MP says Government must step in to tackle wider challenges faced by NHS and social care services in Covid-19 aftermath
WARRINGTON North MP Charlotte Nichols has urged the government to tackle the challenges facing the NHS and social care system in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking during a debate in Westminster, Charlotte said the Coronavirus Crisis had reaffirmed that the NHS is the jewel of our country’s public services. She also commended the work throughout the crisis of doctors, nurses and support staff from around the world – including student nurses from the University of Chester Warrington Campus.
She also paid tribute to two of those staff, whose lives were tragically cut short during the pandemic. Andy Collier, a nurse practitioner at Hollins Park Hospital in Warrington and Joselito Habab, known as Jo to his colleagues, a nurse at Warrington Hospital.
During her speech, Charlotte spoke of the challenges that now face both the NHS and social care system as the country navigates its way out of the Coronavirus Crisis and she called on the Government to step in to provide the support and funding needed to tackle these challenges.
Charlotte said: “Locally our NHS and social care staff have worked tirelessly to tackle the Coronavirus Crisis and as a town we are indebted to their heroic efforts.
“However, further challenges lie ahead. As things start to return to normal, our health and social care services now face the wider impacts of Covid-19. The Government must step in to provide the funding and support they need in order to tackle these challenges.
“During the pandemic, routine care has suffered, as well as admissions and treatment for stroke, cancer and heart attacks. We face a huge cancer diagnostic backlog – with 2.4 million people waiting for cancer screening, further tests or cancer treatment. The Patient Transfer List for planned procedures in Warrington has grown massively, and it is estimated that it could take up to 18 months to get completely back to normal. The Government must support hospital trusts and CCGs to work collaboratively on regional Patient Transfer Lists to better manage elective care capacity, and ensure patients are not kept waiting any longer than necessary.
“Before the pandemic, the NHS and social care system both had significant staffing shortages. A lasting consequence of Covid must be more than memories of clapping- the Government must improve the pay and working conditions of NHS and care staff.
“The mental health challenge will be one of the enduring problems of the Coronavirus Crisis. In spite of Government promises, mental health is still underfunded in the UK.
“Covid-19 has, and will continue to affect every part of our lives. It has forced us to change our entire way of living. Coming out of it will give us the opportunity to make changes to our society for the better, and this must start with our health and social care services.”