Labour’s shadow health secretary visits hospital

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SHADOW Health Secretary Andy Burnham was today due to visit Barnsley Hospital to ‘hear first-hand the issues which are facing the NHS’.

Mr Burnham was due to be accompanied by Dan Jarvis, Labour MP for Barnsley Central.

Mr Jarvis said: “Our doctors, nurses and staff work incredibly hard to provide a first-class service in what are currently difficult circumstances.

“This is an opportunity for us to showcase the work done by the wonderful staff in Barnsley, as well as to discuss any issues they may be facing.

“Despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise at the election to ring-fence spending on the NHS, he has launched the biggest top-down reorganisation in the history of the NHS.

“Here in Barnsley, our PCT has had to set aside £17,942,169 to pay for it.”

Speaking before his visit, Mr Burnham said: “I am looking forward to hearing about the tremendous work done by Barnsley Hospital.

“Last year this hospital treated more than 61,000 patients, providing a vital service to people across the community.

“As I visit hospitals across the country, I regularly hear concerns from staff and patients about the effect of Mr Cameron’s reorganisation on the ground.

“More and more people are waiting too long in A&Es, operations are being rationed, and cuts are beginning to bite.”

“I will be asking staff at the hospital in Barnsley about their experiences and listening to their concerns.”

The Government says its reorganisation will save money in the long-term on the cost of running the NHS.