Isle of Wight residents queued up on Saturday to sign the Labour Party petition against underfunding and understaffing of the NHS by the Conservative Government.
Jim Moody shares this latest news from the Isle of Wight Labour Party
Last Saturday (26 November) Ryde Labour members were joined by other Labour Party members from around the Island to help launch a nationwide campaign under the slogan ‘Care for the NHS’.
On a cold day, shoppers in the centre of Ryde gave a warm welcome to leaflets and petitions campaigners brought to their attention. Older Labour hands joined with recent recruits to give out over a thousand leaflets and collect several hundred signatures to a local petition demanding more resources for the NHS.
The worst NHS deficit ever
People were appalled to hear that nationally we now have the worst NHS deficit ever, and that four million are on waiting lists in England alone. Many of those signing had themselves experienced the disgracefully longer waits in A&E and for GP appointments.
Unsurprisingly, people queued up to sign the petition against deliberate Tory underfunding and understaffing of the NHS.
Ryde shoppers “obviously cherish the NHS”
Jim Moody, Secretary of Ryde Labour party branch, said,
“We were very pleased at Ryde shoppers’ positive reaction to what we had to say. They obviously cherish the NHS and want to save and improve it for themselves and generations to come. In Labour’s view, the Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Sustainability & Transformation Plan would be disastrous: no wonder there has been little publicity about it until recently.
“Beyond the havoc the Tory government has already visited on the NHS locally and nationally, we see this STP as a further attack on Islanders’ health. St Mary’s losing beds, patients sent off Island, not enough GPs or dentists – we the majority have to stand together for an NHS that is fully staffed and funded.
“If we don’t, we’ll end up with an empty NHS shell – and profit-making private health insurance for those who can afford it.”
A full local service for St Mary’s
Demands included in the Ryde Labour petition are that St Mary’s Hospital be funded so it provides and expands a full local service and that GP and dentistry services on the Island are safeguarded and improved.
Importantly, it calls, too, for greatly increased resources for the rundown community mental health services. It is a priority of Labour policy that mental health services are brought to parity in all respects with other health service provision. The petition also rejected the government’s poorly funded Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainability & Transformation Plan for failing to meet the needs of Islanders.
More details on this question can be found at the Labour Party Website