The Leader of the Opposition took a tour of the Conquest Hospital on Monday (March 2), meeting with doctors, nurses and health professionals.
Ed Miliband chatted to staff and patients at the hospital on The Ridge as part of Labour’s campaign in the run-up to May’s General Election.He was joined by Sarah Owen, the party’s parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye.
We need a health service based on co-operation, care and compassionWe need a health service based on co-operation, care and compassion
Both were greeted by Alice Webster, director of nursing, and other staff at the start of the visit.
They spent time visiting A&E, had a round-table discussion with healthcare professionals and visited patients on the wards.
The Leader of the Opposition has visited Hastings several times in recent months.
The last time he came to the consituency was in August 2014 where he headed a debate at St Mary in the Castle, talking about the main issues affecting the area.
On Monday, following his visit to the Conquest, Mr Miliband told the
“Many people see a health service struggling to cope and we are here to turn that around. Speaking to a doctor in A&E I heard that one problem is people not being able to see their GP and as a result end up coming to hospital.
“We are going to bring in a 48-hour guarantee where patients will be seen and treated within 48 hours.
“We are going to put in £2.5 billion extra to fund 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more doctors, 5,000 carers and 3,000 midwives. This will fill some of the gaps that there are and help meet this 48-hour pledge.
“I think we can turn around the morale of the NHS. Lots of people, though, are fearful about the future. Privatisation, fragmentation and marketisation is not the answer. We need a health service based on co-operation, care and compassion, with people coming together and working together for the benefit of the service.”
Mr Miliband also met patient Dawn Hellewell. She said: “The next Prime Minister needs to give extra help to hospitals. We need more nurses, more midwives and doctors.”
Ms Owen said: “It was really good meeting nurses, doctors and patients. The personal highlight for me, was meeting healthcare assistants. It was the job I used to do at the Conquest Hospital and I am proud of it, but I don’t think they get nearly enough recognition so I was extra keen for Ed to hear from them.
“We’ll not only improve health care in Rye but secure the future for our NHS as it should be; free at the point of care, when we need it most.”