News | Published February 14 2020

Alex Davies-Jones: "The NHS is the Labour Party’s greatest success"

It was just over a month after Christmas when I received a final belated present – an opportunity to ask the Prime Minister a question during the infamous Prime Minister’s Questions session that takes place every Wednesday.

As a new Member of Parliament, I couldn’t believe my luck. Since my election in December, I’ve been inundated with emails from local residents about a wide range of issues, from animal welfare to pensions and universal credit.

Yet I knew as soon as the question was confirmed that I would only speak on one issue: recruitment for our beloved NHS.

We all know that the NHS is the Labour Party’s greatest success and I’m proud to be a Labour MP who will always fight for the best services for local residents in my constituency.

The NHS is often in the news, and we're all used to seeing headlines about cuts to hospitals across England.

The NHS is often in the news, and we’re all used to seeing headlines about cuts to hospitals across England.

However, any hospital, whether in England or Wales, can only thrive if it has sufficient staff to keep it going.

It really seems that the Prime Minister and this UK Tory Government are missing out on opportunities to improve the process for overseas consultants so that they can work in our hospitals on NHS visas with ease.

While I welcome the news that the Government have committed to a “fast track” NHS visa, I truly believe that we could be doing so much more to encourage workers to come to the UK, particularly now that we have left the European Union.

The fact that the NHS surcharge exists – let alone sits at a shocking £400 – seems ridiculous. 

The fact that the NHS surcharge exists – let alone sits at a shocking £400 – seems ridiculous. 

I would like to see the Tory Government prioritise a visa system that works for overseas consultants, and one that positions hospitals across England, Wales and Scotland as world leading to encourage the very best talent to apply.

Last October, parts of Hillingdon hospital in the Prime Minister’s own constituency were found to be decrepit and patients had to be relocated, which put more strain on other local facilities.

It is clear that even the Prime Minister’s own constituents are suffering under a system that fails to represent their needs.

I hope that he urgently prioritises recruitment and NHS visas in an effort to turn back the clock on decades of devastation to our much-loved hospitals across the UK.

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Authored by

Alex Davies-Jones
Member of Parliament for Pontypridd
February 14 2020

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