Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Labour Health Chief Andy Burnham launches Dudley election campaign

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has launched Labour’s election campaign in Dudley at Russells Hall Hospital.

He was joined by Dudley North MP Ian Austin and Dudley South Labour candidate Natasha Millward to highlight the financial crisis that is forcing the loss of 400 of the hospital’s staff.

Russells Hall Hospital announced earlier this year that one in ten of the hospital’s 4,200 staff would lose their jobs as a result of government rules that cut spending by £12 million every year.

In a recent letter to Dudley MP Ian Austin the hospital’s Chief Executive Paula Clark has blasted the cuts, saying that they “place care at risk” and could result in the cancellation of a new Urgent Care Centre to replace the Holly Hall Walk-in Centre.

Austin and Dudley South candidate Natasha Millward have been campaigning to prevent the job losses, with Austin raising the issue repeatedly with ministers, demanding the hospital gets the resources it needs.

Ian Austin said:

“Like any other local family, we queue up at Russells Hall when we’re ill. Everyone knows the pressure the hospital is under.

“Local people are really worried about what will happen if the hospital has to lose one in ten staff, and we have it black and white from hospital bosses that these cuts threaten patient care.

“I’m making fighting for the jobs at Russells Hall one of my top priorities because we desperately need a government that takes this NHS crisis seriously and takes action to support frontline staff in places like Dudley.”

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