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A survey about GP waiting times and the state of the health service in Rochester & Strood has been launched by Labour’s Naushabah Khan following warnings of GP shortages across the country.

Naushabah Khan, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Rochester and Strood, says with almost 40,000 people waiting over a week to see their GP in the Medway area, falling standards need to be highlighted and addressed.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has identified up to 600 practices across the country where more than 90% of the GPs are aged 60 or over, many of whom will retire over the next 12 months.

The RCGP has also highlighted concerns that more and more GPs will suffer burnout as they struggle to keep up with the pressure of ever-growing numbers of patients.

Naushabah Khan said: “For a while now I’ve been hearing people say it’s getting harder to see their doctor and the forecast from the Royal College of GPs suggests the problem is only going to get worse.

“We know the health service is not working here, the Medway Maritime Hospital has been told to make urgent improvements, patients are waiting too long to see a GP and our hardworking doctors are not getting the support they need.

“I hope people will find the time to fill in our survey as their stories will help us get the necessary evidence to start putting things right and to stop the Conservatives denying there’s a problem.”

Seven Day Waits

The survey was launched in Strood High Street on Saturday 4th October and it will soon be available online.

Earlier this year research revealed that 37,015 people in the Medway area waited seven days or longer to see a GP the last time they tried.

The annual NHS England survey also revealed that over 50,000 – or 41% of people who have a preferred GP in the Medway CGC - had to see another doctor when they last went to their surgery.

Labour has pledged £2.5bn of extra funding for the NHS and made a commitment to recruit 8000 more GPs, guaranteed appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it would also come into force.

In contrast, the Conservatives scrapped Labour's GP appointment guarantee and cut support for evening and weekend opening when they came to power. UKIP have said they would charge people to see a GP.


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Notes for editors:

  • The Tories launched a top-down reorganisation of the NHS (which they promised they wouldn’t do), wasting £3bn and which has seen 7,000 frontline NHS staff axed. Under David Cameron's A&E crisis, waiting times are going up, as are waiting lists for crucial operations.
  • The Tories have started the process of privatizing the NHS – and that’s something UKIP welcome. Their deputy leader, Paul Nuttal, said, “I would like to congratulate the coalition government for bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered National Health Service.”
  • Now UKIP want increased privatisation and GP charging. UKIP want to go even further than the Tories by subsidising people who want to go private. On top of that, UKIP have proposed charging people to see their family doctor, as well as charging for other NHS services.
  • What you get with UKIP: charges to see your GP, even deeper cuts to your NHS, and increased privatisation.

 

NHS & GP Survey Launched by Labour in Rochester & Strood

A survey about GP waiting times and the state of the health service in Rochester & Strood has been launched by Labour’s Naushabah Khan following warnings of GP shortages across...

Labour’s Clair Hawkins says people in Dover and Deal deserve better following recommendations to place East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust in special measures.

Ms Hawkins, the parliamentary candidate for Dover and Deal, recently launched a consultation on the local health service and says the NHS cannot carry on as it is.

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, made the special measures recommendation following a Care Quality Commission inspection which rated safety and leadership as inadequate.

The report found that a number of clinical services across the trust were poorly led, and there were concerns about staffing levels in a number of areas, especially in A&E, in children’s care, and at night.

On a positive note the report recognised that staff were "caring and responsive to people's needs".

'Hospitals are deteriorating'

Clair Hawkins said: “Our hospitals are under unprecedented pressure and our dedicated nurses and doctors are struggling to do the jobs they are trained for due to unsafe staffing levels on the wards. We have people waiting longer for appointments and we have ambulance patients waiting hours to be admitted for treatment.

“The Government urgently needs a bigger plan to get the trust back on track. Our local services cannot carry on like this, we need an environment where staff and patients have the freedom to speak out about concerns, we also need ministers to intervene now to guarantee safe staffing levels.

“Hospitals are deteriorating following David Cameron’s disastrous reorganisation of the NHS. This Government is sadly making care problems more likely, not less and we need urgent action to right these wrongs.”

The CQC said that overall, inspectors found that there was a worrying disconnect between those running the trust and frontline staff. A recent staff survey had flagged long standing cultural issues, such as bullying and harassment, and a number of staff came forward to raise serious concerns with CQC about the culture of the trust and the care being delivered.

Furthermore the report found that risks to patients were not always identified, and where they were, were not always acted on by the trust. Poorly maintained buildings and equipment were identified in a number of areas.

Clair Hawkins has launched a consultation in the area about the state of the health service and is urging people to share their experiences.

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http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/chief-inspector-hospitals-rates-east-kent-hospitals-university-nhs-foundation-trust

Dover & Deal Deserves Better Following Worrying NHS Report – Labour’s Clair Hawkins.

Labour’s Clair Hawkins says people in Dover and Deal deserve better following recommendations to place East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust in special measures.

Subsidies for issuing gun licences in the South of England have left police forces over £3m out of pocket, analysis by the Labour Party has shown.

At present a firearm or shotgun license costs £50 for a five-year period and a renewal (also lasting five-years) costs £40 but ACPO estimates that it costs the police approximately £200 to process a firearms or shotgun application.

  • The largest shortfall in the country was in Kent where the police force was left £692,610 out of pocket. £195,390 was raised from issuing and renewing licences but the costs of processing equalled £888,000.
  • In the Sussex Police area the total income raised from issuing and renewing licences was £180,590 but the costs of processing equalled £830,800 – leaving a shortfall of £650,210.
  • In Thames Valley the total income raised from issuing and renewing licences was £169,340 but the costs of processing equalled £772,400, leaving a shortfall of £603,060.
  • In Hampshire the total income raised from issuing and renewing licences was £152,510 but the costs of processing equalled £698,000 – that leaves a shortfall of £545,490.
  • In Surrey the total income raised from issuing and renewing licences was £88,260 but the costs of processing equalled £397,400 – that meant a shortfall of £309,140.
  • In Dorset the total income raised from issuing and renewing licences was £68,070 but the costs of processing £304,800, leaving a shortfall of £236,730.


Nationally the net cost to police forces of processing firearms license applications is estimated to be £17m a year. An agreement had been made to increase the license fee to £92 from this Autumn, with a move to full-cost recovery within five years.

However, despite this agreement in an email to Gun Control Network Chair, Gill Marshall-Andrews, the Home Office announced these plans have been abandoned. Sources later linked this directly to number 10.

Commenting on the reports that David Cameron has intervened to prevent the introduction of full-cost recovery for gun licenses, Shadow Crime and Security Minister, Diana Johnson MP said:

“David Cameron promised that police resources would be spent on the frontline, but now he’s protecting a multi-million pound subsidy for his friends in the shooting community while across the country thousands of police officers and PCSOs are being lost. The money being used to fund gun licenses could put hundreds of police officers back on the beat.

“This is not an attack on the shooting community and the important contribution they make to the rural economy. But at a time when Government cuts are leading to the closure of sports centres and swimming pools across the country, we cannot afford a massive subsidy to gun sports. A five-year gun license costs a maximum of £50, a fishing license for migratory fish for the same period would cost £360. It is really time the shooters paid their way.”

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Editor’s Notes:

1.    At present a firearm or shotgun license costs £50 for a five-year period and a renewal (also lasting five-years) costs £40.
2.    ACPO estimate that it costs the police approximately £200 to process a firearms or shotgun application. ACPO estimate the net-cost to police forces of processing firearms license applications is £17m a year.
3.    An agreement had been made to increase the license fee to £92 from this Autumn, with a move to full-cost recovery (as is expected of all Departments by the Treasury) within five years. http://www.acpo.police.uk/ThePoliceChiefsBlog/201311-cc-marsh-blog.aspx
4.    However, despite this agreement in an email to Gun Control Network Chair, Gill Marshall-Andrews, the Home Office announced these plans have been abandoned. Sources later linked this directly to number 10:

“Hi Gill

I just wanted to let you know before you hear it from anyone else that we have been asked to hold on pursuing the firearms fee issue.

The government recognises the huge amount of work that has gone into agreeing proposals on what the fees might look like but does not feel it would be appropriate to pursue it further at this stage.
I realise this will be disappointing news for a wide set of interested parties but we can say that we made substantial progress and we may be able to build on that at some point in the future.

Many thanks

Head of Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit
Crime and Policing Group
 
Home Office
Fry 5 SE
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF2”

5.    Following a number of high profile killings committed using legal firearms, including the cases of Derek Bird and Michael Atherton, the Home Affairs Select Committee, Durham Coroner and Independent Police Complaints Commission have all recommended a strengthening of the firearms licensing regime. But the police are being asked to do when they are already subsidising each firearms application by approximately £150 and are losing thousands of officers from the frontline.
6.    Figures released on the 7th August show that police forces in England and Wales handled 58,481 shotgun applications and 23275 firearms applications last year. There are now 1,329,376 legally licensed shotguns in the UK and 507,867 licensed firearms – the highest figure ever recorded. Full figures here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/firearm-and-shotgun-certificates-in-england-and-wales-financial-year-ending-march-2014
7.    Labour would introduce full-cost recovery for firearms licenses, freeing up millions of pounds for the police to spend on frontline officers. We would also work with the shooting community to lower the cost of processing an application.

Gun Licence Subsidy Leaves Region’s Police Forces Over £3m Out of Pocket

Subsidies for issuing gun licences in the South of England have left police forces over £3m out of pocket, analysis by the Labour Party has shown.

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