Yesterday I led a debate in Parliament on the financial pressures at King’s College Hospital.
I gave birth to my two children at King’s and my mum worked there for ten years until she retired. The situation at King’s is as personal and as important to me and my family as it is to tens of thousands of my constituents, and it is very concerning to see the current financial difficulties the Trust is facing.
King’s has been on a journey over the past twenty years. Back in 1998, when I was an in-patient, it was a struggling, failing hospital. Years of investment under the last Labour government transformed King’s so that by 2010 it was meeting all of its main clinical targets and consistently achieving a small annual financial surplus.
But things began to change very soon after the election of the Liberal Democrat-Tory government in 2010. A combination of real terms cuts in funding each year, the decision to take on the running of the failing Princess Royal and Orpington Hospitals in 2013 without sufficient resources, and the Tories’ outrageous imposition of fines on the hospital have led us to where we are today.
The Government has known about the financial situation at King’s for some time and it is imperative they now take responsibility for the situation to ensure that the hospital is not allowed to fail any further.
In the debate yesterday I paid tribute to the exceptional staff team at King’s and the work they do every day to save lives and help people to live longer with better quality of life, and I pressed the Government to undertake a full review of the finances at King’s, to guarantee that there will be no threat to any of the services provided at King’s, and to make a long-term commitment to properly fund our NHS. The situation at King’s serves as a sober reminder that the Tories simply cannot be trusted on the NHS.
You can watch the full debate here.