Jeremy Corbyn Election 2017


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Jeremy Corbyn

Live coverage of the speech and question session with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the Royal College of Nursing congress in Merseyside, Monday 15 May.


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Thank you, thank you there much for inviting me to Conference. I feel

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very honoured to have been invited and very pleased to be here today.

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Because I want to thank you and everyone in the nursing profession

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and in the national health service for all the work that you do and the

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way that you often get criticised but in fact, people working in the

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national health service because they love their work, the profession and

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they basically do it because they want us all to be healthy so thank

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you all very much indeed for everything you do!

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APPLAUSE And our politicians owe you a great

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duty, a duty to ensure that you can work with unity and that you are not

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held back from providing the best possible standard of service to all

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occupations. Because I do understand the stress of many of you go through

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every day, I talk frequently to local GPs in my own area as well as

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nurses in my local hospital. -- your patience. I have worked with trade

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unions in the National Health Service and I want to outline to you

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today what Labour wants to offer to you in the general election. We are

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ready to step in and save the NHS from the cuts and privatisation that

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have happened over the past seven years. Everyday I ensure that our

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general election team is fully aware of the importance of the National

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Health Service, at headquarters in London the walls are decorated with

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original posters from the 1940s, saying, Labour's health service

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covers everyone. And the Tories voted against it. Nothing embodies

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our campaign theme for the many not the few, better than the National

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Health Service. Universal lifelong health care free at the point of

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need. However, our health service is actually being dismantled by

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stealth. Over the past seven years our national health service has been

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driven into crisis after crisis. And E departments struggling to cope,

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waiting lists soaring, and we saw last week, the Tory cuts have

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exposed patients services to cyber attack. I want to pay a huge tribute

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to be staff in the way they responded to this terrible cyber

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attack, the stress you must have faced dying to keep patients safe

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must have been intense and still is. This is just another example of the

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storm reclaims all of you go to every day to keep our country

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healthy. -- the extraordinary lengths. I was talking to junior

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doctors and nurses at the James Paget Hospital in great Yarmouth on

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Saturday, like many, all its operations had been cancelled

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because of the cyber attack, frankly it's highway robbery against all of

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us, we have to have their investment in our NHS to protect all the

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systems so we are not held to ransom by criminals who are doing us all

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damage and doing us all down. You stepped up to protect our patients

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and thank you so much for what you do. Our NHS is under threat from

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privatisation which was brought in by the health and is an act. The

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privatisation has gone on a huge scale, ?13 billion of taxpayers

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money handed over the last year to private companies, to profit from

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our NHS services. Aneurin Bevan once said of the National Health Service

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it will only last as long as there are folk with faith left to fight

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for it. I said to everyone, remember those words, those prescient words

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and in all my life I've involved in campaigns to support and defend the

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national Health Service and I know that every hospital has friends,

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every GP surgery has friends. There are millions of people in this

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country utterly determined to defend the principle of a national health

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service, free at the point of use for everybody in our society, we are

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here in Devon's legacy. -- Bevan's. In hospitals, health centres and

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communities across the land many people listen carefully to this

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election and think very carefully about their future. People for whom

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working in the NHS is a privilege and a pleasure. Like so many in

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public service every four, people work in it and believe in the

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principles of the NHS. A service like no other. Not a service which

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checks your bank balance before it checks your blood pressure. I'm

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always astonished when I talk to people from the United States, we

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talk to each other in a normal way about each other's health, that's

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the normal conversation, and any in the United States talk about the

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quality of the private health insurance they've got, they lack

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what we have which is one of the most civilised things about our

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country, but is our national health service. We are utterly determined

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to defend it. APPLAUSE

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I want to say something about the state of nursing. Britain is not

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being run for the many, it's not been one for the majority and across

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our country I believe people are being held back. If you are a

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student nurse without a bursary, doing a second job to make ends

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meet, you're being held back. If you worry about your children because

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they can't get together a deposit for a home or afford the deposit to

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rent a private lace, then you're being held back. If you manage a

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ward in a hospital and you can't free up beds because of the cuts in

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social care then you have a problem. The government is holding you back,

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stopping you from doing properly the job you were trained and proud to

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do. We either sick richest country in the world, it cannot be right

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that we have these problems, it cannot be right that trained nurses

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are leaving the profession for other jobs. -- we are at the sixth

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richest. It can't be right that tax giveaways for the richest and big

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business have been put in front of the needs of funding our national

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health service, social care and proper treatment for all NHS staff.

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The RCN, your union, has found that nursing shortages have doubled in

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the past four years. We could have 40,000 fewer nurses than we need by

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2026. Your pay has fallen 14% in real terms since 2010, and you don't

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work any fewer hours for it. That is the record the government has left

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us. I wish there could be a public debate on this record with Theresa

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May but she seems reluctant to have that public discussion.

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APPLAUSE CHEERING

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Last week a dog from Leeds told her she was considering quitting the NHS

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after 12 years of service. Because of crippling front line

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staff shortages which have worsened as the result of government failure

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to properly invest in the NHS. She asked why Jeremy Hunt had been

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reappointed do moralise the entire workforce, there is apparently no

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answer to that question, you have to apparently asked Jeremy Hunt when he

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makes itself available to answer questions! LAUGHTER which I'm sure

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is only a matter of time I'm sure, he's going to be pitching up any

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time soon. But we do need a government that recognises the truth

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of what's happening. And what is the real scale of the crisis. Because if

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you're a try minister in a party that once called itself the nasty

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party you have to wonder about their attitude towards a national Health

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Service and then pretend we support working people and the National

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Health Service. Com on, we are not fools! We need a government that

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will stand up for the hundreds of thousands of workers in this country

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who are not being paid the minimum wage, the 6 million who get less

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than the living wage, zero hours contracts and employment agency

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malpractice, we need decent working conditions for everybody in our

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society. Because, if you charge people tribunal fees, you cannot get

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justice in the workplace, I think we need a different approach to

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employment as a whole. And therefore, the Labour Party is

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putting forward a very different agenda of workers rights, employment

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rights, proper funding of public services in this election.

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APPLAUSE Can you imagine what the NHS would

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be like in five years' time if we carried on with this underfunding,

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carried on with this level of Tamara libation in the workforce? It would

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be unrecognisable as a National Health Service in name. Cut back,

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broken up and plundered by private organisations. I want to make it

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very clear that the Labour Party is determined to put the NHS back on

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its feet. To move towards a national social care service to give everyone

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the care and dignity they deserve. And make an outer reality of the

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parity of esteem between mental and physical health a reality. I feel

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very passionately about the NHS but I also feel very passionately about

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mental health services and social care services. We have 1 million

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people, often very vulnerable people, not getting the social care

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they need. Many, often women, give up jobs in order to care for elderly

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relatives because the service isn't there to do it for them. And our

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mental health service, where 6000 mental health nurses have lost their

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jobs in seven years, is under strain. Many of us will have some

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kind of mental health service in our lifetime. It is not much help if you

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are told to wait six months before you get any effective therapy for

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that crisis. I pay tribute to and thank all those that work in our

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mental health services but I am determined that parity of esteem

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will be a reality and there will be a properly funded mental health

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service all over this country in the future.

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And today we are making it very clear that we are pledging an extra

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7.4 billion a year for the National Health Service throughout the next

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Parliament, including 2 billion annually to modernise buildings and

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IT systems. This funding settlement will allow us to guarantee access to

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treatment within 18 weeks, cutting 1 million from the NHS waiting lists

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by the end of that Parliament, ensuring that those needing accident

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Emergency services are seen within four hours, helping another 1

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million people each year, delivering the cancer care strategy for England

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in fall by 2020. That will help do .5 million people who are living

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with cancer. -- 2.5 million people who are living with cancer. Create a

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new winter fund to protect patients from the problems we saw earlier

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this year. This is our new deal for NHS patients. It will give NHS staff

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the support they need and deserve to give the best possible service to

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patients and will guarantee that level of service. We will ensure the

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standards that the Conservatives have failed to deliver and which

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patients are legally entitled to our met in the future. But we also

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recognise that great services depend on retaining staff by rewarding them

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properly. Everyone in the NHS goes above and beyond everyday what they

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have to do. Your ballot result yesterday showed how angry and

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frustrated your members are after a 14% cut in real pay over the past

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seven years. We will not put you in that position. We will lift the

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public sector pay cap and hand back decisions on pay to an independent

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paid a decent wage and very paid a decent wage and very

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importantly we will fund training and restore the bursaries for

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nurses, the vital funding the Tories cut.

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Last week I was in Worcester talking to students nurses, those that had

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access to the student nurse bursary. They were telling me they had come

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into nursing after doing other jobs and the career paths, and they had

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decided they thing was there calling and they had come into it. And they

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-- nursing was there calling. And they told me how much they were

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looking forward to working in hospitals and in the community and

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they told me how proud they were of all of it. And I asked all of them

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whether they would be doing this without a nursing bursary and they

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said it would only be possible if you had a partner who earned enough

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to be able to find you through the training to become a nurse. It is

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utterly short-sighted and counter-productive and totally

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unfair on the student nurses of tomorrow, on the nursing profession

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of tomorrow and on the community of today. I am utterly determined we

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will bring back the nursing bursary so there isn't a nursing staff

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crisis in five years, ten years and 15 years' time. Let's invest for the

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future. This election will define the future

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of the National Health Service has almost no other has. Labour founded

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the National Health Service. We believe passionately and very

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strongly in the National Health Service and we want to restore it to

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good health. It is central to our ideas of transforming Britain, to

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create a fairer society for the many, not the few. Tomorrow we will

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set out our policies in full in our manifesto. You may think you've read

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it already! But the real one, the marked copy, will come out tomorrow

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morning and you will see it then. And I'm very proud of the work that

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has gone into that manifesto. I'm very proud of the help and support

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we have been given and the advice from people well beyond the Labour

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Party who have advised as an content to let an aspect of policy that we

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will be producing tomorrow. -- advised us on the content and

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aspects of policy. It will be fair to all aspects of our society and it

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will be fully costed. Every last line of it will be fully costed.

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Because we want to transform this country together. We do things

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better together. We do things better together to transform it for a

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better society. Only a few weeks remain to get that message across to

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show you how we want to hand power back to the people of this country

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so everyone in this country has a real stake in the future. Future,

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Britain, for the many, not few. I want to conclude my speech by saying

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this. Those that work in the NHS represent all that is good in our

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country and our society. NHS represents that collective endeavour

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to make sure that we are all able to cope with illnesses and cope with

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stress. But there are also aspects of inequality within our society

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that the NHS has got to cope with. Shorter life expectancy in the

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poorest parts of our country. Those that become addicted to many

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substances because of the misery of the lives they lead. Those that live

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in poor quality housing, likely to get ill. Those that go through

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enormous stress, likely to suffer mental health conditions. The NHS is

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great and it is wonderful but we also need to reform other aspects of

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our society so that we all lead healthier, richer lives. I am very

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honoured to be invited here today. I am very grateful to the work you do

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in keeping us healthy and I want to work with all of you in the future

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to improve the health, their happiness, their self-esteem and the

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opportunities for everybody in our society. Thank you very much for

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inviting me to talk to you today. Now questions? Mr Corbyn, I believe

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you and I both have leak issues because you have answered some of

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the questions we are going to ask you. I promise I didn't see them

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before. I am absolutely sure you didn't. Our members are well

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prepared, so we have got some. I would like to ask a question of you

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from one of our members, Clare in from one of our members, Clare in

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the south-east region. As nurses, why should we vote for you and have

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confidence in your leadership? How will you benefit our profession? I

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believe strongly in the National Health Service. Thank you for your

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question, Clare. I believe that the NHS has got to be always free at the

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point of use. I believe that nurses have got to be properly treated and

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that is why I have outlined our proposal bringing back the nurse

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bursary but also bringing back the ability of all unions in the NHS to

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negotiate pay and conditions by lifting the public sector pay cap.

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There is also the question of the protection of staff within our NHS

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and staffing levels within the NHS, and we will ensure that there is a

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legally enforceable staffing level in hospitals, because many of you

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work very hard, and I suspect pretty well everyone in this conference

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centre today often works well beyond the hours that you are paid for

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because you won't leave until the patient has been settled, until a

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bed has been found, until the next stage of treatment has been dealt

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with. And the stress levels within NHS staff are absolutely huge

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because you believe and care about it. It is up to us as politicians

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who want to see a good NHS to make sure that you have the funding and

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resources to deliver the service and I am determined that we will do just

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that. Thank you. Will you take two questions? Of course. Ed and Coral.

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Good morning, Mr Corbyn. I am the voting member and the chair of the

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RCN mental health Forum. You have answered my question in part but I

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would like to ask you how you will as Prime Minister or in opposition,

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hopefully not, protect and promote the needs of people experiencing

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mental illness and will you appoint a minister for mental health? Coral,

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voting member, children and young people's acute-care forum. How will

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your party generate the money the NHS needs to function and develop

:22:51.:22:54.

the services everyone in this room believes the public has a right to

:22:55.:23:00.

expect. Thank you for both of those questions. Ed, first of all, on the

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issues of mental health, yes, there will be a mental health ministers

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specifically dedicated towards that. Because if parity of esteem which

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was one of the amendments to the health and social care bill is to

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mean anything then it has got to be chased all the way through this

:23:24.:23:27.

system. It is also a question of attitudes in society as well. I

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would want a minister for mental health services to also be looking

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at school mental health services, college mental health services,

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workplace mental health services. It is also about our attitudes in

:23:49.:23:52.

society because the stigma attached to those going through stress in

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society is horrible. Often it means career paths are damaged as a result

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of it. I think we have got to be serious about this as society. I

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have talked to a lot of young people who go through a lot of stress and

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frightened to talk about it. They are frightened they are going to be

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labelled and they are frightened that they won't be able to get any

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help. Too many end up taking their own lives because they are in a

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desperate and lonely place. We need to have a change of attitude as

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as proper funding, and I want to see as proper funding, and I want to see

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that we actually do achieve that, and that is why I have appointed

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Shadow Cabinet member to deal with mental health issues around the

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Shadow Cabinet table. I take it very, very seriously indeed. Thank

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you very much for your question. Coral's question about children and

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young people and the funding of the NHS. All our proposals are fully

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costed and fully funded. They all rely on either moving existing

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budgets or changing taxation levels for corporate and the very top end

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of our society. 95% of people in this country will have no tax

:25:12.:25:15.

increase, no National Insurance increase, no VAT increase by us. We

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want to make sure there is a redistribution of wealth. It can't

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be right that we live in a country where the richest 100 people have

:25:24.:25:28.

assets of 600 billion. It can't be right. I want to see a fair

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We will give of the statements and distribution of our wealth.

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We will give of the statements and details are not tomorrow but we are

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very, very clear, we want to be a responsible government, responsible

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to the people of this country, responsible for and in public

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services in an efficient, effective way to helping people they are

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designed to help and support, and support, and the NHS is the best

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example of that. Thank you. APPLAUSE

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Matthew Sidebottom and can I have surely tears. Matthew. Matthew

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Sidebottom Sheffield branch. I'm now expected to work in this demanding

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job until I'm 68. You think this assay for my patients, for me, and

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not, what are you going to do about it?

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APPLAUSE Shelley...

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Heidi, become. From the south-east region, it can be restart work to

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set save staffing levels for all health settings? -- safe staffing

:26:53.:27:03.

levels. Yes, on Matthew's question, I think 68, as they say is too late!

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And going to have to ask you to be very patient for another 24 hours.

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LAUGHTER you don't look anywhere near 68 to me either. You wouldn't

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want to disappoint all these nurses. The media will keep a secret! I know

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there's nobody else watching or listening. I will let you know

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later. OK. You're absolutely right, I get that, you will to wait until

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tomorrow for that but I do recognise the stress levels that have gone

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with so many and the way in which the WASPI women have been

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short-changed. Shelley, your point about staffing levels is so true, I

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referred to it about hospitals in my speech, they are often quite

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dangerous and it means nurses can't do their jobs properly because they

:28:09.:28:12.

don't have time to talk to patients and actually, you all know this,

:28:13.:28:18.

when you go into hospital it's a frightening thing, they want to be

:28:19.:28:23.

able to discuss the condition and what so many people who have been in

:28:24.:28:26.

hospital say to me is, they are full of aberration for the nurses and all

:28:27.:28:32.

the staff in the hospital, recognise how hard-working they are but they

:28:33.:28:36.

don't have time to talk to the patient and understand the holistic

:28:37.:28:40.

person there in front of them and so say first Ave levels are important

:28:41.:28:44.

to cover all the obvious needs of their also important for the

:28:45.:28:48.

well-being of the patient. We want to legislate to insure it staffing

:28:49.:28:51.

levels maintained in hospitals but directed nice the staffing issues

:28:52.:28:56.

that apply in the community, apply in mental health particularly also

:28:57.:29:03.

apply in GPs surgeries. Because... If you're understaffed in a mental

:29:04.:29:10.

health unit and you don't have time to talk to the people you are there

:29:11.:29:16.

to look after, things can become very, very difficult and it actually

:29:17.:29:21.

puts the understaffed people on duty often at risk, as a result of that

:29:22.:29:28.

so I'm very clear, I do, I think and hope I understand the situation

:29:29.:29:31.

which is why I want to put all these resources into the NHS to ensure

:29:32.:29:36.

proper, fair and safe staffing levels all across and we will do

:29:37.:29:41.

that. APPLAUSE

:29:42.:29:51.

I am aware of time, I have one last question and it would be remiss if I

:29:52.:29:55.

didn't Arscott, this is an half of you all, as a Labour Party man of an

:29:56.:29:59.

entire lifetime and someone who has worked with trade unions, I'm full

:30:00.:30:07.

of aberration for you as an organisation and a union. For what

:30:08.:30:11.

you've done and what you represent. -- admiration. The professional

:30:12.:30:16.

aspect of your work and the work done by the Royal Oak all which

:30:17.:30:19.

helps Ospreys our thoughts and policies. I fully understand the

:30:20.:30:24.

momentous decision you taken because you been so badly treated by the

:30:25.:30:29.

last few years with frozen pay, overwork, under staffing levels and

:30:30.:30:34.

the threat of the sustainability and transformation plans around the

:30:35.:30:37.

hospitals which by the way, John Ashworth said and I fully support,

:30:38.:30:41.

he wants to suspend and look at again so we can ensure there is

:30:42.:30:44.

proper accident and emergency access all across the country. -- the Royal

:30:45.:30:56.

Oak in which helps us frame. While Germany Hungary Main Secretary of

:30:57.:30:58.

State I hope you will take heed of the decision you've taken, take heed

:30:59.:31:04.

and recognise you deserve to be properly rewarded for what you do,

:31:05.:31:09.

for all of us. Thank you for your decision yesterday, thank you for

:31:10.:31:13.

your work as an RCN, on behalf of all of us who love and admire and

:31:14.:31:16.

support I National Health Service. Hanky very much. -- while Jeremy

:31:17.:31:20.

Hunt remains.

:31:21.:31:23.