Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, spoke in Labour’s Opposition Day Debate on the crisis in the NHS to raise local residents concerns about the shocking state of the NHS and social care system in the local area.
During her speech, Karin pointed out that the root cause of the problems faced by patients is capacity. In Bristol, north Somerset and south Gloucestershire, the NHS is short of roughly 300 beds. The solution offered by the Tory Government is 30 temporary hotel beds. She noted that this “…will not cut it. It is short-term and, frankly, a very poor use of money.”
The Bristol South MP used her speech to highlight how Bristolians have been led up the garden path by the Government when it comes to social care. They were promised some £3.6 billion for the social care charging system between 2022 and 2025. That has now been postponed. There was over £70 million for local authorities to look at market-shaping and commissioning capabilities. This has now gone. Moreover, the Tory Government allocated £2.9 million on trailblazers, but we do not know what has been learnt from this spending or how it is even being used.
Karin pressed ministers to explain where that money has been allocated, where it has gone and what have we got from it.
She concluded her speech by offering solutions to the NHS and social care crisis. Including, matching capacity to demand in all ICB areas, and paying carers a decent wage, with a career structure and decent employment rights, to reduce the 165,000 vacancies.
Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:
“The abject failure of the Tory Government over the last 13 years has created this NHS and social care crisis. Before the pandemic the NHS has faced with annual ‘Winter Crises’ and patients faced waits of the like not seen since the last Tory Government of the 1990s.
“Under a Labour Government 91.2% of Category B incidents recieved a response within 19 minutes. Now, 24 hours in A&E isn’t just a TV show, it’s Tory Party policy towards the NHS. The longer they are in government the longer you wait to see a doctor. But the problem reaches out to social care as well. It’s clear that money has been wasted when it could have been invested to help you and your family.
“We can and must solve the social care crisis to alleviate pressures on the NHS. But its benefits go further than that. By implementing a detailed long-term social care plan, we will give carers a career path to be proud of which is properly paid. It will help women in communities increase their economic power, and it would rebuild primary and community-based services from the cradle to the grave.”