Northumberland Labour says the country’s NHS and social care services need proper investment.
Deputy leader Liz Simpson said: “As a country we spend far less per head of population on health and care than other countries. We also have fewer intensive care beds per head of population than many countries and we have alarmingly high NHS vacancy rates.
“All this means the staff that are there are under increasing pressure and there is no slack at all in the system to deal with peaks in demand such as the pandemic. Mental health services, so badly needed by many as a result of the pandemic, are under pressure with people having unacceptably long waits or being turned away all together. Social care staff are not properly rewarded and recognised for their work.
“Labour wants to see everyone who needs a mental health appointment to get one within a month. This will need a radical expansion of mental health services, but it is needed for adults, as well as children who have been affected by the pandemic.
“The last time Labour was in power nationally we saw huge strides in getting children off to a good start in life with the creation of Sue Start centres. These have been eroded and many closed down by the Tory government and we are picking up the pieces now of adults who didn’t not get the support they needed when they were young. Money and resources spent to support children save money in the long run and of course are far better for young people themselves and their families.
“We want to work with people right across the county to discuss what they think a civilised society like our should have in place to care for its vulnerable people. From listening to views so far we know that people value health and social care and we need to continually lobby government. This is about people and their quality of life, whatever their age or need.”