Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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A cry for help from A&E

11 January 2017
Commons Chamber

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 equipment.

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 this.’

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 Insurance system. 

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.


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