Many people have asked our Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test, Andrew Pope, what he would do about the NHS, if elected?
This is a very open-ended question. Andrew will attempt to answer it. Please get in touch if you have further comments or questions:
"I have substantial practical experience of challenging the NHS and care providers to be better. At Southampton University in 2010, having written my Masters in Global Politics thesis on 'How Democratic Are NHS Foundation Trusts?', I have studied how the complex NHS works, or sometimes, doesn't work.
Local experience with Southern Health has shown that Labour and the Tories prefer to cover-up, rather than clean up, the NHS.
My experience as the Chair of the Southampton Health Overview Scrutiny Panel, my experience exposing the failures of Labour and Tory Southampton City councils on children's care and safeguarding, plus my experience campaigning against the failures Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, have all shown this.
To Labour MPs on the NHS, whatever the diagnosis, their prescription is more billions to add to the already massive NHS budget. The latest example is the NHS ransomware cyber attack. Instead of holding the failing trusts to account, and praising the majority of trusts that had protected themselves against such attacks, Labour MPs prefer to pile more money in their direction. No wonder Labour has bankrupted our economy multiple times, the most recent being in 2008.
To Conservative MPs, to use Theresa May's slogan, they seem to want an NHS that is just managing. Perhaps they prefer private health insurance, because that is what they are used to, or because they have connections with those firms? And Jeremy Hunt's response to the NHS ransomware is typically weak, letting failing NHS trusts get away with their failures. His job is to hold them to account. But he doesn't do that with any vigour.
The NHS saves many lives every day. It is a fantastic institution with dedicated staff that is admired by British people and the world over. The founders of the NHS are rightly praised.
There are problems, just as they are in any large organisation. Those problems must be properly diagnosed and treated.
But the NHS is another case of Labour or Tory, same old story.
Labour and the Tories use the NHS as a political football, repeatedly "reforming" it, without substantially improving patient care. Tories cut, Labour spends. It's a repeating cycle of failure.
In fact, there is plenty of evidence that both parties' constant meddling and bickering between them actually impacts badly on patients and their families.
As I have shown in exposing Labour and Tory NHS and care cuts, cover-ups and failures in Southampton, my approach to the NHS is to properly diagnose the problems, and provide appropriate prescriptions.
Yes, sometimes the prescription is more money. But that must be carefully chosen, not used to solved every perceived problem.
If elected, I will hold failing trusts and care providers to account, as I have already done in Southampton. That is how you improve the NHS - not with constant restructures and so-called "reforms".
And it is incumbent on all MPs to hold their local trusts to account. If they don't, it is up to other MPs to hold them to account, and to expose their failings as MPs. MPs must also properly hold the Secretary of State to account. The Opposition is so weak and divided that it is not doing this.
On 8th June, please vote for me to go to Westminster for you, and give the Establishment of Labour and Tory MPs the jolt they need, to give a better NHS and care."
If you have further questions to Andrew on the NHS or anything else, please send them to sotonindies [at] gmail.com.