Our health service, for those living in Dover, Deal & the villages, is under massive pressure from rising demand and Tory spending cuts. The 4 hour A&E treatment time target of 95% has not been met by our local NHS Trust since September 2014. Our local Ambulance Trust is also still in special measures. The Conservatives have completely failed the whole of East Kent when it comes to healthcare.
GP surgeries such as those in Eastry are threatened with closure and it is important for us all to admit that decisions to close surgeries and downgrade hospitals (such as Buckland in Dover) are political. When funding is tight, smaller communities and towns often suffer. I am standing up for these local services: people have the right to see a local family doctor that they know and trust in a place that is easy to get to. Asking people to travel miles and miles on the bus to see their GP is just not good enough.
I have campaigned to bring back nursing bursaries so we can address the 40,000 shortage of nurses – a problem created by the Conservatives and the Lib Dems when they made the decision to hike up tuition fees, putting so many people off training for this vital career.
In other health matters, I believe we must offer all women a physical examination as part of their 6-week postpartum check; we cannot allow the erosion of our maternal support services. I am a keen supporter of breastfeeding peer support groups and will also fight for sessions of post-partum pelvic floor physiotherapy to be available to every woman on the NHS, as is currently the case in France.