Jon Ashworth Election 2017

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Jon Ashworth

Live coverage of a speech by shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth at a Labour party campaign event in London, Monday 15 May.

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We have a Home Secretary, utterly complacent, and the Prime Minister


utterly dismissive of the needs of the NHS. I am not surprised the


Health Secretary is on the run, hiding away, trying to run away from


his record as Health Secretary. When you look at what has happened to the


IT budgets in the NHS, the capital infrastructure budgets have been


cut, and the independent expert at the NA oh published a report


recently which showed 1 billion has been taken out of infrastructure


budgets and had to be transferred to the day-to-day running of the NHS to


help it balance its books. -- the NAO published a report. That is ?1


billion that could have been spent on infrastructure of our NHS


including upgrading our IT systems. I am not surprised that the Health


Secretary is running away from his record on the NHS. And just here in


this part of London just a few days ago St George's warned in the


minutes from a trust meeting that because of a lack of investment in


the infrastructure that is cyber security attack was a risk, and


indeed in the last few days, I understand St George's has been on


alert taking patients from other parts of London because of the cyber


security scandal. Today across the country we are getting reports that


it is affecting GP surgeries. Though let me say this. The government


should now publish the Department of Health's risk registers so we can


all see whether the government were prepared for this cyber security


attack, whether they understood the implications of their spending cuts.


But I also want to say something else. You know the NHS has been


going through the biggest financial squeeze in its history under these


Tories. Head for head next year the NHS will be cut. ?1 billion that was


taken out of last year's infrastructure budgets and


is due to be taken out of is due to be taken out of


infrastructure budgets again by 2020. This isn't good enough. My


first announcement here today is to say to you that a Labour government


will put the investment into the infrastructure our NHS needs. We


will put ?10 billion into the infrastructure of the NHS and some


of that, yes, will go to upgrading and security our IT systems in the


NHS as well. It is a pleasure to be here with a junior doctor and to


talk to you because next year is the 70th birthday of the National Health


Service. It wasn't -- wasn't the creation of the National Health


Service one of the greatest creations of a Labour government?


Created an enduring and unshakeable principles, free at the point of


need irrespective of wealth, need irrespective of wealth,


therefore everyone when you need it. -- there for everyone when you need


it. And get on it 70th birthday, and of these Conservatives, waiting


lists climbing towards 4 million, and we have seen from the leaked


could rise to as high as 5 million could rise to as high as 5 million


under the Tories. 2.5 million people last year waiting beyond four hours


in A departments. 26,000 people, 26,000 people waiting beyond two


months for cancer treatment. Under the Tories. And next year if the


Conservatives are elected in this country head forehead the money


going into the NHS will be cut again. -- head for head. On the eve


of the NHS's birthday let's give the NHS a birthday present. I am


announcing today that a Labour government will put over ?30 billion


extra over the next five years into our National Health Service.


And that money, that money will go into reducing the waiting lists, so


whereas waiting lists could rise by 1 million under the Tories, and


Labour we are going to decrease the waiting by 1 million. Also in our


A departments 2.5 million people last year waited beyond four hours.


This extra investment will ensure that we treat 1 million extra people


in our A departments across the country. And on cancer times, 26,000


people waiting beyond two months for cancer treatment, it is a disgrace,


it is not good enough. Though our extra investment will allow us to


introduce a new target. The majority of people with cancer will get their


treatment is not within two months, but within four weeks under a Labour


government. But I want to go further as well because I think with this


scale of funding we can do a lot more in our National Health Service.


Many of you will have seen the reports in the news about so-called


delayed discharge. This is where elderly people are often literally


trapped in hospitals with nowhere to go because there isn't the


appropriate provision in the community, there isn't the


appropriate care packages as we call it across the NHS. It is not good


enough. The way we are treating our elderly people is shameful. With


this extra investment I will be asking the NHS to work with us to


introduce a new target for delayed discharge. Elderly people trapped in


hospitals should be a thing of the past. If an elderly person is


available for discharge, we will ensure the community care is there


and we will have a new target that we want 80% of people discharged


from hospital within a week with a care package that is appropriate.


That is the difference between Labour and the Tories on the NHS.


You can clap if you want! And also because we are putting this money in


and we want to reform the NHS, I think we can go further on A as


well. Again we will work with the NHS to have a new target for our A


departments. The most serious people who present at A, the most serious


conditions, we will work with NHS clinicians and others to put in


place a special target so people with the most serious of conditions


and the most urgent of conditions can be treated within one hour in


our hospitals. Again that is the difference between Labour and the


Tories on the NHS. But I have some further announcements because with


this level of funding that we are putting into the NHS, I think we can


do even more. So I as the Shadow Health Secretary have already


announced that I want us as a country to have the healthiest


children in the world. When you look at the league tables for child


health from obesity to asthma to dental health and all the various


indicators, we are far too low down the international comparators. We


will put money into improving child health as well. And I have got


something else to tell you. You will have seen the reports as we said of


nurses literally turning up at food banks on the way home from work. It


is shameful. So a Labour government will get rid of the pay cap and will


give our nurses and midwives and everyone who works in the NHS of


their pay rise as well. -- a fair pay rise as well. But as Rosanna


said, we have just come out of possibly one of the worst winters


for 20 years. Some people called it a humanitarian crisis. Some people


have said the NHS was like being on a burning platform. We have heard


stories of ambulances backed up. We have heard stories of people waiting


hours upon hours on trolleys in corridors. We now talk of corridor


care in the NHS. Some hospitals have even put buzzers in the corridors to


treat patients. We all heard stories this winter. Many people got in


touch with me. A woman got in touch with me telling me she had been


waiting nine months for a knee replacement. She was about to go in


and then she got a phone call cancelling the operation. Another


woman got in touch with me via email. He said she had a secondary


tumour in her stomach and she was a mother of four and her operation had


just been cancelled. This was the NHS this winter. Things were so bad


that the gymnasium in the hospital in Jeremy Hunt's constituency got


turned into award, and yet when all this was going on, all these


operations cancelled, all these people waiting on trolleys, Theresa


May and the Tories said it was nothing more than a small number of


incidents. We should call it what it actually was. A badge of shame for


this country. And I can announce today that I never ever want to see


a winter like that again. So as part of the funding we are allocating to


the NHS today, we will allocate a ?500 million fund for winter in our


NHS we never have a winter like the winter we have just had this year in


the NHS. The reason I am making these announcements is because we as


a Labour government will always put patients first. We as a Labour


government and I is the Health Secretary will always take


responsibility for the NHS, never running scared, never vanishing,


always out there, speaking out, making the case on behalf of our


patients. When you look at the history of our party, we are party


who has always taken responsibility for the NHS. One of my favourite


poet WB Yeats wrote in dreams Begin responsibilities, and we as a party


dreamed of an NHS freak at the point of use, available to all respective


of means. -- free at the point of use. We took a responsibility to


bring it about. In our history as a party we have always stepped in to


give the NHS what it needs, to rebuild it are times when it has


been pushed back, because we take responsibility. I will take


responsibility. And the choice in this election is now absolutely


clear. It is either a fair pay rise for NHS staff with Labour or poverty


with the Tories. It is investment with Labour or cuts to the NHS with


the Tories. It is 1 million of the waiting list with Labour or 1


million added to the waiting list with the Tories. This election is


about the future of the NHS. Let's get out there, let's make the


argument and lets win it for the patients who deserve so much better.


Thank you very much. Thank you so very much, everyone,


for coming. It is wonderful to have you here and to hear what the Labour


Party are promising for our future. Have a wonderful morning. Thank you.


Thank you, Peter, good morning, everyone. Thank you for coming


along. This is a most unusual election. Not only does the outcome


not appear to be in doubt but most commentators do not think the result


is even going to be close, so it couldn't be more different