Health Portfolio

Posted on: 20th February 2015

Health Portfolio Notes

For the Future of Our NHS public meeting

Andrew George MP

West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives

& Health Select Committee Member


These notes summarise some of Andrew George MP’s health campaigns in recent years. More information is available on request.

Health & Social Care Act

Mr George led a Parliamentary campaign against this “Lansley” legislation and helped to mitigate many of the worst aspects of the legislation.  Mr George has argued and voted against the Bill and worked hard on the Health Select Committee and in Cornwall and Scilly to protect core NHS services, and to ensure that patients come before profit.


News release:

Safe Registered Nurse Staffing

Mr George works closely with the Safe-Staffing Alliance (Royal College of Nursing, the Patients Association, the Florence Nightingale Foundation and Nursing Standard) to advance the campaign for safe-staffing levels on acute hospital wards. Following extensive research, the Alliance argues that if a ward has a registered nurse staffing level of less than one registered nurse to seven patients (excluding the nurse in charge), it is much more likely to have a serious incident and excess deaths.

January 2015:

Early Day Motion:

Parliamentary Debate:

Out of Hours GP Service (Serco)

Mr George warned about the dangers of placing out of hours GP services in the hands of private companies such as Serco: he reported Serco to CQC for poor service standards and falsification of records, and pressed for a removal of Serco’s contract.

Mr George is working to create a more integrated out-of-hours GP service for Cornwall and is pushing for a review of the NHS 111 service.

December 2013:

May 2012:

No to Lower “Regional Pay”

Mr George led a cross-party delegation of MPs in opposition to South West Health Trusts plans for lower “regional” pay for health workers and continues to oppose “regional” pay.

November 2012:

January 2015:

Support for Home Care Workers

Mr George has been leading the campaign against a “race to the bottom” in Home (Domiciliary) Care and has consistently warned that contracts for home care need to be sustained.

Mr George is working to improve support for Home Care Workers and has proposed a set of Benchmark Standards for home carers, which include:

–       A living wage for care workers (currently £7.85 per hour).

–       Travel time between visits as part of salaried time.

–       A mileage rate with an at least minimum level of 35 pence per mile paid to travelling care workers.

–       A minimum visit time of 45 minutes in exceptional cases but at least one hour for most visits.

–       Formal structured annual training.

February 2013:

June 2014:

January 2015:


Raised Status and Funding for Mental Health

Mr George works to ensure mental health is brought to the forefront of health policy. The Lib Dems are determined to end the stigma against mental health and strive for it to be given the same status in the NHS as physical health. This includes: the creation of the Crisis Care Concordat to make sure no one experiencing a mental health crisis is ever turned away from services; investing in evidence-based psychological therapies; and heavily investing in children’s mental health care.

News release:

Lib Dem mental health policy:


Patients Before Profit

Mr George has challenged the policies of both the last Labour and present Government that risk fragmenting and undermining NHS services. He strongly opposes policies that allow companies to prey on public services and take on just the easier and more profitable functions. Mr George has warned Government Ministers that the present ‘tariff’ system works to the benefit of private companies and at the expense of core NHS services and hospitals.

News release:


Planned Surplus Better Than Perpetual Risk of Chaos

Mr George warned the then Labour Government about the risks of following the NHS Confederation policy (2006) of cutting acute hospital beds.

News release:

2006 NHS Confederation Report:

Letter to Dr Morgan May of NHS Confederation (2006):

Other health campaigns:

  • championing      fair funding for Cornwall and Scilly
  • promoting      integration of health and social care
  • improvements      to complaints and feedback system
  • campaigning      to protect services at West Cornwall and St Michael’s hospitals
  • promoting      better regulation and implementation of the Law Commission’s      recommendations
  • pushing      for improved perinatal mental health care and for a mother & baby unit
  • supported      staff call for 1% pay award and opposed the “regrading” of nurse posts      across the NHS
  • campaigning      for the retention of community hospital beds and services
  • promoting      child and adolescent mental health services
  • pushing      for improvements in health services on the Isles of Scilly
  • supporting      the ambulance and air ambulance services
  • campaigning      for the inherited debt of RCHT to be written off
  • calling for the      cutting of VAT for charitably fund-raised purchases of essential health      equipment such as defibrillators     and      more…


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