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General Election: How do Newark candidates propose to address issues with the NHS, both nationally and at a local level?

Ahead of the upcoming general election, the Advertiser asked readers to share questions they would like answering by candidates vying to become their next MP.

A key concern was the NHS — a qualified nurse shared concerns with the Advertiser about under funding, the struggle to get GP appointments, and long waiting lists to see specialists.

Newark candidates were asked: “How do you propose to address issues with the NHS, both nationally and at a local level?”

Here are their responses, in alphabetical order:

Saj Ahmad — Labour

Saj Ahmad, Labour candidate for Newark
Saj Ahmad, Labour candidate for Newark

“As someone who has worked in the NHS I have seen the problems first-hand. A Labour government would immediately work to cut NHS waiting times with 40,000 more evening and weekend appointments each week.

“We would get back to meeting the target of 92% of people waiting no more than 18 weeks for treatment – under the Tories, this target is met for only 58% of people.

“But we also need to move to a Neighbourhood Health Service, with more care delivered in local communities to spot problems earlier.

“If I am elected as MP, in tune with Labour’s emphasis on a neighbourhood health service, I will work to ensure Newark Hospital once again becomes a community healthcare hub with increased opening hours.

“Labour will also introduce a Dentistry Rescue Plan to provide 700,000 more urgent dental appointments and recruit new dentists to areas that need them most.”

Adrian Amer — Independent

Independant candidate for Newark, Adrian Amer.
Independant candidate for Newark, Adrian Amer.

“Issues with our NHS are near limitless. We need to strengthen the staff workforce as their morale is low after Covid.

“Their accountability needs to be open and transparent so we can see where improvements can be made.

“We need investment in doing repairs and upkeep of the NHS estate. Old and crumbling and not fit for purpose buildings need to be renewed and replaced.

“Paying off PFI interest and debt ( Private Finance Initiative Debt ) is imperative as it is crippling available funds to be spent by individual trusts.

“Eliminate outsourcing which destroys inbuilt knowledge of healthcare professionals.

“The NHS needs to be brought back into full public ownership. Invest in modern technology helping all areas of the NHS.”

Lyn Galbraith — Independent

Lyn Galbraith, Independent candidate for Newark
Lyn Galbraith, Independent candidate for Newark

“Locally, improving Newark Hospital's services and extending its operating hours is crucial, especially with a growing population.

“I support increased funding for GP surgeries to enable them to employ more GP’s, which would end the struggle to get a GP appointment.

“More nationally, I propose to bring back the old-style cottage hospitals, which will free up hospital beds enabling more operations to take place thereby reducing waiting lists.

“Additionally, this will beneficially impact social care by ensuring people are not rushed out of hospital with inadequate care packages.

“Addressing the surplus of unnecessary middle managers and reducing wasteful spending could save over £5 million per year in Nottinghamshire NHS Trust alone.

“Tackling this nationwide would save hundreds of millions of pounds. These reforms aim to enhance healthcare accessibility, retention of medical professionals, and efficient budget allocation, benefiting both local and national health services.”

Robert Jenrick — Conservative

Robert Jenrick, Conservative candidate for Newark
Robert Jenrick, Conservative candidate for Newark

“I care passionately about Newark Hospital and have always fought for it.

“I’m President of the League of Friends who volunteer there.

“I saved the CT scanner when it was threatened, secured the new operating theatre and brought cancer services.

“Ensuring Newark Hospital thrives is critical to me.”

Robert Palmer — Reform UK

Reform UK candidates for Newark constituency, Robert Hall-Palmer.
Reform UK candidates for Newark constituency, Robert Hall-Palmer.

“Our party is committed to zero rate basic tax for all front-line care workers for three years. We are also committed to paying off their student loans after 10 years.

“A 20% tax relief on private health care to relieve pressure from the NHS.

“A voucher scheme so than NHS patients can access private health care if the NHS can not see them within set limits.”

David Watts — Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat candidate for Newark, David Watts.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Newark, David Watts.

“Saving the NHS is the first priority for the Liberal Democrats. It has been starved of funds for years and this needs to change.

“If other parties promise you tax cuts ask them which parts of the NHS they will scrap next. We are committed to giving people a right to see a GP within 7 days or within 24 hours if urgent, and we want to attract doctors back to the profession to achieve this.

“To get nurses, doctors and dentists to come back into the profession they need to be properly paid, not demonised like they have been by the government recently.

“Our commitment is a £9 billion investment in the NHS coupled with free social care for those who need it.”

All nine Newark candidates were invited to contribute their answers, however Michael Ackroyd (Green), Matthew Darrington (English Democrats), and Collan Siddique (Workers Party of Britain), did not provide a response.

The UK General Election is scheduled to take place on July 4.

The candidates confirmed for the Newark constituency are (listed alphabetically):

• Michael Ackroyd - Green Party

• Saj Ahmad - Labour

• Adrian Amer - Independent

• Matthew Darrington - English Democrats

• Lyn Galbraith - Independent

• Robert Jenrick - Conservative

• Robert Palmer - Reform UK

• Collan Siddique - Workers Party of Britain

• David Watts - Liberal Democrats

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