RCM head issues challenge to Labour on NHS spending and repeats call for People’s Vote on Brexit in conference fringe speeches

on 21 September 2018 People's Vote Campaign NHS Funding

Support for a People’s Vote on Brexit and a challenge to Labour on NHS spending are the key messages from the Royal College of Midwives Chief Executive and General Secretary Gill Walton in speeches to be made at two Labour Party Conference fringe events.

In a speech on Monday (24th September) she will attack the claims of leavers who say Brexit will mean more money for the NHS, repeating the RCM’s support and call for a second people’s vote on leaving the EU.

She will outline how staff from other EU countries will care for sixty-thousand people in every 36 hour period. She will also point to the massive drop in EU midwives coming to the UK since the referendum, highlighting that ,“We have already seen the number of midwives coming to the UK from elsewhere in the EU collapse, to just 33. That’s right, the latest figures are that just 33 EU midwives registered to work in the UK over an entire year. They used to arrive in their hundreds”.

Brexit is not only bad for the NHS she will say, it is bad for workers rights and will open up the NHS to increasing privatisation.

In another fringe event speech on Sunday (23rd September), Gill Walton will challenge whether the £20 billion promised by the Government is enough for the NHS. “The challenges that are facing the NHS are such that we will need to see yet more money going into it in the years ahead”, she will say. 

At the same time she will challenge Labour to give more detailed commitments on their indication of more money for the NHS. “This needs to be more than simply competing bids in an electoral auction” she will argue.

In her speech Gill will say that we “We need more politicians who see the value of things as much as they see the cost of things."

Gill Walton will speak at two fringe events at the Labour Party Conference. On Sunday 23rd September 1pm-2pm she will speak at the Unions 21 fringe event in a speech titled ‘£20bn more for the NHS – what’s Labour’s answer.’

On Monday, 24th September 8.30am-9.30am  she will speak at a People’s Vote fringe event with her speech titled ‘How Labour can stop Tory Brexit’

For a copy of the speeches and to contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.