Over the recent months, some local residents have been in touch regarding the National Health Service and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), so I wanted to clarify my position.
I believe there should be a specific provision in TTIP that removes the NHS from it; this would act as a double lock as health is a reserved matter.
Like most of British public, I strongly believe the NHS should always be free at the point of need, and that no one should need to pay money to see a Doctor, or have an operation at hospital. I would never support any change to this. The NHS has helped my family throughout my lifetime, helping bring my daughter into the world, and I am extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Nurses, Doctors and all NHS staff. My wife also trained as a Midwife at Winchester Hospital, so I am aware of the pressures and commitment of our NHS staff.
I previously contacted the European Commission who have confirmed to me that the NHS would not be subject to TTIP, and that health is a reserved matter. Below, you can find a copy of the letter I’ve received.
I can assure you that I will continue to scrutinise the developments around TTIP very closely. The knowledge and experience I gained during my time as a member of the Parliamentary European Scrutiny Select Committee will certainly help me keep a close watch on this issue.
I am a passionate supporter of our NHS, both locally and nationally. I am currently pushing the Government to provide more health services locally at the Moorgreen Hospital site so residents can have non-urgent procedures within the community. In the last Parliament, I was pushing to improve access to GP’s across the Borough. I am aware that some residents are waiting up to 4 weeks to see a GP, and this is simply unacceptable, so if re-elected, I will continue to push the government on this.
Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, has made clear that the service will need at least an extra £8bn a year by the end of the next parliament. The Liberal Democrats are the only party to have pledged the extra funding which I believe is vital to help further address problems with GP access and mental health services. This will also include a £3.5bn dedicated to improving mental health services. When challenged by the Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb, both Tories and Labour refused to match this pledge.
I hope this, along with my specific provision for the NHS, addresses the concerns residents may have. Please do get in touch if you have any further specific concerns and I would be more than happy to try and address them. In the meantime, if I can be of any further assistance on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.