Jesse Norman: save our NHS

With patients being asked to stay away from Hereford A&E, and dying after hours left in corridors in Worcester, local healthcare is in crisis. Hereford hospital is too small, its management recently taken over by South Warwickshire, a move which Jesse Norman MP said in November ought to be halted while consultation took place. I agree with him on this, but there are underlying issues which he ought to be addressing.

He is a Minister in a government which has underfunded, disorganised and is privatising our precious NHS, and has demoralised its wonderful staff.  Respected aid agency the Red Cross describes the situation as a ‘humanitarian crisis’.

Local people need to be confident that government will provide us with a health service that is fit for purpose and does not lurch from crisis to crisis every winter.

We want a publicly funded, publicly run and publicly accountable NHS for our families and communities. The government’s wasteful privatisation agenda is not supported by the public

My party is committed to reinstating the NHS as a public service without privatisation and marketisation, where funding pays for healthcare and doesn’t inflate the profits of private businesses.

Rob Hattersley - Communications Officer (South)

No more PE sick notes?

The i reports today that PE lessons at one of the UK’s top private school are being replaced by wellbeing classes. Leaving aside our views on whether or not private schools help or hinder equality or overall educational attainment, is traditional PE the best way to promote overall health and fitness?

From childhood I preferred co-operation to competition, and as a result I hated PE as a child. Lots of us did. As an adult, I keep pretty fit; I love walking and cycling and in recent years have taken up swimming, running and the gym. As a primary school teacher who loved exercise but hated sport, I tended to focus on lessons which all the children could engage with, rather than the sports focus which excludes up to half the class and actually puts them off exercise.

So I applaud what Wellington School are doing as long as exercise is built into the wellbeing programme. We should be educating our children for real life. Some sport is fine – it’s a useful way to learn teamwork and resilience – but it should be more varied than either what I experienced or was encouraged to teach. The sport must also be outweighed by the exercise for fun, and wellbeing element. If pupils want to extend their sports skills, they can do it after school. Good for Wellington – now for state schools.