Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has returned to the hospital where he launched Labour’s election campaign in Dudley to warn that there are 48 hours to save the NHS.
He was joined at Russells Hall Hospital by Labour’s candidates from across Dudley including Ian Austin for Dudley North, Natasha Millward for Dudley South, Pete Lowe for Stourbridge and Stephanie Peacock for Halesowen and Rowley Regis.
They highlighted the financial crisis that is forcing the loss of 400 of the hospital’s staff and set out Labour’s plans to save the NHS.
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 North Labour candidate Ian Austin the hospital’s Chief Executive Paula Clark has blasted the cuts, saying that they “place care at risk” and threaten necessary investment in the hospital.
Labour have been campaigning to prevent the job losses, with Ian Austin raising the issue repeatedly with ministers to demand the hospital gets the resources it needs.
Ian Austin said:
“Andy has made it his priority to revisit Russells Hall in the final hours of the campaign because of the jobs crisis it faces.
“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.”