Thursday, 23 April 2015

Vote, Vote, Vote, Maybe?

In case no one has noticed, there's a General Election in just over two weeks. Well I intend to vote

My vote is special to me, I only get one vote and I want to use it well. To that aims I have emailed the five candidates that were then standing for election as the MP for my constituency (Since I emailed them two more, fringe candidates have stood and I will email then too). I’ve pasted a copy of the email below.

I asked the candidates three questions:

How would they protect the NHS as it faces increasing demands on it?

How would they recruit more nurses into the NHS? There’s already 20,000 empty nursing posts in the NHS.

How would they help the NHS become a community based healthcare provider, rather than a hospital based provider?

These are the five candidates I emailed:

Festus Akinbusoye, Conservative, email,, Twitter @fest4westham

Jamie McKenzie, UKIP, email (No Social Media)

Lyn Brown, Labour (Current MP), email, Twitter @lynbrownmp

Paul Reynolds, Liberal Democrat, email, Facebook page

Rachel Collinson, Green Party, email, Twitter @Rachel_shares

I emailed them all on the 5th April and since then... Nothing. I got am automatic email receipt from Lyn Brown saying that she was very busy and could take up to ten days to get back to me. That’s all the response I have received from all five of those emails

None of the candidates have answered my questions.

None of the candidates have responded to my email.

No assistant or campaign worker or volunteer or anyone from their office has responded to my email.


Is this how candidates view the people they want to vote for them? If so it is deeply arrogant and patronising. If my questions are too complicated or that they just can’t them answer then why can’t they say that to me. Instead they just ignore me and their silence speaks a thousand words.

So far, as of today, all the campaigning I have received for my vote is four, very brief leaflets pushed through our front door; one each from the Labour, Conservative, UKIP and Liberal Democrat candidates. Nothing more.

Do these candidates think that my vote is so cheap that those leaflets are all they need to do to receive it?

No wonder that people don’t vote.

I’ll keep you informed if they of these candidates to do reply to me, but I am not holding my breath waiting for their reply.


My email to these candidates:

Why Should I Vote for You?

Dear ______,

I live in the West Ham constituency and I intend voting at the coming election, but I am not sure who to vote for. I work as nurse, in the NHS, and I am very concerned about the state of the NHS. To help me decide who to vote I'd like to ask you these three questions:

The NHS is facing more and more demands, especially with an ageing population and the increasing cost of healthcare (the cost of new medications and clinical equipment). How would you ensure it stays fit for purpose, meets people's needs and is still based on people's clinical need?

The NHS has approximately 20,000 unfilled nurses' posts, which has a direct impact on patient care. The NHS is short of nurses due to people leaving nursing, many nurses have retired or approaching retirement, and that we are training less and less nurses each year, we now train 12% less nurses then we did in 2010. How would you reverse this and ensure there are enough nurses to provide the high standard of care needed?

For the last twenty years we have been told by different governments that the NHS needs to move away from the hospital model of providing healthcare and towards a community based one. Yet still the community remains the poor relation of the hospital, with much less staff and resources. I know this fist hand because I work as a District Nurse. How would you ensure that the community has the resources to deliver healthcare were people live and that the NHS does finally move to the model of community based healthcare?

My vote is important to me and I would appreciated your answers to my questions to help me decide who to vote for.

Drew Payne


Sent 5th April 2015.

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