Category Archives: NHS

Transporting Surrey’s NHS Patients

Under the Conservative-Lib Dem changes to the NHS, every part of the system is open to privatisation and cuts. The latest service potentially on the chopping block is transporting seriously ill patients to non-urgent medical care, like pre-planned operations. This service in Surrey, North East Hampshire and Hounslow will be put out to private tender soon and a “consultation” has been launched today.

This was received today from Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group:

Patient Transport Services – consultation
NHS Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is one of several CCGs in Surrey, North East Hampshire and Farnham and Hounslow reviewing non-urgent NHS Patient Transport Services, which will start in April 2017.
Non-urgent Patient Transport Services provide routine, pre-planned transport for patients who need to attend hospital, medical centres and outpatient appointments and cannot make their own way there because of recognised medical conditions which fulfil specific eligibility criteria.
They also provide pre-planned transport for patients who require clinically trained staff to transport them because of their medical requirements.
Have your say!
Please take the opportunity to get involved and have your say on the new Patient Transport Services.
• Hear about the plans at a public meeting at The Camberley Theatre, on Thursday 9th July from 2.30pm.
• Take part in the online survey.
• You can join the PTS Patient Advisory Group if you use the services.
The procurement is being managed by North West Surrey CCG on behalf of all the organisations involved.

Here is a link to the CCGs’ case for privatising this service. They cite lack of funding as one of their reasons for privatising the service:

We have an increasing ageing population and a greater number of people with debilitating comorbidities which will create a future requirement for many more trips to appointments, yet no additional funding will be available to support this.

The South East Coast Ambulance service, as part of the NHS, currently deliver the service. Once it is privatised the £6.5m per year will go to a private company to pay their executives and shareholders. NHS jobs will be lost and private companies will be rewarded for recruiting the lowest paid workers they can get away with.

This is the future of the NHS thanks to the Conservative-Lib Dem Health and Social Care Act.



Richard Wilson today welcomed Ed Miliband’s announcement that the next Labour government will immediately increase nurse training places to reduce the spiralling bill the NHS is paying for agency staff.

Richard Wilson is Labour’s candidate to be the next MP for Guildford. The A&E unit at Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford is one of many consistently failing to meet waiting time targets.

The step-change increase in training of more than 10,000 places over current levels in the next parliament will be paid for by Labour’s £2.5 billion Time to Care investment fund – raised from a mansion tax, a levy on the tobacco firms and cracking down on tax avoidance.


Labour’s 10-year Plan for the NHS will reverse short-sighted reductions in nurse training under the Tories.

  • There have been over 8,000 fewer nurses trained in this Parliament compared to 2010/11 levels.
  • The Royal College of Nursing has said these training cuts will “cause serious issues in undersupply for years to come”
  • A recent survey by NHS Employers found that eight out of 10 NHS employers are experiencing nurse workforce supply shortages.

These reductions have left the NHS having to recruit thousands of nurses from overseas.

The RCN recently published figures showing that there were 6,228 nursing registrations from abroad in 2013/14 – an increase of nearly 45% on the previous year. In the same year 4,379 nurses left the UK to work overseas.

And spending on agency staff has soared by more than £500m.

  • Foundation Trusts’ spending on agency staff has risen from £855 million to £1.4 billion since 2010.
  • A recent report from Monitor stated that the “high use of contract and agency staff…has put NHS Foundation Trusts under unprecedented financial and operational pressure”

There is a growing staffing crisis in the NHS.

  • Nurse numbers have failed to keep pace with demand: over half of nurses say their ward is dangerously understaffed – and more say patient safety got worse, not better, over the last year.
  • In recent days London Ambulance Service announced it had been forced to recruit almost 200 paramedics from Australia.

But nurse training in the UK is highly oversubscribed.

An RCN survey has estimated that there are 54,000 applicants a year for 20,000 training places – meaning more than 30,000 would-be nurses are turned down.

Labour will train 10,000 more nurses above current levels over the course of the next parliament as a key step towards delivering our pledge of 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 new homecare workers, and 3,000 more midwives.

Mr Miliband said:

“Under David Cameron, there have been 8,000 fewer nurses trained and hospitals have been left scrambling to repair the damage – paying hundreds of millions of pounds in agency fees.

“Our training courses in this country are massively over-subscribed and so many talented young people in Britain are missing out on the opportunity of these rewarding jobs. Instead, the NHS is forced to bring in agency staff or recruit from overseas.

“People coming to work in the NHS from other countries make a hugely important contribution and our health service would not cope without them.

“But Britain cannot afford to waste the talents of thousands of people in this country who would become nurses if the training places were available. And our health service cannot afford to pay high costs for hiring agency staff because of the chronic staff shortages created by this government.

“As part of our Time to Care investment fund, Labour will train 10,000 more nurses above current training levels so that we achieve an average 21,000 training places a year in the next Parliament.”

Richard Wilson said:

“I welcome this commitment from Labour to increase the number of nurses trained in the UK. Along with extra doctors, midwives and care workers this will address the severe problems patients face in Guildford and Cranleigh. People are regularly forced to wait over a week to see their GP here and A&E at the Royal Surrey have had well-publicised difficulties.

“I hope this announcement will encourage local young people to consider nursing as a career. Britain is very proud of our NHS nurses. The recent case of nurse Pauline Cafferkey who contracted Ebola showed what brave and special people they are.

“The NHS is our country’s greatest achievement. It is the embodiment of how British people want to care for each other. Sadly, after nearly five years of privatisation and staff shortages under the Conservative-LibDem Coalition our NHS is slipping away. If elected on 7 May, I will go to Westminster to save the NHS for the people of Guildford and Cranleigh.”



Richard Wilson:


More information about Richard Wilson here:


Labour Party Press Office

Tel: 0207 7831393



Richard Wilson

Parliamentary Candidate

Guildford Labour Party

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Promoted by Nick Trier on behalf of Richard Wilson, both of 9b Martyr Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LF




Four months to save the NHS in Surrey

The NHS in Surrey is dying.

This week it was revealed that hospitals in Surrey are declaring “major incidents” and telling patients not to come to A&E. Non-emergency operations are being postponed or cancelled. Waiting times have rocketed to the longest ever. Ambulances are stacking up outside hospitals because they can’t admit their patients because all the beds are full. Critically ill patients are lying on trolleys in corridors waiting for overworked nurses and doctors.

This is happening in 2015, not 1996, the last time a Tory government got its hands on the NHS. The weather this winter has been mild and there hasn’t been a flu epidemic this year. Yet still Surrey’s hospitals cannot cope. They declare “major incidents” but there hasn’t been a train or plane crash, an explosion or any other large catastrophe. Imagine for a minute what would happen if there was a real incident and hundreds of injured people flooded into our A&E departments.

This crisis was inevitable. Tory governments always wreck the NHS. This one, with the votes of LibDem MPs, cut local social care budgets which has put an unsustainable strain on GP services, acute hospital places and A&E units. In Guildford, people are waiting over a week to see their GP. In this time, conditions worsen so treatment is more difficult and may lead to hospital admissions.

The Tory-LibDem privatisation of the NHS means more public money is spent on competition lawyers and paying profits for big healthcare companies. Meanwhile, social care is often delivered by hard-pressed workers on the minimum wage, in 15 minute slots.2014-10-13 07.57.09

There are four months left to save the NHS in Surrey. We urgently need more nurses, GPs and midwives. This was the message I was given by NHS workers at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. We need to guarantee that people can see a GP within 48 hours and social care must become part of the NHS. Labour has a programme to deliver this and save the NHS for future generations.

The National Health Service is Britain’s greatest achievement. It typifies Britishness and how we want to care for each other. The path of the Tory-LibDem government is to return British public services to the 1930s, before the welfare state and the NHS. I strongly believe that people in Surrey and across the UK do not want this. There is only one way to save our NHS – vote Labour on 7 May.


Guildford election battle lines drawn on NHS

22 October 2014 – for immediate release

NHS debated by Labour’s Richard Wilson and Guildford’s Conservative MP

Letters exchanged between two contenders to be Guildford’s MP next May reveal that the NHS will be the key battleground in the general election.

In August, Labour’s parliamentary candidate, airline pilot Richard Wilson, wrote to the current MP, Conservative Anne Milton, to ask her to clarify how her position on the NHS has changed since being elected. He asked her to vote for the NHS private members bill being tabled by Labour’s Clive Efford MP on 21 November to reverse some of the Coalition Government’s privatisation of the NHS.

Ms Milton replied to say she would consider the bill “in detail” before the debate. Since then, a senior cabinet minister has told the press that the Conservative-LibDem top-down reorganisation of the NHS was the government’s “biggest mistake”. On 20 October, Richard Wilson wrote again to request that Ms Milton tell the people of Guildford where she stands on the NHS.

Richard Wilson said, “David Cameron’s MPs were elected on a pledge to avoid top-down reorganisations of the NHS. Voters deserve to know if their MP agrees with cabinet ministers that breaking this pledge was a terrible mistake. I have asked Anne Milton whether she is in favour of restoring the 48-hour guarantee for a GP appointment and ensuring cancer tests and results are available to patients within one week. From speaking to many NHS staff and patients recently, it is clear to me that voters in Guildford place the NHS high on their list of priorities when deciding how to vote next May.”


Note 1: Letter from Richard Wilson to Anne Milton 16 August

Note 2: Letter from Anne Milton to Richard Wilson 22 August

Note 3: Letter from Richard Wilson to Anne Milton 20 October

Photo – Richard Wilson meeting midwives outside Royal Surrey County Hospital during their 4-hour strike last week: 2014-10-13 07.57.09

#Lab14: Our NHS with Time to Care

This is the third in a series about the 2014 Labour Party Conference in Manchester which I recently attended.

I was there for Harry Smith

On the final morning of Conference, I made sure I had a good seat in the auditorium for 91-year old Harry Smith’s speech. As I listened to Harry in the stunned room with thousands of other Labour activists, I felt even more proud to be Labour and more determined than ever to change our country and rescue our NHS.

Harry described how his sister died horribly at the age of 10 from TB because those in poverty couldn’t afford healthcare before the NHS. That was 87 years ago. People all round me were in tears as we listened and I couldn’t stop myself shedding a few tears too.

Please watch Harry’s speech and tell David Cameron: “Keep your mitts off my NHS!”

“Don’t let your future be my history”

The lesson from Harry Smith’s speech was that without the NHS families in poverty are condemned to a barbarous world without healthcare. One of the next speakers was Catherine Atkinson, the Labour PPC for Erewash. She was accompanied on stage by Jacob, her baby. Later, Harry Smith left this message for Jacob.


The NHS is in grave danger. A further five years of Cameron will end it. For little Jacob and all the generations to come, we need to fight to secure the future of the NHS. And yes, I shed another tear listening to Catherine’s speech.

Time to Care

After we all blew our noses, Labour’s Andy Burnham then spoke to explain how we will fund 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. People in Guildford regularly tell me on the doorstep how they have to wait over a week for a GP appointment. It is vital that doctors, nurses, midwives and carers have time to care.

We will combine physical, mental and social care so that older people can be cared for in their own homes. Outsourced social care is delivered in 15 minute blocks, this is failing and needs to change. Looking after our mums and dads is the most important job there is but it is currently treated as the least important. By giving carers time to care, we will keep people out of hospitals and give dignity in old age.


These extra NHS and social care staff will need to be funded. Labour’s values mean our first port of call for the money will not be hard-working families. Also, we need to eliminate the deficit to secure the economy for the future so there will be no additional borrowing for this. Instead, we will ask those most able to contribute to pay their share.

The Mansion Tax will be a fair way of funding the future of the NHS. The news website for Surrey, GetSurrey, reported on this here. Conservative MP Dominic Raab stands up for millionaires who don’t want to have an NHS for everyone. I believe that Harry Smith is right and we should save our NHS for the next generation together.

David Cameron, keep your mitts off OUR NHS!

Patients in Guildford and Waverley wait over a week to see GP

Thousands of patients wait over a week to see GP under David Cameron

1 in 5 patients in Guildford and Waverley waited seven days or longer to see a GP the last time they tried, an official NHS survey has found.


20% of local patients – 40,000 people – faced a wait of a week or more when they phoned for an appointment in the last year. This is even worse than in England as a whole where 16%, or one in 6 patients, had to wait over a week.

Labour has pledged to invest £100 million in GP surgeries – saved by scrapping David Cameron’s NHS market rules that waste millions on lawyers’ fees and contract tendering – to guarantee appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it.

Richard Wilson, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in Guildford said:

“David Cameron has made it harder for people in Guildford to get a GP appointment – proof he can’t be trusted with our local NHS.

“Within days of the last election, he abolished Labour’s appointments guarantee and now thousands of people here are waiting over a week. Labour will scrap David Cameron’s NHS market and invest the savings in helping people get a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it.”


“This survey shows that in Guildford and Waverley the number of people waiting over a week for a doctor’s appointment is one of the highest in England. Residents of Guildford and Cranleigh tell me about unacceptable waits to see a GP nearly every day on the doorstep. The two current local MPs, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former Public Health Minister Anne Milton, must act now to restore access to GPs with 48 hours. If elected next May repairing the damage caused to the NHS by the Conservative-LibDem Coalition will be my highest priority.”

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“This survey confirms what Labour has been saying. People want to be able to see the GP they trust, and who knows their family history, but are left phoning the surgery day after day only to be disappointed. Patients are waiting days or even weeks for appointments and that is forcing people to A&E in record numbers.

“People know from their own experience that the NHS is heading downhill under this Government.”



  • GP survey statistics – NHS England CCG Report (July 2014) see “Making an Appointment” sheet, column BN:
  • Richard Wilson is available on or 01483 511272. He was selected by local party members as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for 2015 last November. He is a 42-year-old airline pilot who has lived in Surrey for 14 years.
  • The figures above are for Guildford and Waverley CCG. Guildford parliamentary constituency covers nearly half of the CCG’s area. Most of the remainder is in South West Surrey parliamentary constituency, whose MP is Jeremy Hunt, the current Health Secretary.






Richard Wilson

Parliamentary Candidate

Guildford Labour Party

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Promoted by Alex Wilks on behalf of Richard Wilson, both of 9b Martyr Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LF


Guildford NHS Special 29 Jan 2014

Yesterday, the Guildford Labour Party held its NHS Special event. It was a fascinating and informative evening. As the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, I addressed the meeting and I was really glad to see so many new members there.

The other presentations were very interesting. Here is a video which explains the current NHS top-down reorganisation:

There was also a talk from Ray Rogers, a Governor of the Royal Surrey County Hospital. I learned a lot about the means of holding foundation trusts to account. Ray’s blog is here.

It really is a tragedy that the NHS is being privatised and fragmented by the Conservatives and Lib Dems. Their “any qualified provider” clause is opening up the entire NHS to any private company. When Labour founded the NHS in 1948, a time of the deepest austerity, Aneurin Bevan said that the NHS is “a triumphant example of the superiority of collective action and public initiative applied to a segment of society where commercial principles are seen at their worst”.

I lived in the USA for over a year and saw the fear that a lack of universal healthcare provision causes. If people lose their job, they lose their healthcare, and so do their family. Even with insurance, long complicated treatment may not be funded and people could lose everything they own and become destitute if they are taken ill.

“Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, not an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune, the cost of which should be shared by the community.” – Aneurin Bevan

Speakers from the floor joined me in deploring the way many carers are treated and agreed that social care should be better funded to save hospital capacity and costs. We discussed Andy Burnham’s “whole person care” where physical, mental and social care would be combined in a new National Health and Care Service.

The only way to rescue the NHS is to ensure a Labour majority government is elected at the 2015 election and the Tory-LibDem Health and Social Act is repealed.

“The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.” – Aneurin Bevan

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