Latest Stories

Accident & Emergency

Hospitals across England are struggling under record pressure as hundreds of thousands arrive at A&E departments after failing to get an appointment with their family doctor the last time they tried, an official NHS England survey found.

Across England, one in four patients waits a week or more for an appointment after the Government’s decision to abolish the 48-hour appointment guarantee after the last election.

The survey of patients found that, in the North East & Cumbria, 54,922 patients attended A&E after failing to get an appointment with their GP. Across the country 930,901 people ended up in the Emergency Department instead of their local doctor surgery.

Earlier this month, Ed Miliband set out a five-point plan to rescue struggling A&E departments following a lack of action from the Government. The measures included immediate support for GPs to offer appointments this winter.

Labour has also pledged to invest £100 million in GP surgeries - saved by scrapping David Cameron's NHS market rules that waste millions on lawyers fees and contract tendering - to guarantee appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it. 

Jamie Reed MP, Labour's Shadow Health Minister and MP for Copeland, said:

"David Cameron has made it harder for people to get a GP appointment and it’s left people turning to overstretched A&E departments.

“Patients are phoning the surgery day after day only to be disappointed. It’s like getting sought-after concert tickets, sitting for hours early morning with the phone on redial. But sadly, too many people are forced to give up and go to A&E.

“David Cameron caused this A&E crisis and his complacency is now a danger to patients. Labour has committed to investing an extra £2.5 billion each year – over and above the Tories – to recruit 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 nurses. We will scrap the Government’s NHS market and invest the savings in helping people to get a GP appointment within 48 hours."

Louise Baldock, Labour’s candidate for Stockton South said:

“The problems facing our A&Es are of the government’s making. Their top-down and unnecessary reorganisation has placed huge strain on GP practices and their short-sighted decision to close the NHS Direct has added to this.

"Within days of the last election, David Cameron scrapped Labour's GP appointments guarantee and now thousands of people across the region feel they are left with no option but to go to A&E. In Ingleby Barwick, where I live, people are waiting up to three weeks to see a GP.

“Labour are making the right move introducing a guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours. This will improve NHS services and take the pressure off A&E.”

Nearly 55,000 patients in the region turned to A&E because they couldn’t see a GP

Hospitals across England are struggling under record pressure as hundreds of thousands arrive at A&E departments after failing to get an appointment with their family doctor the last time they...

ed_m_640.jpg

Ed Miliband has today (Fri) warned that young people are in danger of losing their voice and must make themselves heard in this year’s General Election.

The warning came as the Labour Leader launched a drive to register a missing million voters across the UK who have disappeared from the Electoral Register because of government reforms in the last 12 months.

In the North East and Cumbria over 70,000 electors have fallen off the roll. The university towns and city have been particularly hardest hit. Newcastle has seen a decline in 18,111 voters on the electoral roll. Durham City has seen fall of nearly 9,000 voters whilst Sunderland have lost 5,776 electors.

The sharp decline in numbers of young people registered to vote only amplifies a long-term problem which has seen turnout among young people fall dramatically in recent elections. Labour is asking people aged 16 to 35 to tell us their priorities for their generation before the Party publishes a Young Britain manifesto.

New figures, published by the Labour Party, show almost one million people across the country have gone missing from voting rolls in the last year, hundreds of thousands of them young people, as a consequence of the government’s decision to override safeguards and ignore warnings from electoral watchdogs about the hasty introduction of individual registration.

One of the key components of the government’s reforms is that universities and colleges can no longer block register students living in Halls of Residences to vote. And areas that have seen the number of registered voters fall by five figures include such university cities and towns as Newcastle.

Labour is challenging the government, the Electoral Commission, universities and local authorities to address this democratic scandal with urgent action by the end of this month so that people can get back on the register.

Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party said:

“In the last year almost one million people have fallen off the Electoral Register, including 70,000 in the North East & Cumbria. This is a direct consequence of the Government’s decision to ignore warning that rushing through new individual registration reforms would damage democracy. It has.

“This is nothing less than a scandal. The Government is sitting by and watching tens of thousands of young people in this region lose their democratic rights.

“But young people must be heard, loud and clear, in this election. That’s why we are determined to do all we can to get young people back on the electoral register, and casting their vote in May.

“So make you sure you have a voice – and then make sure you get heard – because the stakes for your generation are greater than ever.”

ENDS


Individual Electoral Registration scandal: a million missing voters

• New figures reveal the Tory and Lib Dems’ disastrous reforms to electoral registration mean one million voters have already fallen off the electoral roll.

• For the 373 Local Authorities for which data has been processed, 307 have seen a reduction in the electoral roll. In these Local Authorities 1,016,024 fewer voters are registered in 2015, compared with in 2014.

• Across all the 373 Local Authorities for which data has been processed, there are 950,845 fewer electors than there were in last year’s registers for the same Authorities.

• The new figures confirm the concerns that areas with high student populations and areas with high proportions of residents renting their homes would see a substantial drop in the electoral roll.

 

The North’s 70,000 missing voters must not lose their voice in this election - Miliband

Ed Miliband has today (Fri) warned that young people are in danger of losing their voice and must make themselves heard in this year’s General Election. The warning came as...

Anna_Turley.jpgLiz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, today (Wednesday 14 January) sets out plans which will improve the support given to over 295,000 unpaid family carers across the North East, if Labour wins the General Election in May.

The package of measures includes:

• A new duty on the NHS to identify family carers, so they can get the right help and support, and a new right for carers to ask for an annual health check – allowing problems to be identified earlier and prevent costs escalating

• A single point of contact with care services for families caring for people with the greatest needs, so they don’t have to battle different parts of the system

• Ensuring the funding currently identified for carers’ breaks is properly ring-fenced, to make sure all the money goes to family carers

• Consulting with employers, trade unions and carers organisations on how to improve flexible working for family carers, which could include measures such as a new period of ‘adjustment leave’ to help families cope with a short-term crisis

• Recognising the transport costs facing family carers, by including family carers in the groups who can be eligible for hospital car parking concessions

• Abolishing the bedroom tax – which hits 60,000 carers and penalises them for the extra facilities they need

Liz Kendall MP said:

“Family life is changing and more and more of us are looking after elderly or disabled relatives. This can often be a real struggle and many families feel pushed to breaking point.

“Too often carers have to battle all the different services to try and get the support they need. One in three family carers who are in paid work have to give up their job or reduce their hours because they can’t get the right help to care or flexible working hours.

“Most unpaid carers don’t have enough time to pay attention to their own health, and many don’t come forward for help or get any breaks. Often people don’t even see themselves as being a carer – they’re just a son, daughter, husband, wife or partner trying to look after the person they love.

“It’s not right that people who do so much get so little in return. We need to improve support for families, and Labour’s package of measures will make a real and practical difference to their lives.”

Welcoming the news, Anna Turley, Labour’s candidate for Redcar said:

“Carers are the unsung heroes of our society and they are forgotten about too often. Unfair measures such as the bedroom tax have placed huge strain on many local disabled people and their carers, making daily life a real strain. I am pleased that Labour is bringing forward these proposals which will improve the quality of life for 10,000 carers in Redcar alone. These are practical measures that will make a real difference to many.” 

Anna Turley has pledged to introduce a Carers’ Forum if she’s elected as Redcar’s MP to inform her work and highlight issues facing unpaid carers.

Labour pledges new support for North East families caring for elderly and disabled relatives

Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, today (Wednesday 14 January) sets out plans which will improve the support given to over 295,000 unpaid family carers...

More Stories >

In Pictures...

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.  To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.