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  • Tim Farron 2017
    Article: Jun 22, 2017
    By Caron Lindsay in Liberal Democrat Voice

    The Lib Dem Press Office has issued a veritable storm of press releases in response to the Queen's Speech today. Here's a round-up of what our key figures said about their areas of expertise.

    Tim Farron looked at the whole speech and was unimpressed:

    This slimmed down Queen's Speech shows a government on the edge.

  • Anita at Grantham Hospital.jpg
    Article: Jun 5, 2017

    The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust could lose a total of 287 staff from the EU as a result of Theresa May's extreme version of Brexit, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

    42% of nurses and over half of all doctors from the EU are considering leaving because of Brexit, according to recent research. This means that in Grantham & Stamford, an estimated 287 NHS staff are at risk of leaving including 83 doctors and 88 nurses.

    This would create a £2.8m bill to re-hire doctors and nurses from the EU after 2019, due to Theresa May's plans for a £2000 immigration skills charge for each doctor, nurse and health worker brought in from abroad.

    The Liberal Democrats have called for an immediate guarantee that all EU nationals in the UK, including those working in the NHS and social care, can stay after Brexit.

    Liberal Democrat candidate Anita Day said:

    "Hospitals in Grantham & Stamford depend on doctors, nurses and other support staff from the EU. But many are now planning to leave because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit. This is particularly vital in this area, given the difficulties with staffing already faced at Grantham Hospital, including the continuing closure of A&E services overnight.

    "We must guarantee their rights to stay here immediately to prevent a damaging exodus of these skilled and hard-working people. Our NHS, and the care we all rely on, would suffer without them.

    "The NHS is far too precious to be damaged by Theresa May's decision to pursue a UKIP-style Brexit. "The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May's extreme Brexit and give the people the final say, with the choice to remain in the European Union if they don't like the deal on offer."

    Nationally more than half (55.6%) of the 10,000 doctors from the EU working in the NHS are now considering leaving the UK because of the referendum result, according to a survey conducted by the General Medical Council.

    Survey data suggests that up to 26,500 members of NHS staff from the EU could leave the UK as a result of Brexit.

    The Liberal Democrat manifesto commits to immediately guaranteeing the rights of all EU nationals working in the NHS and social care.

  • school meals
    Article: May 31, 2017

    Up to 400 children living in poverty across South Holland and the Deepings will have their lunches taken away under Theresa May's plans to abolish universal free school lunches for infants, Liberal Democrat research has revealed. In total 2,950 children in South Holland and the Deepings are set to lose out under the plans.

  • Care home
    Article: May 29, 2017

    It comes after Amber Rudd said the Conservatives did not know what a future cap on social care costs would be, while refusing to rule out that it could be as high as £200,000 or £300,000.

    The analysis reveals that:

    • If a cap was introduced at £200k, the costs of care for those with long-term conditions could wipe out over half of the value of an average family home

  • Article: May 28, 2017

    Rarely has such an ill-thought out policy made it into a manifesto. The Tory proposals for what's been dubbed a "dementia tax," going back on previous proposals to set a cap on care costs for those who need care, don't even seem to have the agreement of senior Conservatives. In fact, if the Sunday papers are to be believed, they don't even have the backing of Theresa May's two chiefs of staff.

  • School Meals
    Article: May 21, 2017
    By Michael Savage, policy editor in The Observer

    Move could undermine key Tory target of helping families 'just about managing', as concerns grow over social care pledge

    About 900,000 children from struggling families will lose their right to free school lunches under a cut unveiled in the Conservative manifesto.

    The total includes more than 600,000 young children recently defined as coming from "ordinary working families", according to analysis for the Observer by the Education Policy Institute.

  • Norman Lamb
    Article: May 20, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have reacted after a day in which the upper echelons of the Conservative Party were in lock-down, apparently in panic after their social care policy backfired. The Institute for Fiscal Studies analysed Theresa May's plans and concluded that "the Conservative plan makes no attempt to deal with the fundamental challenge of social care funding."

  • Tim Farron
    Article: May 17, 2017

    Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing Congress, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, has confirmed that the Party would reinstate student bursaries, which benefit nursing, midwifery and allied health students, with immediate effect.

    In 2015, the Conservative Government announced they would be scrapping bursaries for nursing students from August 2017.

    UCAS figures show that the number of applications for nursing courses due to start this year were approximately 10,000 lower - down by nearly a quarter - compared to the same point last year. The Liberal Democrats argue that this short-sighted cut will compound the existing shortage of nurses in the NHS, threatening the quality of patient care.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:

    "The Government's decision to abandon bursaries for nursing students was clearly wrong.

    "The evidence has shown a drastic fall in the number of people applying to study nursing following this dangerously short-sighted cut.

    "We should be supporting more people into these vital professions - but instead this Government are putting up greater barriers.

    "The Liberal Democrats are proud that we are committing to support nurses, midwives and other NHS professionals, not only by reinstating the bursary but by ending the cap on public sector pay rises and giving our NHS the extra money it needs over the next Parliament, which will reduce pressures on our hardworking staff."

    Almost 10,000 fewer would-be nurses in England have applied for courses linked to the profession - nearly a quarter less than at the same point last year (2 February 2017, Telegraph)

    The policy will protect the bursaries of courses in

  • Anita Day
    Article: May 15, 2017

    Liberal Democrats have announced they would end years of pay restraint for nurses, teachers and police in Lincolnshire by lifting the 1% cap on public sector pay and increases wages in line with inflation.

    Under Liberal Democrat plans, the 6,530 teachers working in Lincolnshire would get an average pay rise of £893 by 2021, while the 1,060 police working for Lincolnshire Police Force would see their pay boosted by £471.

    The plans would also lead to an estimated pay rise of £527 for the nearly 3,000 nurses working in Lincolnshire by 2021, helping to tackle the shortage of nurses and potential strikes over pay this summer.

    In contrast, the Conservative's public sector pay cap combined with rising inflation since the Brexit vote will mean that by 2021, the average nurse will be nearly £4000 worse off.

    The announcement comes as a survey by the Royal College of Nursing has revealed nine out of 10 nursing leaders say they are worried about their ability to recruit nurses and that there are an estimated 40,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS.

    Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stamford, Anita Day, commented:

    "Public sector workers in Lincolnshire are facing a double blow at the hands of this Conservative government, with years of pitiful increases to pay combined with a Brexit squeeze caused by soaring inflation.

    "Our NHS and schools are already struggling to recruit the staff they need.

    "Living standards are falling, prices are rising and nurses are going to food banks - but Theresa May doesn't care.