On Monday evening I held an adjournment debate regarding the future of health care provision in North Staffordshire. Adjournment debates or discussions are held at the end of business in the House of Commons so that MPs can bring to the attention of the House an issue that is important to their constituents. In this case I wanted to bring to the attention of the government the ongoing problems affecting my constituents' right to access the levels of health care they deserve.
I used this opportunity to discuss the funding crisis affecting our local hospital, made worse by the governments capped expenditure process that inflicts financial penalties when hospitals, already underfunded, fail to meet unrealistic budget targets. I brought up the fact that it is nearly a year since Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council passed motions referring the decision by North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to the government regarding their decision to cut community beds. Despite acknowledging this cross-party concern, there has been no satisfactory response from the Secretary of State.
The debate also included mentions about the worrying statistics that show locally, the NHS is failing to meet targets on cancer waits, waits for operations and to be seen in Accident and Emergency. You can view the full debate on Parliament TV (http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons) by viewing Mondays evening schedule and see my full speech and the response of the government.
In my closing remarks, I again invited Jeremy Hunt or a member of his Health team to meet me in my constituency to see first hand the challenges the NHS are facing and how the government should listen to clinical professionals and patients and change course to ensure my constituents get the care they need.