Government will be held to account on NHS promises - Kate Osborne MP

First of all, I would like to wish all of the Shields Gazette readers a Happy New Year. It’s already shaping up to be a busy one in politics.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 10:00 am

Already in my first few weeks as your Member of Parliament, I have received a lot of correspondence from constituents.

Whilst a wide variety of topics have been raised by you, the most frequently mentioned issue is healthcare and the state of our NHS. Not just nationally but how it is affecting us all locally.

The NHS is our country’s most cherished institution and as your MP, I will always fight to ensure it remains there for us all when you most need it.

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Unfortunately, lots of the correspondence I have received has highlighted inadequacies, locally, with the lack of palliative care in the area and the continuing concern around South Tyneside Hospital.

Palliative care is required when people are at their most vulnerable and it cannot be underestimated how important it is to those individuals and their families.

At the same time, it is imperative that we retain all hospital services here in South Tyneside.

Our community has given so much to this country over the last century and it’s only right that people here can access good quality healthcare and end of life support when needed.

Far too often communities like ours, are the target of cuts dressed up as service consolidation or reorganisations. Whatever it is portrayed as, we are losing vital services that we must keep to prevent us going back to life before the NHS. We cannot let this happen.

During the General Election campaign, the Government made a number of promises on the NHS that they must now be held to account. I for one fully intend to hold them to this, to the promises they made to you and our families.

I will be writing to the Health Secretary to outline my concerns and to seek reassurance on local provision.

In addition, over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with the leadership of South Tyneside Council and arranging meetings with the NHS Trust to discuss healthcare provision in the local area and how we can ensure residents of the Jarrow constituency have access to the best possible care.