27th January 2015
Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister Jamie Reed today launched Labour’s 10 Year Plan for Health & Care alongside Rt Hon Andy Burnham and the Labour Shadow front bench team.
Contained within the plan, for the first time ever, is a dedicated apprenticeship and technical degree program for young people so that we can replenish our medical skills base locally and nationally. The government has cut medical training places and this has left the NHS with a spiralling bill for agency staff that is taking resources away from patient care.
Jamie Reed MP is calling upon local healthcare, education and local authority institutions to form a new partnership to create a new path for young people to become healthcare professionals. This would give greater opportunities for young people across Cumbria and would also help to alleviate recruitment pressures by securing a sustainable locally produced workforce.
Speaking at the King’s Fund in central London, Jamie Reed said:
“This ten year plan is sorely needed by the NHS, nationally, in Copeland and across Cumbria. Inspections of our local hospitals have repeatedly revealed chronic staff shortages and the North Cumbria Trust has the highest locum expenditure anywhere in the country.
“Without adequate staffing levels, we will never provide patients with the care and services they need and deserve. Not only this, but if we keep stretching our medical professionals like we are doing then we will burn them out, compromise quality and remain unable to recruit more staff. This is true of our hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes.
“Labour’s ten year plan will ensure that we train 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more doctors, 3,000 more midwives and 5,000 home care workers. Every single person in Cumbria who has used the NHS knows that we need these professionals and Labour is the only party to pledge this.
“These positions will be paid for with the mansion tax, a levy on tobacco companies and by clamping down on tax avoidance by closing loop holes in hedge funds.
“The plan also means that we can now shape the NHS in Cumbria in the way that we want it so that local government, hospitals and GP practices can work together in innovative ways like never before.
“Faced with this and the ongoing recruitment crisis, the Cumbrian health economy needs to ‘Grow our Own’ talent. This means schools, colleges and universities working together to identify young talent interested in medical careers.
“I will be bringing together the CCG, hospital trusts, schools, colleges and universities together to identify how we can ‘Grow our Own’. There are huge opportunities here – Westlakes Science Park is adjacent to the new West Cumberland Hospital, the Summergrove training centre and the Universities of Manchester and Central Lancashire. The potential is enormous at every level.
“Through greater partnership working, we can provide an innovative roadmap for the delivery of a sustainable workforce for health services in Cumbria. Taking this to its logical extension, we could create a new model in the UK for the delivery of health services in communities like ours. This could be supported by University Research Chairs and lead to the creation of different medical career paths which will then help us to recruit from outside the area, too.”