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The National Health Service

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:27 pm on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Matt Rodda Matt Rodda Shadow Minister (Transport) (Buses) 6:27 pm, 23rd October 2019

I am afraid I am pushed for time.

Other Members have highlighted many of the changes needed, but I want to pick up on a few crucial points. First and foremost, the Government must ensure that the NHS responds to the needs of patients and staff on the ground, and not just spout management jargon about changes that sounds convincing. That means a much greater focus from Ministers and officials on the needs of local communities. In high-cost areas such as Berkshire, it means looking at new measures to support recruitment and retention, including the cost of living. Ministers should consider proposals for increasing overall pay in the three counties in the Thames valley, with increased weighting for other high-cost areas, to help recruit and retain staff in towns such as Reading and Woodley.

To sum up, the NHS remains one of our most precious institutions. Staff are obviously working tirelessly in a very difficult and trying situation, yet their dedication is not being matched remotely by Government funding. What is needed now is a complete and utter rethink of Government health policy. We need real change, and only Labour will deliver that change, through the funding and support that we desperately need for our NHS.