On Wednesday night, I joined residents from Redbridge and Coxford to get their views on the NHS.
People said that whilst they really appreciated the valuable work done by NHS staff, they were very worried that coalition policies were overstretching staff and negatively impacting on patient care. Earlier in the day I also met with local healthcare professionals who told me that the financial pressure imposed upon GP surgeries by the government is leading to a crisis in general practice, with many GPs starting to reconsider their career choice.
Residents also told me that they were concerned about the lack of GP Surgeries in the area (there is no GP surgery in Redbridge ward) and many said they were struggling to get an appointment. A Labour government would ensure that you see a GP within 48 hours.
People from Redbridge and Coxford also said that the closure of the Shirley Drop in Centre has put a lot of pressure on Southampton's A&E and other GP surgeries. There was also concern that private companies are profiting from the NHS and anger that taxpayers are having to fund this.
It's clear that the NHS is struggling under the coalition government. Labour will lead the fight to protect our NHS. We will put people before profits, guarantee that people will wait no longer than 48 hours to see a GP and bring health and social care together to provide whole person care. We will also provide 8000 more GPs and 20,000 more nurses.