At a meeting of Tower Hamlets Council last week, Labour Councillors passed a motion calling on the council and Barts Health NHS Trust to prioritise provision of local housing for key workers. Labour Councillor Asma Begum introduced the motion.
Barts Health NHS Trust was put into special measures in mid-March, following a CQC report which found a culture of bullying and low morale among staff at Whipps Cross Hospital.
The Labour Group council motion calls on Barts Health NHS Trust to use assets to enable the provision of affordable, local housing for local staff and to fully utilise the resource of local workers.
Cllr Asma Begum, Tower Hamlets Labour Group Spokesperson for Health, said:
“Labour’s approach to rescuing the NHS is not to set hospital against hospital, but to join up services around patients’ needs.
Locally, we believe that Barts Health Trust should employ more local workers, creating local jobs and using local skills. The unaffordability of housing is becoming a barrier to recruitment and retention of key NHS workers. We believe that we can all work together to ensure that the best talent is available to the Trust.
We are calling on Barts Health Trust to prioritise provision of local housing for key workers. We are also calling on Barts to do more to train and recruit local people.”
Cllr Rachael Saunders, Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:
“The Labour Group has an open dialogue with Tower Hamlets CCG and we have offered our full support to get our local health trust to a stronger position. We recognise that housing plays a key role in enabling local talent to take up jobs where they’re desperately needed, such as in healthcare. That’s why we brought this motion to Tower Hamlets Council.
Nationally, Labour has pledged to invest in 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and 3,000 more midwives, paid for by a Mansion Tax on properties worth over £2 million. Labour will also guarantee people a GP appointment within 48 hours.”