Health Service Battleground For Election

Labour and Tory candidates with opposing views on hospitals

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Labour candidate Rupa Huq

Ealing Central Acton Conservative MP Angie Bray, and

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The state of the health service looks set to be the major battling ground between Labour and Conservative candidates fighting for the Ealing and Central Acton parliamentary seat this year.

The NHS has beeen declared in a critical condition with figures showing operations cancelled, ambulances being turned away and major incidents being declared at a variety of hospitals throughout the country as they struggle to cope.

Local hospitals have been suffering too following the closure of Central Middlesex and Hammersmith A&Es in September 2014.

Labour blame Tory policies and Dr Rupa Huq, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Ealing and Acton Central, said:

''In Ealing and Acton we saw the price of a Tory-run NHS long before these figures were released. The Tories and Lib Dems are destroying our NHS. I’ve lived here for over 40 years now and I can’t remember a time when so many people talked to me about their fears for our health service and social care in later life.''

However, the Ealing Central and Acton MP, Angie Bray, says since 2010 NHS funding has increased by 3.6 percent, there are now 9000 more doctors and 3,300 more nurses and a further £700m has been found for extra resources this winter.

She claims Labour is distorting the facts:

'' "Regrettably, winter is always a difficult time for the NHS with the extra pressures that come with it and London is suffering in the same way that many parts of the country are. But in fact despite the negative way the Labour party is trying to portray the Conservative-led coalition's handling of the NHS, the actual figures on what is happening are very robust.''

Ms Bray points to Labour party plans to levy a so called 'mansion tax' on thousands of London homes in order to pay for extra nurses in Scotland:

'' Why should Ealing pay for Edinburgh? I thought that the Scots were keen to start taking care of their own affairs but now it appears that Labour is hoping to win their votes with money raised largely in London and the South East of England. I do not believe that Londoners will consider this to be remotely fair.''

Ms Huq says only 1% of houses in Ealing would be affected by the tax - most of the revenue would come from Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

She says: '' We know that this policy is to revive an ailing NHS.  I met while out canvassing a householder of one such property who said that he was totally happy to pay this charge for that cause. The full detail of where it will be spent is yet to be completely allocated but any attempt to make political capital out of this by rumourmongering by other parties is just a ploy to detract attention form the future of our greatest national treasure the NHS that affects us all which is at crisis point locally after the closure of 2 A+Es and 2 more to follow in the coming year.''

8th January 2015