to ensure that our NHS continues to be there for everyone who needs help.