Sion Simon

We’ll defend our NHS, prioritising mental health and championing a healthy region
I want to see an outstanding NHS in the West Midlands – with parity of esteem between mental and physical health,  supported by a physical activity strategy for everyone in the region. Yet the Tories are doing their best to destroy it.

This is how we will take control of our NHS in the West Midlands:

  • Defend the NHS against Tory cuts – demanding our fair share so that frontline services in the West Midlands are of the highest standard. Seek powers to devolve more NHS strategic planning and commissioning to the regional level.
  • On taking office I will immediately convene a task and finish group, using the outstanding professional expertise we have in the region – to radically redesign our approach to both the health care and social care of our older people. We will seek extra powers from government if needed.
  •  The Tories have shortchanged the care of our older people. We will have to use our skills strategy to create a bigger care workforce, encourage new entrants to the market through social enterprises and push for universal recognition of the Ethical Care Campaign, which champions our region’s caring home-workers.
  • Back the NHS by working with local universities to train more nurses and doctors in the West Midlands – and keep them in the region. We’ll work with our hospitals to grow the number of local people we train to deliver the NHS of the future.
  •  Mental health to have parity of esteem with physical health – working with partners to achieve early diagnosis and treatment, more and better support for carers, and steps to tackle stigma. Fully implement the WMCA Mental Health Action Plan, while extending a pro-active approach towards mental health to childhood.
  •  Work with local authorities to produce a West Midlands strategy for physical activity, giving everyone in the region the confidence, opportunity and motivation to participate in sport and recreation.
  •  Maintain and grow the world class research base in life sciences of the West Midlands – strengthening partnerships between universities and local business.
  •  Give people more control over their own health – by supporting the development of apps that provide health information, supporting the development of personalised care budgets, and crucially improving prevention of health
    problems. We’ll bring public services together to promote health initiatives, promoting healthy food availability and tackling bad practices in advertising and promotion of unhealthy food.
  • Make the public realm as supportive and inclusive as possible for those with dementia, autism, and all those with conditions that need particular forms of support – and encourage a wider understanding of the care required for these people to live with appropriate dignity and vitality.
  • We will raise awareness of the importance of children’s oral health, promote new schemes in nurseries and schools and aim to reduce the number of child tooth extractions – which cost our NHS millions every year.
  • In line with our ethos of early intervention, we will introduce a new general principle in the West Midlands that no child here who needs mental health support will be turned away or forced to wait long periods to access the support they need.
  •  We will encourage innovative approaches to GP prescribing across the West Midlands, where GPs are able to offer patients a range of non-traditional support, working with voluntary organisations to deliver more counselling and
    help to get active.
  •  Monitor the impact of health and social care  devolution in Greater Manchester and move to replicate successes, providing sufficient funding is secured from central government.
    • Working with the NHS to tackle health inequalities and improve awareness of LGBT issues and tackling domestic abuse in the LGBT community and the barriers that exist around reporting.

More about Sion’s manifesto

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