Health is rarely out of the news or the letters page of the Gazette. I am proud to be launching Labour’s health manifesto for Hemel Hempstead on behalf of our team of candidates standing in the national and local government elections on May 7th.
For the last 10 years we have heard little on health from our current MP, even though he made Hemel Hospital a mainstay of his campaigns in 2005 and 2010. He even brought David Cameron to the constituency and promised to fight for the hospital.
Penning has been largely silent since becoming a member of a Coalition government that has shut 66 A&E and maternity units across the land, delivered the largest top down re-organisation of the NHS in its history, presided over this Winter’s A&E crisis and just last week issued a joint £1.2bn prospectus for the privatisation of cancer and end of life services in Staffordshire, the largest NHS privatisation ever.
Our manifesto is simple and sets realistic objectives. If we are elected, it will form the framework that we will expect health and care commissioners to use to meet the needs of people in Hemel Hempstead and across Dacorum. We believe that:
- There should be a fair and free health service available to all
- No older person should be forced to travel to Watford under a blue light just because they are frail and have had a fall
- No one with diabetes or a heart problem should have to travel to a major acute unit if their condition isn't life-threatening
- Children facing conditions such as asthma are better served by an immediate local response
- The case must continue to be made for a community based accident and emergency service and maternity unit at Hemel Hospital
I will fight to bring healthcare services back to Hemel but most importantly I pledge to work with Doctors and care providers, including local charities, to find a way through.
The Conservatives have now been in power locally for a generation and at Westminster for a decade, but we are no further forward.
It’s time to put the heart back into Hemel.