Labour’s Jamie Reed has backed the Royal College of Nursing’s new strategic vision for clinical excellence in Cumbria.
The RCN’s vision includes:
- A public debate about sustainable, safe services
- Joined-up service delivery involving all health and social care providers and commissioners
- Fair funding for Cumbria
- Addressing the clinical recruitment and retention issues
- Investing in the next generation of clinical professionals
- Increasing the critical mass of patients
Prior to the RCN’s calls, Jamie Reed has worked with stakeholders to make progress on a number of these issues and has called on Government to intervene to address the recruitment crisis and to also address long standing structural issues surrounding health and care in Cumbria:
On a public debate:
There is a long running public campaign surrounding the provision of services at the West Cumberland Hospital, which Jamie Reed has been heavily involved in. This has included addressing a public meeting of over 4,000 people at the Recreation Ground in Whitehaven.
On joined-up service delivery
As a Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed has been heavily involved in the development of the policy on the integration of health and social care to ensure patients are at the centre of the care they receive. By giving those who need one a single point of contact for their care needs, families will no longer be passed from pillar to post in order to get the best care for their loved ones.
On fair funding for Cumbria
At a recent election hustings in Egremont, Jamie Reed said he would “make the case morning, noon and night for the right funding.” He has called on the Government to provide more support for the NHS in Cumbria and fought against cuts to council budgets which have seen social care services slashed; resulting in more pressure on hospitals.
Jamie Reed also wrote to the head of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens, asking him to visit Cumbria to see the challenges for himself and to help develop a rescue plan for the NHS. Simon Stevens will be visiting Cumbria after the election.
Following the various reports from Sir Bruce Keogh and the Care Quality Commission, Jamie Reed has repeatedly called on the Government to address recruitment issues at the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, but they have repeatedly refused to take action. Labour have pledged to provide an extra 1,000 nurse training places this year and fund 20,000 more nurses by 2020.
On investing in the generation of clinical professionals
Jamie Reed has worked closely with the University of Central Lancashire and North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust to develop a plan to turn the West Cumberland Hospital into a full teaching hospital so that West Cumbria can ‘grow our own’ medical 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.
Jamie Reed, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Copeland and Shadow Health Minister, said:
“Nurses are being pushed to breaking point as the NHS in Cumbria is under increasing pressure. Staff do an amazing job in extremely trying circumstances. Unpaid overtime, work related stress and, most worryingly of all, incidences of bullying and harassment are all on the rise.
“It is clear that something needs to change and I support the Royal College of Nursing’s vision for clinical excellence in Cumbria. Various reports into healthcare in Cumbria have shown that staff shortages are a root cause of many issues. I’ve worked closely with UCLAN and North Cumbria Trust to put together a programme to ‘grow our own’ medical professionals to address these shortages and the ongoing issues with recruitment. The Government have refused to intervene to address these problems, so we must take matters into our own hands and, along with the head of the NHS in England, develop our own rescue plan for the NHS in Cumbria.
“By ensuring a fair funding settlement for Cumbria and by tackling staff shortages we can ensure nurses are fully equipped to do what they do best: look after us, our friends and our families.”