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Author Archives: Debbie Abrahams

The case for a new Beveridge Report One of the last Labour Government’s real successes was to preside over an increase in life expectancy. In addition, the gap in life expectancy between the rich and poor decreased. Fast forward nearly 8 years, to March 2018 the Office for National Statistics published data showing that under Tory austerity the gap in life expectancy had widened. For women, the gap is the largest since the 1920s. There is overwhelming evidence that these inequalities are not inevitable. They are socially reproduced. They can be changed. And that should give us all hope. But […]
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It’s lovely to be here and with my dear friend and former colleague, Dr Alex Scott-Samuel. Alex and I were co-Directors of a research unit at the University of Liverpool, and it’s really my tackle inequalities that drove me into politics. As a public health consultant for over 20 years, I knew that if you’re serious about tackling health inequalities you have to get policy right as its being designed. At the same time I was at Liverpool I was also chair of Rochdale Primary Care NHS Trust for nearly 5 years, resigning in 2006 over my concerns of the […]
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A manifesto with and for disabled people Over the last seven years disabled people have borne the brunt of the cuts inflicted on them by the Conservative Government and the Coalition before them. The cuts have had a detrimental effect on the lives of disabled people, cutting living standards and undermining their access to education, social care and to justice. Two years ago the United Nations  convened a committee to investigate state violations of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Last year the UN published their report and concluded that the Conservative Government had committed ‘grave, systematic violations of the rights of persons […]
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The government promised to help disabled people back into work. They’re failing – and now it looks like their Welfare Reform is targeting those who need higher levels of support. The Government published its long-awaited ‘Improving Lives: Work, Health and Disability’ Green Paper at the end of October 2016 after originally promising a White Paper in 2015. The White Paper was supposed to define how disabled people would be supported into work and meet the Government’s manifesto pledge of halving the disability employment gap of 34% by 2020 (currently it stands at 32%). The employment gap was used to justify further […]
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Introduction As a nation we have made huge steps tackling issues around inequality and discrimination against disabled people in our society, from passing the historic 1995 Disability Discrimination Act to becoming signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009 and to defining protections afforded to disabled people under the Equality Act 2010. While progress had been made, disabled people still continue to face discrimination and disadvantage. The Labour Party is the party of equality and that is why we launched the Disability Equality Roadshow (DER) on 11th November 2016 in Manchester with the leader […]
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Welcome to my fourth NHS Check Oldham Report, part of a series of reports that examine how national policies from the Government are affecting local health and care services in Oldham East and Saddleworth. These reports are informed by national and local statistics as well as data from other sources, such as patient experiences and think tank reports. This report is focussed on the devolution from central Government of £6bn of health and social care funding to the combined Greater Manchester Authority – commonly referred to as ‘Devo Manc’ – and the challenges and opportunities the changes may have on […]
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I, too, believe that the commission, although in principle a good idea, would be a distraction. My hon. Friend the Member for Walsall South (Valerie Vaz) talked about what was different in 2009. In 2011, just after the coalition Government formed, we had the opportunity to hold a cross-party round table. It was proposed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Andy Burnham), but rejected by the coalition. It comes down to what many people have said about the difficulty of taking politics out of such a debate. It is down to political will. There are a few […]
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Yet another study has just been published showing that the UK is one of the most unequal countries in the world. In their report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that ‘widening income inequalities is the most defining challenge of our time’. Forty years ago, 5 per cent of income went to the highest 1 per cent of earners. Today it is 15 per cent. Spare a thought for our cousins across the Atlantic; in the US the figure has risen from 8 per cent to 20 per cent. This trend of increasing income inequalities has occurred in most high […]
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I recently attended the HSJ Commissioning Summit to discuss where the Labour Party are up to with our plans for NHS commissioning. I thought it would be useful to summarise the main points from my speech and the themes from the discussion that followed. As part of our policy development process there have been a number of independent policy reviews. The inquiry into whole person care chaired by Sir John Oldham in particular has informed the party’s direction on commissioning. Listening to many of you and having worked in the NHS myself, I know that the scale of the service and financial […]
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This is the second NHS Check Oldham Report , part of a regular series of reports  that examine how national policies from the coalition Government are affecting local health and care services in Oldham East and Saddleworth. It is focused on increasing levels of private health sector involvement in the NHS; this includes private healthcare companies both providing NHS health services and being involved in the commissioning and management of these services. It’s now just over a year since the coalition Government’s reorganisation of health services was implemented; a reorganisation that has wasted £3 billion. Within the constraints and cloak of ‘commercial […]
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The Labour Party has a proud and historic link with the NHS; it reflects and represents our collective spirit, and the values we hold dear. It is fair to say that in most people’s eyes the NHS remains a national treasure. But we know it is not perfect and although the Labour Party has committed to no further top-down structural reorganisation should we be elected into Government in 2015, service change will be needed. To this end, and to inform the Party’s internal policy review process, members of the Parliamentary Labour Party undertook an inquiry into the effectiveness of international […]
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