Weekly Round Up 21 October 2022

The UK now faces its third Prime Minister this year as Liz Truss has resigned after a mere 44 days in the job. The country is facing an economic crisis that cannot be blamed on either Covid or the war in Ukraine but one which is a result of failed economic policies from the Tory Party. What we need is stability and a plan to support ordinary people who are worried about how they are going to get through this winter, not a Party who are fighting with one another and more concerned with clinging onto power than serving the national interest. Enough is enough. We need a General Election now.

I was pleased to be able to speak in the House of Commons this week on the Economic Update from the new Chancellor. Jeremy Hunt has regularly warned that workforce burnout across the NHS and social care had reached emergency levels and was extremely dangerous to the functioning of the NHS. Now that he is in position to make financial commitments, will he stand by the statements that he has previously made? The NHS and Social Care is in severe trouble but its most important asset is its people. We have to invest in them and ensure that they are supported and protected from burnout. But in order to do that we have to put the resources into training places, into ensuring that pay remains competitive, and that we have enough staff to manage the workload.

I was pleased to support the Menopause Mandate this week by joining their drop in. The Menopause Mandate is devoted to creating a coalition of campaigners working to ensure that women receive the advice and support they need from both our health service and wider society. In 2021 Menopause Support revealed that 41% of UK medical schools don’t have mandatory menopause education on their curriculum. The Menopause Mandate wants to see health professionals adequately educated so that women are able to receive the advice and support they deserve. Stats from the Nuffield Health Group revealed that just over a quarter of women who visited a GP said the possibility of their symptoms being menopause wasn’t addressed. Only one in five was prescribed HRT. Too many women say that when they seek advice they are frequently dismissed or not offered HRT or other treatment options. Find out more about the Menopause Mandate here.

This week the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee published our report into the work of the Electoral Commission. We concluded that the recent Elections Act is a “missed opportunity” and has made electoral law more complicated. Challenges lie ahead now for the Electoral Commission in supporting voters, campaigners, and electoral administrators, to understand and navigate the changes ahead of elections in May 2023, when voters will be required to produce ID at the polls to vote. The Government need to ensure that voters, campaigners and candidates, as well as electoral administrators have all the support they need to ensure that our democracy does not suffer from the changing rules and processes. You can read the full report here.

If there are issues you want to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing Karin.smyth.mp@parliament.uk or by calling 0117 953 3575.