Health and Social Care
If elected, I would support:
- Increase public health budgets
- The full integration of health and social care
- Reforms to mental health provisions to bring much needed services to the frontline
- I trained as a nurse and worked in the NHS for 25 years and my husband is an A&E doctor at Royal Surrey. As a former nurse, I know how important it is for the NHS to have the resources it needs and since we saved the Royal Surrey in 2005, I have continued to support our local health services across both Guildford and Cranleigh.
- The issues that the NHS face are not simply about money. Successive governments have always increased spending on the NHS but demand continues to outstrip supply especially as we develop new technologies to diagnose and treat illness earlier, and people live longer with chronic illness.
- Government spends about £125 billion every year on the NHS and we need to make sure it is well spent and spent efficiently both inside, and outside hospital. Most patient contacts occur outside of hospitals and people are most effectively cared for in their own home.
- We face a particular shortage of GPs in Guildford. Running a GP practice is no longer an attractive option particularly in an area where house prices are high. Bureaucracy could be reduced for GPs by simplifying methods of repayments for services they provide. Government could do more to underwrite the costs of the leases for GP practices and we need to consider providing incentives for GPs to work in more expensive parts of the country.
- The Public Health Budgets have been cut too far. As a former Public Health Minister I am increasingly concerned that illnesses could be avoided if we can support and educate families about how to take care of their health. We continue to see significant health inequality with life expectancy in some council wards being 11 years less than other parts.
- Social care has bedevilled governments of all colours for decades. The answers are not easy, but I will support constructive solutions that don’t penalise those who’ve done the right thing and saved up when others have not. We need to fund and deliver social care equitably. Paying for it out of general taxation is likely to be the most palatable way to pay for social care but it should be delivered as part and parcel of NHS care. For too long governments have ducked the issue but health and social must be delivered as one device.
- Mental health care for children and adults is often too little too late. Delayed access to care has devastating effects often resulting in mild and easily treatable condition becoming serious and difficult to treat. The need for good high quality mental health care is as important as treating people with heart disease and cancer. We need to help and support families to understand the dangers of poor mental health, how to develop resilience and to know where to go for professional help as soon as it is needed. I welcome changes to the school curriculum that will make sure good mental health becomes a main stream part of education and additional training and support for teachers