Dawn Primarolo MP's reply to constituents regarding pressure on the NHS:
"I know that many constituents share my deep and growing concern about the unprecedented pressure our NHS is under.
Many A&E departments are now in crisis – with record numbers of people visiting A&E, record numbers being left waiting on trolleys and record numbers being trapped in acute hospital beds. Indeed, last week only 7 out of 140 A&E departments in England hit the Government’s lowered A&E target. People are also finding it harder to get a GP appointment and ambulance response times for the most serious calls have been missed for the past six months in a row.
It is clear that decisions taken by the Government have contributed to these problems. In particular, the collapse in adult social care budgets has led to more elderly people visiting A&E and being unable to return to their homes. Under the current Government, guaranteed 48-hour GP appointments have been scrapped and NHS Direct has been replaced with the flawed 111 service. The Government’s top-down reorganisation of the NHS also diverted £3 billion from NHS care.
I believe we need to urgently tackle this growing crisis in the NHS. In particular, we need to bring existing health and social care budgets together and radically change the way we care for older people. I also believe we need to restore guaranteed 48-hour GP appointments and build the NHS workforce of our future by investing £2.5 billion a year to recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more care home workers and 3,000 more midwives.
NHS staff are working extremely hard to provide a good service in difficult times, including at our very own fantastic Bristol South Community Hospital. I know from my own casework that “bed blocking” is a real problem and something that needs to be sorted out as a matter of urgency for patients themselves and the NHS.
Labour MP for Bristol South"