Find out what Councillor David Jenkins said in his Maiden Speech on 11 July 2018 and another speech given on Wednesday 14 November 2018 on gambling
My Lord Mayor, comrades and fellow Councillors. I will be using my maiden speech to talk about something which is, like myself, now 70 years old. I have worked as a psychiatric social worker in NHS therapeutic communities and have been a hospital patient, having had jaundice when I was born, then polio, then prostate cancer at 58, so I am indebted to the NHS. The NHS is one of our nation’s cherished institutions. In a poll conducted by YouGov in February this year, two-thirds of respondents said that they considered the establishment of the NHS to be Britain’s greatest achievement.
These sentiments are echoed by the residents of Killingbeck and Seacroft, who signed this birthday card at a gala in Seacroft last Saturday. When it was launched by Aneurin Bevan in July 1948 it was the first time anywhere in the world that completely free healthcare was made available on the basis of citizenship, need and not the ability to pay. Only 70 years ago healthcare was a luxury that not everyone could afford. The NHS was founded on the principle that the health service should be available to all free at the point of delivery and financed from taxation.
In the last 70 years, it is thanks to the NHS that we have all but eradicated infectious diseases such as polio and diphtheria. The Labour Party founded the NHS for the many, not the few. The Conservatives have a chequered history of support. As early as 1953 the Conservative Government requested an inquiry into the cost of the NHS with a view to dismantling it. This backfired with the Guillebaud Report in 1956 which declared the NHS value for money. The USA has an alternative – spend twice as much and fail to provide access to health for the whole population. Even Prime Minister Thatcher declared in 1989 that the NHS will continue to be available to be all and to be financed mainly out of general taxation. Now, currently, we might be treated to episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour
Two subjects that cause me concern are mental health and the profits of drug companies. The largest category of spending in terms of condition in 2010 was mental health at 11%, but it is not meeting the need and waiting lists for IAPT are too long.
Spending on medicines has experienced a rapid increase in recent years rising from £13 billion in 2010 to £17 billion in 2016. The annual rate of increase in spending on drugs far outstrips the annual rate of NHS budget increases.
The NHS has had an extremely positive impact on mortality rates and overall life expectancy. However, there are still great disparities across our city.
This leads us into provision and funding of social care. The principles of Labour’s national care service include the implementation of a maximum cap on the limit on care costs at a lower level than currently set in the Care Act regulations and the raising of the asset threshold to a higher level than under the current system.
The NHS is extremely important to the people of Leeds. As well as providing healthcare free at the point of delivery it also employs a great number of people. Those jobs must not be outsourced to wholly-owned subsidiaries which are still threatened next year by the Trust.
It is vital that we and the trade unions resist these expensive consultancy-led adventures in privatisation. Under a Labour Government, the NHS will be coming home. I support the amendment.
You can hear Councillor David Jenkins giving this speech by clicking here.
You can hear and watch another speech given on Wednesday 14 November 2018 by Councillor David Jenkins on gambling by clicking here,
Message from Katie Dye, David Jenkins and Paul Drinkwater, Labour Councillors for Killingbeck and Seacroft.