Birkenhead’s MP Frank Field is today leading calls for the
Prime Minister to set up a national health and social care convention to work
out how to fund the soaring costs of medical and social care.
Frank has this week been contacted by an A&E nurse who
describes herself as ‘broken’. The nurse has reported to Frank that up to five
ambulances at a time are queuing each night to offload their patients, as the
A&E unit is full to capacity. In addition, nurses are themselves sustaining
injuries due to the shortage of staff available to move beds and heavy
The nurse told Frank that, ‘I am desperate. I love nursing
but dread going into work every day and night as every day is the same. I have
actually cried this week before going in, worrying about what I'm going into.
‘I have been screamed at, had people yelling at me in my
face wanting answers and solutions I can't give as I'm only a nurse. I worry
for my patients, I worry for their families, I worry for my colleagues.
‘The only saving grace in this is I'm part of one of the
most committed team spirited and fantastic people I have ever met. I'm proud to
be part of this team but I'm not sure how long we can continue to work like
Having recently been invited to give evidence to a key House
of Lords Select Committee examining the long-term future of the NHS, Frank
submitted a proposal for an immediate penny increase in National Insurance
contributions to plug the financial black hole in the NHS. The proposal also
suggests that this should form the first move towards a new National Health and
Social Care Service, funded in full by a reformed, progressive National
Commenting on the nurse’s
reports, Frank says: ‘The funding of the NHS is currently built upon extremely
shaky foundations. The impact of this inadequate funding on patient care and
staff morale is becoming increasingly clear. I therefore believe that the
Government should immediately begin weighing up options for an increase health
and social care budgets, before taking steps to merge the two services into a
combined, adequately funded National Health and Social Care Service.’
You can read Frank's submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Long Term Sustainability of the NHS, here.