Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP, Labour’s Member of Parliament for Enfield North, has used her first speech back in the House of Commons, following her election as MP, to call for a meeting with Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, to discuss the health care crisis in Enfield.
Assessing the downgrading of the NHS in Enfield over the past five years, during the Health and Social Care debate on the Queen’s Speech, on Tuesday 2nd June, Ms Ryan condemned the Government’s record of cuts to health care services in the borough.
Enfield has “seen a shocking decline in acute and primary care provision” since 2010, Ms Ryan remarked, and the closure of Chase Farm Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department and maternity services under the Conservative-led Government in 2013 – despite explicit promises being made by David Cameron to keep both open – was symbolic of “the Conservatives’ attitude to the NHS.”
Ms Ryan called into question the Government’s claims that they were investing £230million into the redevelopment of Chase Farm Hospital – central government funding amounts to only £82million – and raised her serious concerns at the proposed redevelopment plans of Chase Farm which will cut the Hospital “in size by almost a third, with no A and E, no maternity and no intensive care units either. It is certainly not going to be recognisable as the district general hospital it once was.”
In addition, the loss of Chase Farm Hospital’s A&E has placed huge strain on surrounding hospitals and promises made by the Prime Minister to expand primary care services in Enfield have not been fulfilled. Enfield is facing “a serious shortage of GPs” and the Government should be “ashamed” of its record on this issue, Ms Ryan said. These issues have been compounded by the fact that mental health services in Enfield are facing a possible financial deficit of £10million this year and public health funding in the borough is underfunded according to central government targets.
Ms Ryan called into question why Enfield residents should have any confidence in the Government’s NHS plans over the course of the next Parliament, “given the evidence of broken promises and cuts to services from the last five years.”
Joan Ryan has also written to Jeremy Hunt asking for a meeting and has called on him to give a commitment to local residents that these issues will be addressed.
Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP, Labour’s Member of Parliament for Enfield North, said:
“It is a great honour to represent the constituents of Enfield North once again and to speak on their behalf in Parliament.
There are few issues of greater importance to the constituency, or Enfield as a whole, than our National Health Service.
Since 2010, the Tories have laid waste to acute care and primary care in the borough and we have seen our mental health and public health services under funded and under-resourced – I fear what the next five years might bring. As I said during my speech “will the current promises on the future of our NHS prove to be worth any more than the promises that we have already seen betrayed right across Enfield and its health care services?”
The Hansard report of Joan Ryan’s speech in Parliament on Health and Social Care issues relating to Enfield can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm150602/debtext/150602-0002.htm#15060224000919