Green By-Election Candidate Responds To Voters’ Biggest Concern

Green parliamentary candidate, Clive Gregory, has responded to the biggest issue of concern in Rochester and Strood, the state of Medway Maritime Hospital.There are two Foundation Trusts in Kent, Medway and East Kent, and both are in special measures due to inadequate standards of care in some areas. Medway has also recently been threatened with closure of the Accident and Emergency Department as a result of doing badly in the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report.  The failing hospital and problems with NHS services in general have been identified as the biggest concern of Rochester and Strood residents.

Clive Gregory comments:rsz_p1030793
“Medway Maritime Hospital is a victim of the creeping privatisation of the NHS which is undermining our health service in general. We should all be critical of the way the funding is allocated, the complete lack of understanding that the hospital is old and in need of major investment, and the way the services are hampered by recruitment problems and central government funding cuts. Closure of A&E would put lives at risk should it be permanently displaced. Not only that but Medway Hospital is a huge local employer; the impact of its closure would be far-reaching beyond that of patient care. The hospital simply cannot be allowed to close.

“The commitment of staff has given the people of Medway excellent neo-natal and maternity services, as highlighted by the CQC. The staff surely deserve the security of a properly supported and funded workplace away from the cut-throat environment of the competitive marketplace, made even worse by staff shortages. Furthermore, it is clear from the experience in Kent, that Foundation Trusts are simply not working. Foundation Trust licences can and should be revoked.  All that is needed is the political will.
“At a local level, I would be putting pressure on Jeremy Hunt to provide the financial support we need.  I would also be seeking a greater relationship between Mid-Kent College and Medway Maritime Hospital with apprenticeship programmes training more young people in the skills the hospital most needs.“The Green Party is committed to the principles of Nye Bevan’s 1948 NHS, and, in government, would make investment that goes beyond that promised by any other party.  This investment would reverse the cuts that the NHS has suffered. It would be paid for by such things as introducing a wealth tax on the richest 1% and a tiny tax on banking transactions which would raise billions. We would also repeal the NHS and Social Care Act. The NHS should be focused on providing good quality care rather than profit for shareholders”.

The restructuring of the NHS by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, voted in by Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs, including the, at the time, Conservative MP Mark Reckless, has allowed, for the first time since its creation, private companies to compete for contracts with existing NHS services and the majority of NHS contracts are now let to private companies. It has also removed the democratic link which made the Department of Health responsible for providing a good quality service.

Clive Gregory says:

“The restructuring of the NHS, which the Tories promised would not happen if they were in power,  has led to private companies cherry picking services which are most likely to make them a profit, stripping away vital NHS funds, and leaving the most expensive services for chronic long term conditions, to be mopped up by an underfunded NHS.  This will be made worse if a new secret deal between the US and the EU goes ahead called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP for short. TTIP would allow private companies to sue the government if decisions were made that affected their profits.  “The Greens are saying no to TTIP, and no to privatisation of the NHS.  As a minimum we would insist that the NHS is taken out of TTIP. I have recently signed a pledge to do exactly that during my by-election campaign. Profit has no place in the NHS.”

 

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