I was born in the NHS, I’ve worked for the NHS, I’ve used the NHS.
Aneurin Bevan, Minister for Health in the Attlee’s post-war Labour Government, established our NHS with the mission to provide medical care free at the point of need for all Britons. 66 years on the NHS is still going strong and withstanding a relentless Tory-led the assault on its founding values.
The principles of the National Healthcare System that are free at the point of use, based on need, not on ability to pay; is to me what makes Britain one of the greatest countries in the world. It is a system that promotes fairness and compassion, but most of all – to value life
For many others like myself who live in Harrow, our local hospital is Northwick Park. Over the years have come here many times; whether it’s been for a blood test or to visit friends and family in hospital – most of us in Harrow have used Northwick Park hospital.
For me, it is the Christmas of 1999 that cemented its place in my heart. That December my father suffered a heart attack. He was rushed by ambulance to Northwick Park Hospital – taken its A&E department, to intensive care and then on to nearby Harefield hospital.
I spent that whole Christmas holiday season in and out of the hospital, but I never once worried that my dad’s life wasn’t in safe hands. From the nurses in intensive care to the heart surgeons in theatre, they all battled together to keep him alive and to send him home in time for Christmas.
It is this memory, of dedicated staff working tirelessly to aid a speedy recovery and to send my father home in time for Christmas that will stay with me forever.
The hospitals in and around our borough are a vital part of our community.
I know first-hand the capability of the state to protect and to transform my family and many other families’ lives. And for this, I am eternally grateful. My story is one that has left me with happy memories – but I know it isn’t like this for everyone.
I know the hopelessness and frustration that people have felt when the service has let them down or has not met their needs and I know this cannot be allowed to happen
That is why Labour has argued that it’s not the current multibillion top-down reorganization that is needed but more investment and a more efficient system that tailors to the individual needs of patients.
Since the Tory-led Government came to power in 2010, the NHS has lost over 7000 nurses, A&E waiting times are the worst in almost a decade and real terms NHS is spending is lower now than when Labour left Government.
Labour understands that we will inherit an NHS that has been forever changed by the Collation government but we have pledged that we will do what it takes to protect and strengthen the system.
We understand that to protect the NHS, is to change it. Change for the Tories means destroying the ethos of it. Change for Labour is a means to strengthen it.
Going forward we need a National Healthcare System that can adapt to the changing needs of modern Britain. Labour has pledged to do just that.
The NHS is one of Labour’s proudest achievements and it is part of the fabric of our Country.
Labour has led the fight against planned closures of many hospitals, A&Es and other NHS services across the country. We will continue to fight against it because we know how important the NHS is to our communities.
In the words of its founder ‘, the NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it’
PS: These days I visit Northwick park hospital on a weekly basis, but it’s to present for the hospital’s radio station. It’s my way of saying thank you.