, , , , ,

City MP challenges new Health Secretary on Portsmouth Dentistry and GP provision

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has written an open letter to new health Secretary Sajid Javid to raise ongoing concerns around NHS GP and dentistry provision.

In the letter, Mr Morgan said: “The inevitable backlog of non-Covid appointments are placing an understandable strain on services, but the closure of several practices in the last few years means staff are increasingly having to do more, with less.”

He highlighted that the closure of the Guildhall Walk Practice later this year was likely to increase pressure on Southsea Medical Centre, Somerstown and the University Surgery.

He also highlighted the persistent challenges Portsmouth people are facing in accessing dental treatment, citing shocking local statistics.

The letter reads: “Figures from NHS Digital suggest only 39% of adults in Portsmouth had seen an NHS dentist in the 2 years up to 31 December 2020, compared to 45% across England. Just 26% of Portsmouth children have seen an NHS dentist in the last 12 months, compared to a national figure of 30%, despite those appointments being free on the NHS.”

The letter is the latest in a string of actions the City MP has taken locally and in Parliament on these issues.

In January this year, Stephen warned Health Ministers of a crisis in NHS dentistry in a speech in the House of Commons and called on the government to drop damaging activity targets.

The same month saw him host a summit with local dentists, the Chair of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Dental Committee and Portsmouth Healthwatch, to hear directly from practitioners and patients.

Stephen Morgan MP added:

“GP and dental services are the backbone of preventative public healthcare and this must be a priority as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Yet too many are struggling to find appointments and I am increasingly concerned that we are sleepwalking into generational damage to patient care.

“I am urging the Health Secretary to make sure Portsmouth people receive the very best standards of provision and care.”

, , , , ,

G7 summit: Portsmouth MP grills trade minister on ‘awkward’ government stance on covid vaccines

Stephen Morgan MP demanded answers from the government today in the House of Commons on why it refuses to back an intellectual property waiver on vaccines to help fight the pandemic in the poorest countries.

It comes as the UK is set to host the G7 in Cornwall this week, of which many members are supportive of the proposals, including the US.

Meanwhile, Labour has urged the Prime Minister to ‘get off the fence’ and back calls for a vaccine patent waiver.

The Portsmouth MP has also offered his support to a local group founded by Portsmouth residents called ‘Give a Vaccine’, that recently announced it donated £25,000 to Médecins Sans Frontières, which will be used to vaccinate the most vulnerable against Covid-19 in Lebanon.

The funds will be used to pay for mobile medical teams to vaccinate elderly people and frontline healthcare workers in care homes across Lebanon.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented,

“Nobody is safe until we are all safe. It is not only the morally right thing to do to back a vaccine patent waiver, which allows poorer countries around the world to procure vaccines and immunise their own populations, but also because it is in our enlightened self-interest to do so.

“As long as it is prevalent around our evermore interconnected world, there is still the risk of new variants of Covid-19 and infections in the UK.

“The government fails to realise this and is putting our country in a very awkward position as it enters the G7 summit meetings we are set to host this week, while many of its members are supportive of it, such as the US.

“Today I pushed Ministers to clarify their position on the vaccine patent waiver. I will continue to support the fantastic initiatives like ‘Give a Vaccine’ who continue to fill the government’s vacuum of leadership on this.”

Labour recently proposed a 10-point plan to boost global Covid-19 vaccine production. Following the lobbying in Parliament the city MP has vowed to continue to hold the Government to account over its efforts to support the rollout of the vaccine programme elsewhere in the world.

, , ,

Portsmouth MP relives childhood memories at local Andrew Simpson centre

Stephen Morgan MP has praised the local Andrew Simpson centre for its continued provision of opportunities for young people to access sailing and other outdoor activities in Portsmouth.

The Portsmouth MP recently visited the centre, reliving some personal early memories of being able to experience similar opportunities as a boy, which has now been replaced by the local sailing group.

Based in Eastern Road, the Andrew Simpson centre offers a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. With both water and land-based options, there is something for everyone.

The local outdoor centre is now open and running courses and activities, in line with the latest Government guidelines.

It comes as the Portsmouth representative recently launched his ‘Pride in Portsmouth’ campaign, encouraging others to support local businesses and organisations, as the city slowly unlocks from COVID-19 restrictions.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said,

“I fondly remember attending the outdoor education centre on Eastern Road as a child, so it was fantastic to visit what has replaced it in the brilliant local Andrew Simpson centre.

“It’s so important people of all ages have access to outdoor activities to help improve their physical and mental wellbeing, particularly after the recent period of restrictions. I really encourage those that feel safe to do so to get outside, support local and show their ‘Pride in Portsmouth’.”

You can find out more about the full range of activities the Portsmouth Andrew Simpson centre has to offer via their website here.

, , , , ,

City MP steps up efforts to bring back Southsea parkrun

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has this week taken action to ensure that Southsea parkrun can restart safely.

Responding to concerns raised by the volunteer-led organisation, as well as local residents, Mr Morgan wrote to Public Health Minister Jo Churchill earlier this week.

In the letter, Mr Morgan wrote of the huge ‘physical and mental health’ benefits parkrun provides and urged the government to clarify that it was able to take place once again in line with the roadmap and clinical evidence on Covid transmission.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has now confirmed that parkrun’s plans “follow all the guidelines set out by the government to keep people safe and there is no reason they can’t now take place.” He also urged local councils to do “whatever it takes” to get them back up and running.

Today Mr Morgan met the City Council’s Director of Culture to raise these concerns and find a way to ensure the much-loved community event returns. It is hoped that the event will go ahead on 5 June as planned using an alternative route close-by.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

 “I’ve seen first-hand the enormous physical and mental health benefits Southsea’s parkrun provides. People really need this as we emerge from the pandemic.

“The events follow all government and clinical guidance, so there should be no barriers to our local runners getting back out there.

“I will continue to work with Ministers and the council to get these events running again as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

, , , , , ,

Queen’s Speech: Portsmouth MP slams government’s ‘hollow promises’ on social care

Stephen Morgan MP has attacked the government today after it failed to offer clear detail on its plans revealed in the Queen’s Speech today to address the social care crisis Portsmouth and the wider country is facing.

Announcing her government’s legislative priorities, Her Majesty the Queen revealed in her speech to Parliament today that social care proposals ‘will be brought forward’.

However, Labour responded to the announcement arguing his was yet ‘further delay’ to tackle the perennial problem that has gripped the country for years and was a ‘wasted opportunity’ to finally deal with it.

According to The Kings Fund, only around a quarter of people who have requested some of form of social care are actually assessed as eligible for formal short-term or long-term care.

Meanwhile according to Portsmouth CCG, there is a 69.5% estimated dementia prevalence rate in persons aged 65 and over of the Portsmouth population, underlining the importance of the local provision of social care with the continued trend of an aging general population.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, reacted,

“The message from last week is that people are demanding and are owed real change. Today, the Government gave us yet more rhetoric and buzzwords, not a proper plan to get Britain working for working people.

“This Queen’s Speech doesn’t put proper detail behind the rhetoric on jobs, social care, reducing violent crime and narrowing the gap between different parts of the country will be yet another wasted opportunity.

“Social care is in dire need of improvement across our country and in Portsmouth, but many will now feel forgotten by this government which has once again opted for further dither and delay with hollow promises on this important issue.”

Keir Starmer MP, Leader of the Labour Party, also said,

“Labour’s priority is jobs. That means good jobs, good pay and good prospects, bringing an end to insecurity at work and spreading opportunity across Britain. We must seize this moment to create a brighter future for the whole country.”

Mr Morgan recently held a public meeting with Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall MP to discuss issues related to mental health and social care.

, , , , , , ,

City MP presents Portsmouth’s NHS Parliamentary Award nominees with their certificates

Stephen Morgan MP has met with Portsmouth’s three nominees for the NHS Parliamentary Awards to offer his congratulations and thank them for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic.

Last year Members of Parliament were invited to nominate individuals or an organisation for an NHS Parliamentary Award. The Portsmouth South MP nominated three individuals who went above and beyond to support the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the online event, there was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the staff, who are based at Queen Alexandra Hospital, as well as allowing an opportunity for the nominees to talk to the city MP about their experiences on the frontline.

All three nominees were from the Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust with The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award nomination going to Clinical Director of Respiratory Medicine Dr Ben Green; The Wellbeing at Work Award nomination going to Respiratory High Care Ward Manager Katrina James; and the Excellence in Healthcare Award nomination going to Consultant Respiratory Physician, Tom Brown.

Chief Nurse Liz Rix also joined the online call to share the impact of the three nominees’ work at QA with Mr Morgan, including Dr Green’s work in driving preparedness plans in the respiratory department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; Katrina James, who identified the need for a formal end of life process for patients coming off non-invasive ventilation and was praised for her incredible compassion for her patients, their loved ones and her colleagues; and Tom Brown, who became the Trust lead on research trials, reshaped the research team and embedded it as part of routine clinical care.

Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, commented,

“All our NHS staff, volunteers and society’s carers deserve recognition, but Ben, Katrina and Tom have gone above and beyond the call of duty and their work has had an enormous impact on so many people here in Portsmouth as well as further afield.

“Hearing the tributes they made to their teams and their accounts of the dedication of the staff at QA hospital was inspirational.

“We owe these members of our community a debt of gratitude and I cannot thank them enough for all they have done.”

The city MP separately wrote a formal letter of thanks to each of the nominees. The hope is that next year’s awards will be able to be presented in person.

, , , , , ,

City MP launches NHS dentistry survey amid crisis in care

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has launched an online survey for local residents to provide their views on the crisis facing NHS dentistry.

Results from the short questionnaire will inform a dossier of evidence the City MP is preparing to lobby the Health Secretary for change.

Figures from NHS Digital suggest only 39% of adults in Portsmouth had seen an NHS dentist in the 2 years up to 31 December 2020, compared to 45% across England.

Just 26% of Portsmouth children have seen an NHS dentist in the last 12 months, compared to a national figure of 30%, despite those appointments being free on the NHS.

In October 2020, Portsmouth resident Chris Savage numbered among the 7.6% of English households that have attempted a DIY tooth extraction, after struggling to access NHS treatment.

The survey is the latest in a string of actions the City MP has taken locally and in Parliament.

In January this year, Stephen warned Health Ministers of a crisis in NHS dentistry in a speech in the House of Commons and called on the government to drop damaging activity targets.

The same month saw him host a summit with local dentists, the Chair of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Dental Committee and Portsmouth Healthwatch, to hear directly from practitioners and patients.

In 2019, Stephen backed Labour’s pledge to offer free dental check-ups for all as part of a plan to focus on preventative healthcare.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I remain deeply concerned that Portsmouth has been disproportionately affected by the ongoing crisis in NHS dentistry.

“The pandemic created an inevitable backlog of care, but it also exposed the underlying weaknesses of the current system which risk causing generational damage to patient care.

“This survey is a chance for people to have their say, and I will take their concerns directly to the Health Secretary to lobby for the change we need.”

Click here to fill out the survey.

, , , ,

Portsmouth MP blasts Health Secretary for ‘underpaid’ local NHS staff

Stephen Morgan MP has called on the Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP for failing to pay Portsmouth NHS staff a ‘fair wage’.

The Portsmouth MP has written a letter to Mr Hancock demanding ‘unacceptable’ levels of NHS staff pay are addressed following a city-wide petition conducted by the city MP’s office searching for local views on the issue.

It comes as 35,948 patients are currently awaiting treatment from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, according to the latest data from NHS England, despite staff being ‘burnt out’ and a significant backlog of treatment still to work through.

In addition, according to analysis of the same data from Mr Morgan’s office, close to 2900 patients have been awaiting treatment for either a year or longer.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, said,

Our NHS staff have gone above and beyond to support our city and the wider region through this past year, so it cannot be right that many of them continue to be underpaid.

“Pay levels for our NHS heroes in Portsmouth is unacceptably low and it really important they get the pay rise they deserve.

“Hearing from constituents who have shared their views with me, it is clear morale is low and a pay rise would help to give them the boost they so clearly need, as well as ensure we retain and hire as the focus must now be on dealing with backlog in treatment.”

Mr Morgan wrote to the government for a fair NHS staff pay rise in March after it was revealed 300,000 staff worked unpaid hours in the past year, as well as liaising with local nursing representatives in Portsmouth and argued for a pay increase in the House of Commons budget debate.

 

, , , , , ,

Vaccine passports: Portsmouth MP responds

In recent days, many constituents have got in touch with Stephen Morgan MP with their views on the Government considering ‘vaccine passports’.

Responding to concerns, the Portsmouth South representative said:

I do not support domestic vaccine passports. It is not clear so far what the benefits are compared to the risks and costs.

“The British public have already seen what has happened with the Government’s handing out of Covid contracts with the cronyism, as well as poor delivery and value. Ministers mustn’t make these mistakes again.

“What’s more, asking people to produce a vaccine certificate or passport to access pubs or shops is discriminatory and it will add a huge burden to businesses and come at huge cost to the taxpayer.

“Labour wants the Government to get the basics right. That means making sure the vaccine rollout includes young people and there is a focus on vaccine take-up where it is slower so we don’t risk pockets of people exposed to the virus, self-isolation, and contact tracing”.

The Official Opposition have stated that if there was a vote in the House of Commons on vaccine and test certification, based on what has been seen so far, the party would oppose domestic vaccine passports.

Labour has not ruled out testing certification (for example, for large events) but have the same questions around focus, efficacy and value.

, , , , ,

City MP redoubles calls for a fair NHS pay rise as figures show 300,000 staff worked unpaid overtime during Covid crisis

Labour has today redoubled its efforts to secure a fair pay rise for NHS workers after figures revealed an increase in the number of NHS staff working unpaid overtime during the Covid crisis.

The latest figures from the NHS staff survey reveal over 300,000 staff worked unpaid hours in the past year. Almost 13,000 more staff reported working overtime compared to 2019, suggesting over a million hours of unpaid overtime were worked during the pandemic.

Under the Government’s current pay proposals, nurses and other NHS staff who were promised at least a 2.1% pay rise will instead see a real terms pay cut of hundreds of pounds.

This follows a real terms pay cut of more than £2,300 in the average salary of a nurse and health visitor under the Conservatives since 2010.

The survey also reveals that less than one third of nurses and midwives are satisfied with their current pay levels, suggesting widespread opposition among NHS staff to the Government’s current proposals.

Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“I know how angry Portsmouth people are about the Government’s plans to give our city’s dedicated NHS staff a real terms pay cut, especially after the year we have had and their commitment during this pandemic.

“That is why I have launched a petition locally to keep piling on the pressure for the Prime Minister to think again.

“After all they have done for us, I know Portsmouth people won’t stand for a Government which is treating our NHS staff in such a shabby way.

“When our city clapped for our carers during the pandemic, we meant it. That’s why I won’t rest until all our brave NHS staff get the fair, long-term, pay settlement they deserve.”

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, added:

“The whole country saw the heroism of our nurses and NHS staff during this pandemic. And the whole country is watching as this injustice continues. Our NHS staff deserve a fair pay rise.

“Whether you live in London or Lancashire, you can send a message to the Conservatives in May that a pay cut for our NHS heroes is an insult. A vote for Labour is a vote to support our nurses.”

To sign the Portsmouth South MP’s petition visit: www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/our-nhs-heroes-deserve-a-pay-rise/