, , , ,

Keir Starmer joins Stephen Morgan in backing Portsmouth’s green initiatives

Stephen Morgan MP hosted Labour leadership front-runner Keir Starmer in Portsmouth to broadcast the benefits of active travel in tackling climate change.

Joined by senior Brompton representatives, the two parliamentarians spent time at the Cycle Hire Hub at Portsmouth Harbour Station.

The current air pollution crisis in Portsmouth, need for more government investment in active travel infrastructure, and Labour’s plan for a greener future were discussed.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Key to tackling climate change is ensuring people have the tools to make changes to their everyday routine. Active travel is a major part of that.

In Portsmouth we face some of the worst air pollution rates in the country. Children choking on fumes is not what this city deserves.

That is why I support Brompton’s Cycle Hire Hub, which makes green commuting easier and takes polluting vehicles off our roads.

Keir’s support for this initiative coupled with his pledge to put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything Labour does, secure him as the only Labour candidate able to bring radical solutions to the climate problem.”

Keir Starmer MP said:

“The recent extreme weather is further evidence that we are living through a climate emergency.

“It is fantastic that Stephen has shown leadership in Portsmouth on this issue by backing Brompton’s bike scheme, organising community events and leading the charge to declaring a climate emergency in the city.

“If elected Labour leader, I would support a Green New Deal and also a Clean Air Act – to ensure that dangerous levels of air pollution are tackled.”

Julian Scriven, Managing Director of Brompton Bike Hire said:

“Brompton is committed  to changing the way people move around cities. We are delighted that both Stephen Morgan MP and Sir Kier Starmer MP share this vision and are demonstrating a real drive at both a local and national level to promote active travel”.

Stephen Morgan MP has a record of delivery when it comes to tackling climate change. From leading the Labour Group locally in declaring a climate emergency and orchestrating major Portsmouth events to voting in favour of legislation In the House of Commons, he has shown leadership from Portsmouth to parliament.

 Keir Starmer and the city MP were joined by a number of Labour councillors and campaigners for more ambitious action by the council to tackle the climate crisis.

, , , ,

City MP hits ground running with social enterprise GoodGym

Stephen Morgan MP praises work of city volunteers as he combined running shoes with a litter picker and joined local GoodGym representatives in Portsmouth.

The socially motivated running club, formed nearly two years ago in Portsmouth, seeks to combine fitness with community work.

Mr Morgan this weekend joined local volunteers removing litter from Portsmouth’s roadsides and pathways as part of the project based out of Fratton Community Centre.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“This community of runners, motivated by improving their local area, are doing outstanding work from reducing social isolation to keeping the area clean.

Their vision to keep the community fit while also improving Portsmouth is the pioneering spirit that this city needs.

I have had the opportunity to see first-hand the work of GoodGym and encourage others to get involved. Especially in community projects aiming to improve the wellbeing of our older community members.”

GoodGym currently operates in 57 areas and has proposals to start in 82 other places.

There are variations of run offered tailored to which kind of community action members want to take. ‘Mission Runs’ aim to help older community members with one off tasks, ‘Coach Runs’ are regular and will see a member meeting an isolated older person and ‘Group Runs’ help with community projects.

The Portsmouth South representative added:

“I look forward to continuing to spend time with other community members and the GoodGym team, keeping fit and making a difference.

I hope to see more people joining the movement and encourage people to pick up their running shoes and litter picker and head on down to the next event.”

To join GoodGym and find out more about their events in Portsmouth, please visit: https://www.goodgym.org/areas/portsmouth

, , ,

City MP praises NHS staff as QA rated “good”

Stephen Morgan MP has praised the efforts of local NHS staff in an open letter sent out today. The MP’s action follows today’s announcement by regulator, Quality Care Commission (CQC), that the hospital has been awarded a ‘good’ rating.

A team of CQC inspectors visited the hospital in October and November 2019. Upon inspecting the quality of care being provided, the overall rating of the trust has improved from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“It is the staff at QA hospital who are the driving force behind recent improvements. Their dedication and relentless work ethic make a difference where it matters, on the front line of care giving.

Hospital staff often see us at our most vulnerable and when we are most in need of care, today’s announcement will reassure all QA users that they are in safe hands.

I know I speak for many within the city when I convey my appreciation and thanks to QA staff for the improvements made and look forward to seeing further progress in the future”.

CQC inspected five core services and leadership at the trust. Ratings for medical care and surgery had both improved overall and are now rated good, outpatients remains rated good overall.

Catherine Campbell, CQC’s Head of Hospital Inspection for the South East said: 

“Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has made improvements since our last inspection. Overall, the trust has improved from requires improvement to good which is great news for people using these services.

Our inspectors found that the culture within the trust had improved and patients benefited from more coordinated care with local organisations. We found that care was inclusive, and staff supported people’s needs and preferences.

All the staff at Portsmouth should be proud of the positive progress that’s been made.”

Mr Morgan’s letter sent out today follows recent action taken over QA Hospital. The city MP helped to secure £58 m for the hospital trust through lobbying efforts, hosted the Shadow Health Secretary at the hospital, nominated a QA staff member for a national award during the 70th anniversary of the NHS and has spent time walking wards with staff. 

, , ,

“Nothing short of a crisis” –Stephen Morgan MP on the growing General Practice emergency

Stephen Morgan MP responds to national research by Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) on changes over investment, recruitment, and access to primary care.

Since 2009, the number of full-time equivalent GPs per 100,000 people has fallen year on year. All the while demand is increasing with people living longer and with multiple complex conditions.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Under this Government, we have seen General Practice partners taking on roles in surgeries drastically fall from 24,521 to 21,161 and we know that 68% of GPs in England have struggled to recruit new doctors to their practices, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Behind these troubling statistics are real stories of people waiting longer to have serious conditions diagnosed and people in pain missing out on referrals. The Government has failed.

These are affects I have seen first-hand in Portsmouth South with the imminent closure of Hanway Medical Centre. The NHS is a cornerstone of what makes this nation great. I will continue to take action so that the Government invests and improves access to local NHS services”.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)has pressed Ministers this week for the need for urgent action. It has warned that unless effective measures are put in place, more GPs will leave the profession, exacerbating the issue.

On a solution to the problem, Mr Morgan has outlined what needs to be done:

Central to solving this crisis is holding the Government to account over their actions.

We cannot allow Ministers to shirk responsibility for training, recruiting and retaining NHS staff. The responsibility lies at their feet. This means educating and training staff, which the RCGP has suggested needs to be around 5000 and making changes to the unmanageable workload of GPs.

By the end of 2020, there needs to be comprehensive Government plans to expand and improve GP services. I will be keeping a close eye on Government and doing everything in my power to ensure they reach this essential target.

I have already submitted questions directly to the Secretary of State on this matter and will not stand idly by while GPs practices, the vital lifelines in our community, are ripped out.“

The city MP has been taking action both nationally and locally on this matter through raising questions in parliament, visiting practices at risk of closure, spending time with constituents affected and putting pressure on the Secretary of State.

, , ,

City MP delivers cutting scrutiny of Government’s children’s care record from dispatch box

Shadow Communities Minister, Stephen Morgan MP, has grilled the Housing and Communities Secretary over the soaring numbers of children in care being housed in illegal or unregulated care homes.

Mr Morgan’s action in parliament from the front-benches follows official figures revealing at least 23 local authorities over a three-month period handed children over to care providers deemed ‘unsuitable’ and falling far short of the mark. These providers had not been assessed by Ofsted.

The Shadow Minister said:

“This Government’s reckless neglect and cuts to local authorities coupled with soaring rates of young people requiring care is putting unprecedented strain on the system.

More and more vulnerable young people being housed in illegal, unsuitable or inadequate housing miles away from their schools and friends.

With local authorities having 60 pence out of every pound slashed from their budgets and 20,000 more young people in care since the Tories came to power, the responsibility inextricably lies at the feet of Government.”

Research conducted by The Guardian found the number of times children were housed in unregulated accommodation – which means they faced no checks by Ofsted, which typically inspects homes – rose by 22% between 2016-17 and 2018-19.

The number of times children were placed in unregistered homes rose from 129 to 212 in the same period.

Stephen Morgan MP added:

The police, charities and children’s commissioner have issued stark warnings that the current situation is leaving children in our communities open to exploitation from predators and drug gangs.

One child being in an unregulated care placement is an outrage, the current situation is a stain on our society.

I am a firm believer that a society is judged by the way in which vulnerable people are supported, by that criteria the Government is catastrophically failing. I will be using my position on the front benches to hold them to account over their shoddy record.”

Despite joining the front benches back in July, this is the first time Stephen Morgan MP has had the opportunity to speak at the Dispatch Box.

The government has canceled two sets of Housing, Communities and Local Government questions along with two debates on children’s services; this has prompted criticism from MPs and organisations over their attitudes to the current crisis in the sector.

, , ,

City MP takes further action as patient access to GP services hits crisis point

In the latest of a string of measures taken over local GP access in Portsmouth, Stephen Morgan MP has written a stinging letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care urging action over the imminent closure of Hanway Medical Centre.

Hanway Medical Centre in Buckland is set to merge with the Portsdown Group Practice which could leave many within the Charles Dickens area of the city without local access to vital NHS services.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Charles Dickens, in the heart of our city, deserves better than to lose one of its vital GP services.

Today, as part of wider efforts to preserve Hanway Medical Centre, I have written to the Health Secretary to demand urgent measures are taken by Government.

This is a crisis of their own making and I will not stand idly by while Portsmouth people are left without access to essential services.”

The practice which currently provides services for over 14,000 people in Portsmouth, has been put at risk due to issues with recruitment at partner level.

For some time, Mr Morgan has been taking action to highlight local problems with access to NHS services.

The Portsmouth South representative said:

“I have written to the Clinical Commissioning Group outlining the importance of the practice, submitted a Freedom of Information request in a bid to get to the bottom of the issue, raised parliamentary written questions directly with the Health Department, met with those affected, held discussions with the pharmacy in close proximity and now I have written to the Secretary of State.

My support for equal and fair access to medical services is unwavering. I will continue to take action both locally and nationally in Westminster as long members of our community’s access to services hangs in the balance.”

As well as raising these matters directly with the Secretary of State and other bodies, Mr Morgan has written out to hundreds of affected residents seeking their views and concerns on the matter. The city MP has urged those affected to get in contact and share their experiences so that they can have a voice in future discussions.

, , , , , ,

“Social Isolation and loneliness don’t stop when the Christmas tree comes down” says Stephen Morgan MP

As many headlines warn, Christmas can see loneliness and social isolation heightened, especially amongst older community members. However, newly re-elected MP Stephen Morgan has spoken out saying society must do better year-round to tackle the issue.

Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“While I welcome the recognition that social isolation and loneliness receives over Christmas, I believe we cannot afford to let the issue fall when the festive season finishes.

Loneliness doesn’t stop when the Christmas tree comes down, there is work to be done. Since being elected in 2017, I have had the opportunity to work with organisations such as Age UK, The Good Company and The British Legion in tackling these social problems.

I am committed to continuing this vital work now that I have been re-elected to parliament and look forward to continued cooperation with organisations both in Portsmouth and in Parliament.”

The Jo Cox Commission started a national conversation on loneliness and successfully encouraged the Government to accept many of its recommendations with the appointment of a Minister for Loneliness to take forward the work.

However, the Government has failed to implement some of the policies and has gone against previous commitments to safeguard benefits that help to combat loneliness.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Through work with Age UK and Portsmouth pensioners, I know how important certain benefits are in combatting isolation and loneliness.

That is why It is an outrage that this Government is overseeing the scrapping of free TV licences for 3 million older people, leaving a Tory manifesto promise in tatters.

We know that around 1.3 million over-75s are eligible for Pension Credit but do not or cannot claim for the benefit. This means at least 650,000 of our poorest pensioners facing an ominous new annual bill they simply can’t afford.”

The extensive work Mr Morgan has done for to combat isolation and loneliness is not limited to action on the free TV licence. He has worked hard on increasing bus routes, called for a veteran’s railcard, regular meets with Age UK and has a close relationship Portsmouth Pensioners to ensure they have a voice in parliament.

 

, , , ,

Stephen Morgan speaks up for social care as Government sets out agenda for the year

Portsmouth South’s MP Stephen Morgan, along with other representatives, today observed Her Majesty the Queen’s speech setting out the Government’s plan for the year.

As Shadow Communities Minister, Mr Morgan has singled out social care as an area that requires urgent attention, joining experts such as the Kings Fund in suggesting today’s commitments do not go far enough.

Mr Morgan said:

“It is telling that Mr Johnson chose not to mention Social Care in his victory speech last week. The proposals mentioned today are a mere drop in the ocean in comparison with what is needed.

When nearly £8bn has been taken from council budgets for social care since 2010, there are 1 million people not getting the care they need, and 87 people are dying a day waiting for care we need to see change.

The Government has dragged their heels, resulting in a social care system at crisis point. As Shadow Communities Minister, I will be applying the highest level of scrutiny to ensure that the Government faces the scale of the crisis at hand.

The more time wasted, the more our most vulnerable community members will suffer.”

A senior Government Minister was also forced to admit that her party’s manifesto did not include costed plans for social care reform, but only interim extra funding of £1 billion a year to fund the system in England.

The King’s Fund has said that this extra funding “is not enough to meet rising demand for care while maintaining the current quality and accessibility of services”.

Shadow Communities Minister, Stephen Morgan MP added:

“For more than two years, the Government has been promising to publish the social care green paper, which would lay out plans for addressing the adult social care funding crisis.

During the election period, Disability News Service reported that a senior Government minister admitted the Green Paper did not even exist. How are we meant to address this crisis when the can is constantly kicked down the road?

The Conservatives view the crisis in social care with utter contempt and it is people in our communities paying the price.

The Government should now stop the delay in delivering the long-term solution for social care, which secures these vital services for the future. “

Mr Morgan’s comments follow a September report highlighting how many big care providers have developed highly complex corporate structures involving offshore tax havens. Many claim this puts profit over people and sucks money out of the system.

, , ,

Healthcare workers in Portsmouth join tactical voting websites in signing letter backing Stephen Morgan

Stephen Morgan, the 2017 General election winner and Portsmouth South Labour candidate, has been widely backed by major tactical voting websites and now healthcare professionals as the only candidate to beat the Tories here.

Local healthcare professionals in Portsmouth and Hampshire are among hundreds from across the country – many in target seats – who’ve signed an open letter urging people to vote tactically this Thursday to save the NHS from Brexit.

Mirek Synek, a former community paediatrician who worked in Portsmouth, said:

“I’ve signed the letter because I’m dead against privatisation of the NHS – it’s lunacy – a private healthcare system will be less accessible with lower quality of care. Before I retired, it was becoming more and more difficult to maintain good standards, due to the cuts facing the NHS.

If Boris Johnson wins a majority on Thursday, then a no deal Brexit is very much on the cards and it will mean complete disaster for the health service. The already poor levels of staffing will worsen. Many more EU doctors and nurses will leave.

That’s why, if you care about the future of the NHS, you need to vote tactically.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“We won here in 2017, it comes as no surprise that we are predicted to win here again on the 12 December. All recent polls, not paid for by any political party, put me a staggering 33 point lead over the Liberal Democrats.

The polling reflects my record of delivery in Portsmouth and the feedback that I am hearing from residents on the doorstep. I know that I am the only candidate capable of continuing to fight on behalf of our city, it’s great to know that the polling and major tactical voting websites agree.”

In their letter to all parliamentary candidates, the signatories point out that hospitals, health and care services across the country are already struggling to cope.

There are currently more than 100,000 unfilled posts across all English NHS trusts, including more than 40,000 nursing vacancies, a shortage of 11,000 doctors and 2,500 full time midwives in England. And there are a further 110,000 unfilled positions in social care.

People’s Vote, Best for Britain, For Our Future’s Sake, Vote for a Final Say and other tactical voting websites have all backed Stephen Morgan as the only candidate capable of beating the Tories in Portsmouth South.

Stephen Morgan said:

“From organising public rallies to attending meetings in parliament, I have been working with ‘People’s Vote’ for some time. I am the only local candidate who backs a final say. The Lib Dems want to ignore 17.4 million people while the Tories want to crash out with either a disastrous deal or a catastrophic no-deal.

People’s Vote have publicly stated that they believe I am the only candidate to beat the Tories and secure a final say on Brexit, where I will campaign to remain. This backs up recent comprehensive polling that puts me as the clear winner here Portsmouth South.”

, , ,

Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s game-changing social care plan

Labour has announced its game-changing plans to head off the social care crisis through introducing free personal care and increasing the number of care packages provided to working age adults and older people each year.

Recent Labour Party research has also revealed that since April 2017, over 9,200 people have approached their local authority for help to pay for their social care, after running out of money.

Free personal care will ensure people with dementia receive the same care as those with other conditions, reduce the burden on unpaid carers and benefit the NHS by reducing delayed transfers of care from hospital and admissions to care homes and hospitals.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth City Council has been far from exempt in terms of local authority cuts with local services we all rely on slashed by 48 percent since 2011, equating to £73m. This means that care services are in crisis.

I am proud to stand on a manifesto that sets out a strategy for real change and will properly fund social care for our older community members and reform the way we think about caring for people I need.“

Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing against the social care crisis. He has worked with Alzheimer’s UK to call for funding for dementia care, held officials to account while working in the Public Accounts Committee and constantly grilled Ministers in Parliament to fund local authorities properly.

Labour’s National Care Service will provide publicly funded care to all those that need it.

The next Labour government will:

• Introduce free personal care for older people
• Fund social care properly with £10 billion of additional funding by 2023/24
• Cap care costs
• Reform provision of care by ensuring care providers meet ethical standards of care
• Support the care workforce better to ensure people receive support from trained staff
New Labour research reveals that:
• 9,290 people have approached their local authority for help with their social care costs after running out of money to pay for it themselves – called ‘self-funders with depleted funds’ – since April 2017.
• 5,385 people – almost 15 a day – approached their local authority for help in 2018/19, an increase of 38% on the previous year.
• Based on the average cost of a home care package being £16 an hour and the average recipient of free personal care in Scotland receiving 8.8 hours of free personal care a week, free personal care will save older people £7,321 a year, drastically reducing the number of people depleting their savings to pay for their care.