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Bridget_Phillipson_MP_DCLG_Questions_16-01-2017_small.jpgOn Monday 16 January 2017, Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, grilled the Communities Secretary over the funding crisis facing the adult social care system in England.

The amount of money allocated for social care has fallen significantly in recent years as local authorities have struggled to absorb what amounts to a 40% real terms reduction in government funding to councils over the last Parliament. As a result, the social care system in England is now on the brink of collapse.

Failures within the system have a considerable impact on an already stretched and underfunded NHS, as increasing numbers of elderly and vulnerable people are forced to go to A&E to access the care they need. According to the British Medical Association, the cost to the NHS of bed days occupied by patients no longer in need of acute treatment is estimated to be £820 million.

Speaking after DLCG Questions, Bridget said:
“In Parliament, I raised the important issue of the crisis facing adult social care, which I know many people in our area are deeply concerned about.

“Government plans to allow local councils to increase spending on social care will not be nearly enough to address what the Local Government Association estimates will be a £2.6 billion funding gap by 2020.

“These plans will also do little for the north east. Instead, increasing the social care precept will only worsen the existing postcode lottery.

“That’s why today asked the Communities Secretary to accept that only an urgent injection of additional ring-fenced funding will solve this crisis. Unfortunately, he refused to commit any additional resources towards tackling this problem.

“We can’t go on like this. Government ministers must accept that the current funding structure for adult social care is simply unsustainable."

Bridget Phillipson MP grills Communities Secretary on social care funding crisis

On Monday 16 January 2017, Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, grilled the Communities Secretary over the funding crisis facing the adult social care system in...


Bridget_Phillipson_MP.jpgJust days into the new year, the NHS is once again mired in crisis. Last week brought news of the deaths of two patients following waits on trolleys in corridors of well over 24 hours, and there have been numerous reports of other patients who have been forced to wait for days on end for urgent treatment.

This terrible news was compounded by the publication of research by the Nuffield Trust health thinktank, which showed that one in three English NHS trusts were at the highest or second highest level of pressure in the run up to Christmas.

Many local people have also contacted me in recent weeks to raise concerns about NHS services in our region, including access to GP services. Statistics I obtained from the government late last year show that the number of full-time equivalent GPs in Sunderland has plummeted by 25 % since 2013. The rate at which we are losing doctors is also accelerating. It's clear that this problem is only going to get worse in years to come unless government ministers step in.

Despite the outstanding work of our NHS staff who are doing their best in extremely difficult circumstances, GP practices, hospitals and ambulance services in England have now reached breaking point.

Yet while those working in our NHS say they’ve never experienced a winter crisis like this, the Prime Minister and her Health Secretary continue to deny that there is an issue. Jeremy Hunt even had the gall to blame patients for going to A&E when they feel unwell.

The government’s wilful ignorance of this crisis comes as no surprise to Labour. Our warnings last autumn that the NHS would face its toughest ever winter unless more funding was allocated to front-line services were ignored by ministers then, and our calls for urgent investment are still being disregarded now.

This is simply not good enough. Over the last seven years, the government’s total failure to provide NHS and social care services with enough funding, as well as its needless and botched shake-up of the NHS, has turned the winter crisis into an annual event.

Those with long memories will remember the disastrous state that the Tories left the NHS in 1997. Twenty years on, history is repeating itself. The NHS is simply not safe in Tory hands.

This article was originally published by the Sunderland Echo on 12 January 2017. You can read the online version here.

Bridget Phillipson MP: Groundhog Day for the NHS as winter crisis strikes again

Just days into the new year, the NHS is once again mired in crisis. Last week brought news of the deaths of two patients following waits on trolleys in corridors of...

Bridget_Phillipson_MP_Royal_Mail_Visit_Houghton-le-Spring_16-12-2016.jpgOn Friday 16 December, Bridget Phillipson MP visited the Houghton le Spring Delivery Office to see first-hand the operation of delivering Christmas post and to pass on season’s greetings to its hardworking staff.

Ms Phillipson was shown around the office by Delivery Manager Gerard Gilroy and introduced local posties Jason Carr and Stephen Outhwaite, two of the many postmen and women who are pulling out all the stops to sort and deliver mail in the Houghton and Sunderland South area over the Christmas period.

The Festive Season is Royal Mail’s busiest period, as millions of people shop online for gifts and send Christmas cards and parcels.

As Royal Mail’s 500th anniversary draws to a close, this Christmas provides an opportunity to reflect on the centuries of hard work delivering to every single address in the UK.

Speaking after the visit, Bridget Phillipson MP said:
“I was delighted to show my support for our local postmen and women and to extend my thanks for all their hard work throughout the year.

“They go to great lengths to make sure that Christmas cards and presents are delivered on time and their dedication couldn't be clearer.”

Gerard Gilroy, Royal Mail Delivery Office Manager, said:
“It was a pleasure to show Ms Phillipson our Christmas operation and to hear her kind words of encouragement and support.

“We are extremely proud of our postmen and women for all their hard work during the Festive Season and for continuing our proud history of delivering Christmas mail.”

The last recommend posting dates for Christmas are:

Second Class – Tuesday 20 December 2016
First Class – Wednesday 21 December 2016
Special Delivery – Thursday 22 December 2016

Customers can also help Royal Mail ensure that all their letters, cards and parcels are delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible by taking a few easy steps:

  • Post early – Avoid disappointment by posting your cards and parcels early.  
  • Use a postcode – A clearly addressed card or parcel, with a postcode, and return address on the back of the envelope, will ensure quick and efficient delivery.
  • Use Special Delivery – For valuable and important packages and parcels guarantee delivery with Royal Mail’s Special Delivery, which means your gift is tracked, traced and insured against loss.
  • Wrap parcels well and always give a return address
  • For more information about Royal Mail’s last recommended posting dates, please visit: www.royalmail.com/greetings or call 03457 740 740.

 

Bridget Phillipson MP thanks local postmen and women for delivering a first class Christmas

On Friday 16 December, Bridget Phillipson MP visited the Houghton le Spring Delivery Office to see first-hand the operation of delivering Christmas post and to pass on season’s greetings to...


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