Minister Nadine Dorries refuses to meet Labour’s Dr Rosena Allin-Khan EIGHT times during Commons exchange


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health minister has refused an offer to meet her Labour shadow despite being asked eight times during a terse exchange in the Commons.

However, former nurse Ms Dorries told her that if she wanted to set policy Dr Allin-Khan should “try harder” to win an election.

Dr Allin-Khan, an A&E doctor who still does shifts, wants to meet with the government minister to discuss Labour’s “Care for Carers” package to support NHS staff.

The proposal includes a national hotline, PTSD support and addiction services.

<p>Doctor Rosena Allin-Khan</p>
(

Doctor Rosena Allin-Khan

/ Daniel Hambury )

Dr Allin-Khan, the shadow mental health minister, told the Commons: “Will the minister agree to meet to discuss our Care for Carers proposal?  

“To address the mental health needs of our three million health and care staff?”

Pressing for a response, she emphasised: “Will the minister agree to meet with me to discuss the Care for Carers plan?”

And again: “Will the minister agree to work cross party together to support our frontline NHS and care workers?”

Ms Dorries replied: “Obviously I can’t answer from a sedentary position.

“Actually [for] the care package you need to meet with another minister.  

“But I will take your request on but actually I’m mental health not care workers so I’ll pass that on for you.”

Dr Allin-Khan stressed it was to discuss the package of mental health care for frontline NHS workers, adding: “Which I’m sorry you seem to have forgotten. I have raised it a number of times.

“Is the minister agreeing to meet with me to discuss the Care for Carers mental health package for our frontline NHS and care staff?”

Ms Dorries replied: “I will provide a detailed explanation of what we are doing for frontline workers in my own speech when we’ve finished.”

Dr Allin-Khan, up on her feet again, responded: “I take that as a no. So I give you the opportunity – I give the minister the opportunity – to give me a straight yes or no answer.

“Will the minister kindly agree to meet with me?

“Will the minister kindly agree to meet with me to work cross-party together for the betterment of the mental health of our frontline NHS and care staff. Yes or no?”

Ms Dorries replied: “This is a rather unusual way of closing debates. We do have a very comprehensive package in place for key workers which is being provided by the NHS and I’m happy to detail that when I’m giving my closing speech.”

Dr Allin-Khan replied that she would take that as a “hard no” before Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Dame Eleanor Laing intervened, saying: “I think this exchange has run its course and I’m sure that the honourable lady is probably about to come to her conclusion.”

Standing up to give her speech, Ms Dorries said: “One of the joys of being a minister…a minister of government is that we actually won an election and therefore that gives us the right to decide policy and the ability to decide policy and I can honestly say if the honourable lady wishes to decide the policy then the party opposite should do harder at the next election – try harder.”

The Standard has contacted Ms Dorries’ office for a response.  



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