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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you all very much indeed for everything you do!


APPLAUSE And our politicians owe you a great


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Saturday, like many, all its operations had been cancelled


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


country utterly determined to defend the principle of a national health


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


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


communities across the land many people listen carefully to this


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to defend it. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


May but she seems reluctant to have that public discussion.




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


after 12 years of service. Because of crippling front line


staff shortages which have worsened as the result of government failure


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


reappointed do moralise the entire workforce, there is apparently no


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Service and then pretend we support working people and the National


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


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


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


than the living wage, zero hours contracts and employment agency


malpractice, we need decent working conditions for everybody in our


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


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


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


putting forward a very different agenda of workers rights, employment


rights, proper funding of public services in this election.


APPLAUSE Can you imagine what the NHS would


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


mental health services but I am determined that parity of esteem


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


service all over this country in the future.


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


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


Parliament, including 2 billion annually to modernise buildings and


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


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


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


Emergency services are seen within four hours, helping another 1


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


standards that the Conservatives have failed to deliver and which


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


recognise that great services depend on retaining staff by rewarding them


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


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


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


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


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


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


importantly we will fund training and restore the bursaries for


nurses, the vital funding the Tories cut.


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


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


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


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


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


looking forward to working in hospitals and in the community and


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


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


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


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


utterly short-sighted and counter-productive and totally


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


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


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


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


future. This election will define the future


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


the National Health Service. We believe passionately and very


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


country and our society. NHS represents that collective endeavour


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


legally enforceable staffing level in hospitals, because many of you


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


hopefully not, protect and promote the needs of people experiencing


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


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


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


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


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


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


specifically dedicated towards that. Because if parity of esteem which


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


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


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


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


at school mental health services, college mental health services,


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


society because the stigma attached to those going through stress in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Shadow Cabinet member to deal with mental health issues around the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


example of that. Thank you. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


not, what are you going to do about it?


APPLAUSE Shelley...


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


levels maintained in hospitals but directed nice the staffing issues


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


helps Ospreys our thoughts and policies. I fully understand the


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


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


the threat of the sustainability and transformation plans around the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Hunt remains.