If there is one reason you need to vote Labour it is the NHS. It is there for everyone and needs our protection.

There is a crisis in our NHS which needs more than a short term fix. For too long we have been told that the NHS is failing, but the question is: why?  One answer is that we are all living longer, and that means the demand on the health service is increasing. We are finding more, better ways to treat people, and that has an extra cost. There are always routine operations, which means that as we get older there are more hip replacements to be done, and more longer term care needed. There is immense pressure locally as GPs' surgeries are closing, and so waiting times to get a doctor's appointment increase. This puts more pressure on our A&E services, creating a vicious circle.  I saw this myself last  year when my dad was admitted to Derriford twice, both times as an emergency through A&E. The  staff there do an amazing job, but they've had their pay capped, adding to the stresses of the job they do for us. The problem then is that recruiting and keeping staff becomes a huge challenge. We also need to make sure we can  recruit the nurses and doctors we all need, wherever they come from, so having a Brexit deal that allows for this is really important. 

So what is Labour going to do? We are going to invest to tackle the current funding crisis and, importantly, join up hospital to home services with a properly funded and integrated health and social care system. We know this can work because we have already started to do this in Plymouth, but I also know that to do the job properly we need to invest for the future. Hospital staff are an important part of the jigsaw. We know that real wages have gone down over the last few years, so we will lift the pay cap, and make sure that our staff in the NHS are rewarded for the fantastic service they give. They do a great job. 

Labour founded the NHS, and we will fund it fully, so that our health services can carry on being the envy of the world.

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