Rachael Maskell MP with staff at Orca House Child Healthcare Centre in York last week
Rachael Maskell MP with staff at Orca House Child Healthcare Centre in York last week

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central and former clinician, is set to scrutinise the Secretary of State for Health next week at the Health and Social Care Select Committee following her latest round of meetings with health providers and commissioners in York.

In meeting health leaders across York on a very regular basis, Rachael has a very clear understanding of the challenges facing the NHS at this time, and is working with the health community in instituting the solutions. This week, she met with the health minister, Maria Caulfield to discuss the challenges facing mental health services in the city having visited the CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) unit last week.

Whether mental, physical or social health, the MP believes that it is time for an administration in the city and country that is going to invest in the wellbeing and health of our population, not least those who experience the worst health outcomes.

The MP for York Central asks more questions in the House of Commons about the NHS than any MP sitting in Parliament to drill down into what Government are doing about the NHS, and is clear that their tank is empty of ideas and that they are putting sticking plasters over the significant cracks which have emerged in the system. A recent meeting with Nimbuscare highlighted how transition to more community-based services can really make a difference to early diagnosis and health outcomes and prevent people having to go to hospital.

Rachael Maskell MP said:

“The NHS has to pivot to a model of prevention, early diagnosis, and see a shift in resources into primary care. For too long the NHS has been a sickness service, but this winter has proved that the NHS cannot cope with increased demand, having faced its worst crisis in its near 75-year history.”

Alongside a renewed focus on physical and mental wellbeing, the MP calls on the local authority to prioritise public health to address the significant health inequalities in the city:

“Meeting fortnightly with the Director of Public Health, I value the expertise of York’s public health team, but without more investment in the social determinants of health, from better housing and environment to tackling the consequences of poverty, the life chances of people in York will not progress and the 10-year gap in life expectancy depending where in the city you live, will continue to punish the poorest.

“I am truly grateful for all who work in the NHS and for the grounding I got with 20 years’ experience as a clinician in critical care. I spend a significant amount of time working with health professionals to seek out ways that health care can be delivered better in York and across the country. However, the biggest challenge facing the NHS, right now, is the retention crisis, with 300,000 vacancies across health and social care. Unless we value our health and care staff, look after their wellbeing and pay them for the years of sacrifices they make to family life for us all, more will leave the service, causing the NHS to completely implode. Instead of stoking a dispute with such caring NHS professionals, Government should be putting a pay deal on the table and settling this dispute.”

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