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City MP ‘slams’ Home Secretary for awarding zero percent pay rise to Police

Stephen Morgan MP has today written to the Home Secretary saying that her position is “untenable” following a vote of no confidence from the Police Federation, and demanded action on police pay while setting out key areas in which Priti Patel has failed the police. 

The letter follows the Police Federation of England and Wales declaring yesterday it had ‘no confidence’ in the Home Secretary due to her failure to allow the Police Remuneration Review Body to consider awarding a pay increase to Police Officers. 

This is not the first time that the police have been let down by the Home Secretary. During the early stages of the vaccine rollout, the Home Secretary publicly stated that police officers should be prioritised for receiving the vaccine.

When it was revealed that age and vulnerability, and not profession, would be prioritised for vaccine roll-out, the Police Federation stated that they felt a “deep sense of betrayal”. 

In recent weeks, the Home Secretary has been accused of misleading the House of Commons when she said that she had consulted the Police Federation in the work of developing the Clauses relating to Public Order in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Yet the Police Federation have confirmed that they had never provided either a written submission or been consulted upon the issues of protest. 

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill also legislates for the creation of a Police Covenant. Labour has long argued that it is inappropriate for a Government Minister to Chair the Police Covenant.

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

“It is the height of hypocrisy for the Home Secretary to praise the police in public with warm words, but let them down so badly when it comes to meaningful action. So it is no surprise that the Police Federation have taken the extraordinary step of confirming that they have lost confidence in Priti Patel.

“Our local Police service is one of the most poorly supported by central government, but the Home Secretary’s recent actions makes her position now clearly untenable. Police deserve nothing less than urgent action from the Prime Minister, which must include opening negotiations on a fair police pay rise and work to reconstitute the Police Covenant.

“That is why I have written to the Home Secretary today to ensure this happens and will continue to lobby Government to secure the fair deal our police deserve.”

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Portsmouth MP writes to local CCG to raise concerns about GP take overs

Stephen Morgan MP has written to NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group to raise concerns about the takeover of GP services.

Across the UK, 70 GP services have been taken over by the American healthcare organisation Centene, making them the largest provider of NHS Primary Care services in the UK, raising concerns that the company is profiting from providing NHS services.

In the Portsmouth representative’s letter, he underlined a wide range of reasons for why the company would not be fit to provide local health services, including how in 2018, “the company was implicated in the profit-motivated closure of Osler House GP surgery in Harlow, Essex.”

He also said that “Centene Corporation has a long record of fraud” and that it “has had to pay over $800 million in penalties since 2000 for 170 different fraud offenses.”

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

“I’m hearing more and more from constituents about the challenge of seeing their GP and the time it takes to receive the care they need, which is why it is a priority of mine to tackle this in Portsmouth.

“What we are also seeing elsewhere in the country is worrying. Letting private companies increase their profits will harm patients, families, and our local area.

“That is why I have written to our local CCG to ask them that patients, families, and our local area are put first, and will continue to raise our city’s concerns in Parliament”.

 

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Portsmouth MP demands government ‘cuts the rhetoric’ after failing to tackle local waiting times on week of NHS 73rd birthday

Stephen Morgan MP has demanded the government ‘cuts the rhetoric’ and support the NHS after new research shows the number of people waiting for treatment continues to rise.

Research from the Office of Stephen Morgan MP has shown that 37.3% of patients of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust are waiting more than the recommended maximum of 18 weeks for treatment.

Meanwhile, 37,145 are currently awaiting treatment from QA Hospital, up from 35,948 patients in April, according to the latest data from NHS England.

The research comes as this week the Official Opposition, including the Portsmouth representative, pushed Ministers for an NHS recovery plan that would include action to bring down waiting lists.

On the 73rd anniversary of the creation of the NHS, Labour MPs highlighted the scandal of over 5 million people now on the waiting list for NHS treatment, and pointed to the shocking failure that left the NHS struggling with growing waiting lists, high staff vacancies, crumbling NHS buildings and without the diagnostic machines needed to cope with demand.

Labour demanded:

  • A quarterly plan from ministers on action being taken to bring down waiting lists and to meet national waiting times standards
  • A NHS rescue plan to ensure the NHS has the staff and modern equipment to deliver the cancer care, surgery and mental health care patients deserve.
  • A commitment to strengthen the NHS constitution to eliminate waits over 52-weeks and offer a cast iron guarantee
  • A fair pay rise for NHS staff

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

“Over a decade of underfunding our NHS has left constituents in Portsmouth waiting too long for treatment.

“73 years ago, a Labour Government created the NHS. The introduction of the NHS completely transformed people’s lives, giving access to world-class healthcare to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

“11 years of Tory Government has seen waiting lists rise to their highest on record, beds cut and thousands of vacancies leaving NHS staff exhausted and overstretched. We thank the phenomenal NHS staff who have delivered lifesaving work, even in the toughest times.

“Which is why, this week, we celebrate Labour’s creation of the NHS but we also campaign for a NHS rescue plan, to bring down the spiralling waiting lists, ensure more people can access cancer treatment sooner and ensure people receive the cancer care they need. Ignoring the crisis now facing our NHS puts patients’ lives at risk.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary said:

“For eleven years the Tories underfunded the NHS and cut health care services. We entered the pandemic with a weakened NHS with growing waiting list, less beds and desperately short of staff. 

“Today treatment lists are sky high and people are left anxiously waiting longer for cancer care putting lives at risk.

“Labour is demanding Boris Johnson now develop a fully funded health and care rescue plan to give patients in Portsmouth the quality care they deserve.”

Mr Morgan called on the Health Secretary back in April for failing to pay Portsmouth NHS staff a ‘fair wage’. He also 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.

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Portsmouth MP urges Ministers to swiftly address ‘all time low’ mental health provision for troops

Stephen Morgan MP urged ministers at departmental defence questions in the House of Commons today to review the ‘all time low’ mental health services provision for forces personnel.

Government figures show that the number of service personnel being seen by the MoD’s Specialist Mental Health Services for an initial assessment has fallen by 36% since 2013 – the lowest it has ever been.

The figures raise questions as to why over fewer Forces personnel are being seen by the MOD’s Specialist Mental Health Services each year than there were nearly a decade ago.

The Government set out in its Defence People Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017-2022 the aim that Forces personnel have “timely access to safe, effective and innovative mental healthcare services”.

Yet since the strategy was launched, the number of Forces personnel being assessed and treated by the Specialist Mental Health Services annually has fallen by 1900 from 5,083 in 2016/17 to just 3,156. Just 1 in 50 are now assessed by the MOD mental health service.

The news comes as the Armed Forces Bill, which Mr Morgan is leading the Official Opposition’s response on, returns to the Commons next week on Tuesday. The Bill contains provisions to try and improve mental health support for Forces personnel. Labour wants to force the Government to review all current mental health provisions for Forces personnel.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South and Shadow Armed Forces Minister, Stephen Morgan, said:

“It cannot be right that just after the passing of Armed Forces Day, service personnel are still being failed by this government in providing effective mental health services.

“Service personnel are now more willing to seek help to support their mental health, but the government is once again letting them down. Labour’s commitment to support our Armed Forces is an enduring year-round promise, not just when it is politically convenient. This government is big on rhetoric, but short on delivery.

“I will continue to demand the services our troops deserve from Ministers and will urge them again next week at the final reading of the Armed Forces Bill in the Commons to review all current mental health provisions for Forces personnel.”

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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.”

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Carers Week: Portsmouth MP thanks local carers and pledges to fight to ensure they’re ‘visible and valued’

Stephen Morgan MP has pledged to help fix the broken care system during a visit to the local Carers Centre as Carers Week reaches a close.

Based in Southsea, the Carers Centre assists all carers in Portsmouth, offering a range of information and advice, as well as support to have a break or just to lend a listening ear.

The Portsmouth MP was visiting the centre to listen about the centre’s plan on Covid recovery, plans to improve some of the meeting space they have for carers and how they are thanking carers for all they have done during the pandemic and beyond.

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. This year’s theme is ‘Visible and Valued’.

Carers UK estimate that carers save the UK economy £132 billion a year, roughly equivalent to the annual cost of the NHS. It is also believed there were 9.1 million unpaid carers across the UK before the COVID-19 pandemic, with 4.5 million new to caring since the start of the pandemic.

The 2011 census found that there were 17-18,000 carers in Portsmouth, but it is now believed to be much higher.

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

“This Carers Week it’s important we recognise and thank our carers for the incredible work they do. 

“It was really great to be back at the Carers Centre to learn about its latest plans to support our carers and thank them for their efforts over this past year.

“I will continue to speak up for the thousands of people providing unpaid care in Portsmouth and across Britain, and push Government to urgently fix our social care system as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Mr Morgan lobbied the Prime Minister sharing the concerns of his constituents, including Portsmouth Pensioners Association, about the level of social care provision in the city.

He has also held a public meeting with Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall MP to discuss issues related to mental health and social care, regularly submitted a range of written parliamentary questions on the issue and backed Labour’s National Care Service plans.

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Portsmouth MP joins Labour’s vote to force government to protect victims  

Stephen Morgan MP and the Labour Party today forced a vote in the House of Commons on a series of measures to address the crisis in the justice system created by a decade of Conservative cuts and court closures.

It comes as the backlog of serious criminal cases in the Crown Courts sits at an unprecedented high of more than 57,000 cases – and while prosecutions and convictions for rape are at record lows.

In its Opposition Day Debate, Labour forced a vote calling on the government to create more Nightingale Courts to reduce the backlog; to enshrine victims’ rights in law; to introduce the measures in Labour’s Green paper on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls; as well as to force the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, to update the House in person on the progress the Government has made in reducing the court backlog by 22 July.

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

 “Inaction is complicity.

“A decade of government cuts and court closures has helped create a rocketing Crown Court backlog and an unprecedented low in convictions for serious crimes like rape. The Conservative Party’s failure to address these damning failures is letting victims down.

“The British public now needs the government to enact Labour’s proposals to enshrine victims’ rights, to protect women and girls from violence, and to fix the backlog of criminal cases.”

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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.

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Portsmouth MP calls out PM for failure to address social care in Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan has called on the Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP to publish further details on his reported plans for social care.

In a letter to Prime Minister today, the Portsmouth MP shared the concerns of his constituents, including Portsmouth Pensioners Association, about the level of social care provision in the city.

According to Portsmouth Pensioners Association, £160m has been removed from the Adult Social Care budget in Portsmouth since 2015 as part of austerity measures, which falls far short of what’s needed to meet demand in our city.

Over the last two years, 1,500 people in Portsmouth in the medium to lower needs group have had their social care removed to make budget savings.

It comes after Boris Johnson claimed 659 days ago outside 10 Downing Street that he had a plan to fix the social care crisis, but failed to reveal this in the Queen’s Speech earlier this week.

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

“It has been nearly two years since the Prime Minister stood on the steps of 10 Downing Street claiming to have a plan to fix the social care crisis, but still fails to publish plans on this.

“Many pensioners and those dependent on social care in our city cannot afford to be continually overlooked by this government, which is why I have written to Boris Johnson today to urge him to publish plans now, without further delay.”

Mr Morgan recently held a public meeting with Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall MP to discuss issues related to mental health and social care, has regularly submitted a range of written parliamentary questions on the issue and backed Labour’s National Care Service policy proposed in 2019.

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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.