Hove’s next MP spells out views on health at hustings

Posted On 21 Feb 2015 at 11:35 pm

Three of the candidates hoping to become the next MP for Hove set out their views on health policy and the NHS at a hustings last night (Friday 20 February).

More than 100 people filled the Glebe Hall – formerly St Leonard’s Church Hall – for the event organised by Sussex Defend the NHS.

The three candidates were Graham Cox, Peter Kyle and Christopher Hawtree. Councillor Cox hopes to retain the seat for the Conservatives, Mr Kyle hopes to win it back for Labour and Councillor Hawtree hopes to cause an electoral upset.

In their opening statements Councillor Cox said: “I’m committed to the long-term future and viability of the NHS.”

He said that he didn’t necessarily think that we should run things they were there in 1948 – the year the NHS was founded.

He said that there was too much box-ticking and that more trust should be placed in frontline staff.

Councillor Cox also said: “We will have to increase spending on the NHS but we will have to be innovative and do things more efficiently.”

He defended the Health and Social Care Act for bringing health and social care closer together and he called for more community care and more emphasis on prevention.

He praised the Martlets Hospice and said: “I don’t want to see privatisation but I do want to see choice.”

He also criticised those who placed ideology over best patient care.

Mr Kyle said: “Labour founded the NHS in the 1940s. Labour saved the NHS in the 1990s. This year Labour is in the extraordinary position of having to save the NHS again.”

He spoke of logjams in our hospitals and said that spending cuts were having a knock-on effect which was hurting hospitals and patients.

He added that the NHS would have to cope with an ageing population in Hove and Portslade.

He said that it would also have to address the gap between the poorest people in the area who live 10 years less than wealthier people who live longer.

He had spent time work shadowing at the Royal Sussex County Hospital where on one occasion there were 27 patients who had been fit for discharge for more than a week.

“We need to do more in the community,” he said and he criticised David Cameron for saying that Britain needed a pay rise to the CBI while denying a 1 per cent rise to NHS staff.

Councillor Hawtree said that the NHS was a marvellous body but “it’s patched up, got wires coming out if it, it’s drained and it’s got a drip”.

If the Conservatives are privatising the NHS, he said, it was Labour that loosened the screws.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    As a dialysis and transplanted renal patient at the RSCH since 1990 and someone whose homehelp was terminated on a whim by BHCC in spite of huge spine damage issues and frailty I am in a position to judge the marriage of health and social care.

    It is an opportunity for collusion and coverups of the most comprehensive kind that just bury patient and resident needs….because they can. Doing this effectively eliminates checks and oversight….over and above what was already going on.

    Put volunteers into vulnerable elderly and disabled homes and just watch the abuses accrue.

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely – as they say.

  2. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    I puzzle over the News’s headline above this feed: “Hove’s next MP spells out views on health at hustings”. Has the News been able to circumvent the electoral process in some, perhaps digital fashion? If so, details would be interesting to contemplate. Certainly, from my own perspective, I am also puzzled by your assertions that I hope “to cause an electoral upset”. In fact, and in common with any candidate, I hope to win. I do not see that as an upset but – to use a suitably medical metaphor – a cure.

    I am also concerned that your last sentence not only paraphrases me but does not make clear that I was quoting James Meek’s great remark: “if the Conservatives and their Liberal allies are dismantling the NHS, it was Labour that loosened the screws.”

    I still boggle that on Friday evening, the Labour candidate claimed that Labour “saved” the NHS in 1997. Of course, in fact, Labour set about lumbering it – us – with £11 billion of PFI debts for a long while to come.

    All this apart, it was a good evening – and I got to eat some of five fruit/veg a day.

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