Jo Cox, MP for Batley & Spen:
“I am very concerned about some of the findings published by the CQC and have scheduled a meeting with Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) Chief Executive, Rod Barnes, to discuss some these issues.
However I am pleased that the CQC has recognised our service as being “caring” across the board. This is a deserved acknowledgement for the hard working and dedicated staff of YAS. These are some of the most committed public servants there are, and work under incredible pressure to save lives, day and night.
The government is imposing a 10% cut in the ambulance fleet and a 5% cut in staff by 2018. How can this be right at a time when locally and nationally the service is facing severe challenges in recruiting and training sufficient staff numbers to meet rising levels of demand? There is huge pressure on existing staff and response times and the government needs to act before this becomes a crisis.”
Jo Cox, MP for Batley & Spen:
“The government’s attitude toward local councils is much worse than neglect. They are intent on cutting budgets to such an extent as to make it impossible to for services and decision-making to be done locally. As well as doing profound harm to communities, this is not democratic.
Cuts to Public Health in Kirklees, which helps to reduce things like obesity, smoking and drug and alcohol abuse, will have a very serious impact on people in my constituency – as will the reduction in local sexual health and school nursing provision.
The wrong is magnified by the fact that other government cuts are plunging more and more people into poverty and increasing the demand for these very same services.
Also, this cut to Public Health does not pass the economic test. The removal of these vital services will cost the NHS, hence the taxpayer, more in the long run.
It should be obvious that providing support to help an expectant mother to stop smoking will save the NHS money later.
Nowhere is the proverb “a stitch in time saves nine” more true than in Public Health. These cuts will seriously hurt local people, and will cost the taxpayer more in the long run.”
Jo Cox, Batley & Spen’s new MP was given a tour of the Priestley Unit at Staincliffe last week and referenced the visit during a House of Commons debate yesterday.
The Labour MP was shown around the unit at Dewsbury & District Hospital by Steven Michael, the chief executive of the South West Yorkshire Mental Heath Trust.
As well as meeting staff and discussing the unit’s work and the challenges the Trust faces, Mrs Cox also met and chatted with patients.
During the Queen’s Speech debate in Parliament on Tuesday, Mrs Cox told MPs about her visit to the Priestley Unit and raised concerns about the Government policy directly increasing the demand for mental health services.
She told the Commons: “The welfare changes implemented over the past five years have put an incredible strain on vulnerable people who need mental health care, and, according to the projection for the next five years, the number of people in that terrible situation will increase and our mental health care services will have to meet an increased demand.”
You can read Mrs Cox’s comment during the debate here – Hansard