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Column for Ilford Recorder (28 August 2014)

Locally and nationally it is getting harder to see the family doctor. The Conservative led government scrapped Labour's guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours - and now 60 per cent of patients say they can't see their GP within two days. 

Thousands of nurses and frontline staff have been lost from the NHS since David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010. If you are unfortunate enough to be waiting for a treatment like a cataract removal or knee operation, these are now being rationed.

The maternity wards at King George were closed last year as a result of the 2011 coalition government decision. Only serious problems at Queens Hospital and the huge deficit and special measures imposed on the Barking Havering and Redbridge Trust have delayed their plans to close Accident and Emergency at King George.

We are not alone, in campaigning to defend and improve our local hospital. National experts say that many A&Es don't have safe staffing levels. David Cameron is responsible for this crisis. He wasted £3 billion on a damaging top down NHS reorganisation he promised wouldn't happen. Nick Clegg and the weak Lib Dems have backed them all the way. Meanwhile cuts to local authority funding are sending more elderly people to A&E and making it harder for them to get care at home.

Labour will repeal David Cameron's NHS changes that put private profit before patients so that NHS professionals can focus on your care. Labour will guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours and on the same day for those who need it.

Labour rescued the NHS after years of Tory neglect before and we will do it again.


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