Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, has attended an event in parliament held by the Richmond Group of Charities, a collaboration of 14 of the largest health and care charities in England.
The event was held to raise awareness of the needs of people who have serious long-term physical and mental health conditions like diabetes, dementia, depression or cancer, for which there is no cure.
In England there are an estimated 15 million people living with one or more long-term health conditions – a quarter of our population. Mike pledged support for people living with long-term conditions across the country. This includes 18,598 people in Ilford South – 14 per cent of the local population.
Mike spoke to people living with different health conditions to discuss their experiences and what would make a difference to their lives.
Clare Allom, a member of South Tyneside Diabetes UK Group, said, "We’re campaigning locally to try to convince service providers that it's important to have exercise sessions suitable for those with long term conditions: a place to feel safe and comfortable where support and encouragement is offered. This hopefully would prevent those with long term conditions from relapsing, entering hospital services again and putting pressure on the NHS."
Mike also spoke to the Partnership Director of the Richmond Group of Charities, Dr Charlotte Augst, about the five things the group say that government must prioritise in order to help people with long-term conditions. These are:
- Timely access to high quality health and social care
- Increased funding and more sustainable models for health and care
- Sufficient numbers of health and care staff
- Effective coordination of services, staff and data
- Investment in prevention
Charlotte said: ‘People with long-term health conditions are the core users of our NHS and social care services, yet too often they struggle with services that are difficult to access, do not focus on preventing things getting worse, and are not joined up.
It was good to see so many MPs join us today to listen to the experiences and views of people living with long term conditions and to pledge their support to our collective work to enable people to live as well as possible for as long as possible.’
Mike says: “The Richmond Group of Charities have highlighted that many people with long term conditions are still not getting the care and support they need. Everyone living with long term health condition deserves good quality health and care, and I’ll campaign in Parliament and my constituency to ensure this is the case.”
The Richmond Group of Charities is a coalition of 14 of the leading health and social care organisations in the voluntary sector. They help people of all ages who have serious long-term physical and mental health conditions like diabetes, dementia, depression or cancer.
Together they work to influence health and social care policy and practice, with the aim of improving care and support for the people living with long term conditions they represent.